So… I’m sure some of you have started wondering if we still exist, are still going to Poland, and are still fundraising. The answer to all of those questions is YES! It has been a little crazy in the Porter family – mainly concerning some issues with Ben’s back. Those issues aren’t resolved, but we don’t think they are going to keep us from serving in Poland again this summer. So we’ve finally settled on dates (June 1 – July 1) and are watching airfare prices (which are not looking too great at the moment).
Here’s the 2018 service plan:
- We will serve in Poland June 1 – July 1
- We will travel to and encourage Christian churches in Poland, planted and/or supported by Polish Christian Ministries, as time and opportunity allow.
- We will do everything we can to help with upkeep and projects at Ostróda Camp, including yard work, cleaning, preparation of cabins, fixing stuff, tech help, prayer room, and encouraging and supporting our friends who do full-time ministry at the camp year-round.
- We will spend time growing relationships and serving the Holocaust Survivors who will travel from Israel. Although some of these are Messianic Jews, many of them do not know Jesus Christ as the Messiah. We will participate in worship and teaching sessions, plan and lead activities/crafts with them, and travel to different sites with them in partnership with a mission team from Georgia.
- We will serve during the Ukrainian Children’s Camp alongside a team from Rhode Island – teaching, baptizing and disciplining children and teens. This year’s camp will include refugee children from the war in Ukraine. Our involvement will include crafts, teaching and getting to know the kids in small groups.
- We will plan and lead in a number of capacities during a week of Polish Youth Camp. We don’t know much about the plans for this yet other than that there is no US church mission team, so we will likely have plenty to do!
- We will connect with friends met in the past who have suffered infant loss, as well as looking for other opportunities to minister through Embracing Grace.
- We will pray for unexpected opportunities to serve and minister – asking God to provide them, open our eyes to them, and give us what we need to act on them.
Will you please, as we are, cover all of these aspects of ministry in prayer before we even board a plane?
We do still have a financial need to be able to do this. Currently, we have saved, raised and received enough to cover a little more than our airfare. But we need approximately another $3300 (as of the time of this posting and depending on the price we end up getting for airfare) to cover ground transportation, lodging and meals. The money we would normally be spending on food, gas, etc. at home during the month of June, will certainly go towards this, as well as all other funds we can personally set aside, but we still won’t close that gap without the generous support of people like you. We ask that you prayerfully consider being a “sender”. Everyone knows I struggle so much with the asking. But we can’t do this without you, and I know what a blessing it can be to play the Sender role in fulfilling the Great Commission. In fact, we will pray for you to be blessed for your generosity! See our financial support page for a current graph of our fundraising and for information about giving.
Also, this is the bare minimum cost of spending the month on the mission field. There is so much more we’d like to do. Our mission organization, PCM, is raising funds to cover costs for all of these camps, including scholarships to give as many kids as possible a life-changing experience at church camp. So any funds we can raise beyond our initial need will go towards these important goals. There will also be expenses for craft and activity supplies that are not included in our fundraising goal.
Ok. So this has turned into a really long post. Hugs to those of you who are still reading! Watch for updates on fundraising events as soon as I figure those out!
Love & Gratitude
Ben, Rachel, Anna & Ethan
I love reading Paul’s letters to the churches. They are full of encouragement, teaching and sometimes reproach – all of which applies to us today just as much as it did to first century churches. Paul was able to give these things to the churches and pray for their differing needs because he KNEW them. He says hi to people by name and speaks about very specific situations. He visited them and invested himself in them. He connected them. “The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets in their house.” (1 Corinthians 16:19)
During our last time in Poland, Ben was able to do something that reminded me of this. He and Dave Hatfield traveled to several churches that are under the care of Polish Christian Ministries. Their visits were meant to do much of what Paul did with his visits and letters. These are churches that we continue to pray for, and hope to have contact with again. As part of his role with the board of directors, Ben also has a list of US churches that support PCM, and by extension the ministry of these Polish churches, which he has committed to pray for. So here is what God has laid on our hearts. How can we effectively pray for these churches when their support of PCM is really all we know of them? Do they know all the good things their financial contributions are going towards? We want to visit them, get to know them, so we can pray for them on a deeper and more personal level. We want to share with them what we as a family have been able to see and do in Poland, giving them a personal connection with real people that are passionate about this ministry. So we feel that God has grown in us a prompting to begin our own tour of churches. Our little family won’t bring the wisdom and guidance of the great apostle Paul, but we feel God has some plan in mind from this leading, so we will obey.
If you’re still reading this, you must either be bored or you really care about this stuff like we do! Either way, we ask you to pray for us as we do this. We’ll start with PCM supporters closest to us, and then include some other churches that may be looking to grow their missions giving. In addition, there are a couple of other areas of ministry, unrelated to PCM, in which we feel God’s nudging. When Ben pursued his ministry degree and ordination, we didn’t really know where it would lead. Ben isn’t designed for church office hours and Sunday morning preaching. But God seems to be molding together a unique and unconventional sort of ministry for us, a collection of ways for us to share hope and joy with some people who just don’t know where to find it. We’re pretty excited about that, but we need your prayers for guidance, wisdom and obedience.