Author Archives: Poland Team

July 7 | Day 7

“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at the table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'” Luke 17:7-10

This morning, before we headed out for our last day of working in the flats, our friend, Tomek, shared this verse with us. He reminded us to keep serving and working hard– we don’t deserve to be a part of the family of God and we don’t deserve to be His servants, but serving Him is a privilege and our duty. The devotion Tomek shared gave us motivation to finish strong.

IMG_3903Rachel and Kelly spent the day finishing up work at the older gentleman’s flat. They built a wardrobe and helped him organize his belongings. The flat looks completely different, and so does the older gentleman. The older gentleman is now smiling much more often, trying to speak english with the team, and saying thank you over and over. Earlier in the week, the team had taken some pictures with the older gentleman, and today they brought a few in frames to give him as a gift. He loved the pictures and put them up on his wall. Before leaving the flat today, the team had the opportunity to sing How Great is Our God and pray with the older gentleman. Rachel and Kelly’s time spent with the older gentleman was a huge blessing and made cleaning up maggots worthwhile!

 

Alex went to a different flat today and helped build a wardrobe for a young boy. The young boy had gotten a bed earlier in the week, and after it was finished being built, he did not want to get off of it because he thought someone might take it away. The team reassured him that the bed was his to keep. After finishing the wardrobe, the team prayed with the family and invited them to the party tomorrow.

IMG_3897I started off my day painting a school room at Klub Mam (moms club). Klub Mam is a group of mothers who do service projects in the community. After finishing painting there, I headed back to the flat I had been working at the past few days and put the finishing touches on. While I was there, someone asked me to clean the bathroom. I started looking at the bathroom to see what supplies I would need to clean it, and the mother in the flat took over. I was more than willing to clean the bathroom, but I was encouraged when the mother wanted to do it herself. Serving others isn’t just about doing things for people but empowering them. With a little motivation and help, this mother has discovered that she has what it takes to be good stewards of the things her family has been given. By the end of the week the family had opened up to us and our interaction was comfy–they have become our friends. We will see them again tomorrow and are very excited to be able to spend more time with them!

We are so thankful for all of the relationships we’ve gotten to build and the time we’ve gotten to spend in Poland. We are even more thankful for the members of the local church who have been serving alongside us and will continue to serve and invest into these people and families long after we are back in the States. Continue to pray for us, continue to pray for the families we get to serve, and continue to pray for our Polish friends we’re serving with.

In Christ,

Lauren

 


July 6 | Day 6

This morning, we continued our work in the flats.  We finished up with painting as well as building furniture.  Through conversation, service, and even Kelly playing the piano, walls continue to come down between the Polish residents and our team.  They have been open to prayer and hearing the gospel, and there has been so much laughter.

Grzyna

Americans & Polskis

In the evening, we went to the Warsaw Uprising Museum.  In 1944, while under the reign of Hitler, citizens of Warsaw led a revolt, later referred to as the Warsaw Uprising.  Unfortunately, the revolt was unsuccessful and thousands of lives were lost.  Ultimately, hundreds of thousands of Polish were systematically executed during the war.  85% of Warsaw was destroyed, as Hitler commanded the city to be bombed and burned to the ground when Germany pulled out of Poland.

Immediately after, Russia assumed control over Poland and the Polish faced a communist rule until 1989.  Russia promised help in the Warsaw Uprising, but the help never came.  The tragic effects of a history of oppression linger in this country.  One of the men on staff at the church here, Tomek, on the right in the picture above, lost two great-grandfathers in concentration camps and lost a great uncle in the Warsaw Uprising.

comic

A comic from the museum – Stalin “liberated” the Polish from the Germans

These are a people who desperately need the hope, joy, and love of Christ.  Please continue to pray for Poland, specifically Warsaw, and even more specifically the district called Bemowo (Bemovo).

Alex

hanging

Bonus picture – me hanging from a pole trying to win 100 zlotys ($25)


July 4/5 | Day 4/5

These past couple of days in Warsaw have been full, fun, and so very fast!

We began Tuesday morning with a group devotion led by Thomas, a member of West Christian Fellowship. He shared a story of how his grandma taught him how to make his bed. She did so not by telling him how to do it, but by doing it for him…by showing him how. He related the story to the example Jesus set for his followers as he walked this earth. Jesus did not simply tell his followers how to follow him, he showed them. He lived the life he calls his followers to live. Thomas continued to encourage the group by explaining that we, Jesus’s followers, don’t just have to use words to share about Jesus with others (and that we really shouldn’t only use words to share about Jesus), but that we can share so much and even teach others so much about Jesus simply with our actions. We don’t always have to tell about Jesus’s love…we can show Jesus’s love. Thomas’s devotion made such an impression on me and challenged me to truly show Jesus’s love while serving in Bemowa.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Kelly and I continued to work with our team, cleaning and painting the older gentleman’s flat. Tuesday was an exciting day as we got to give him a new bed and see the excitement flood his face when it was settled in his flat.  It was also a special day because we got to pray with him. When we arrived to the flat on Wednesday, he was waiting for us by the door with a smile on his face. (What a great joy it has been to be able to serve him and get to know him these past few days!)

Bemowa Flats

The view from the older gentleman’s flat

Lauren and Alex continued to serve at the family’s flat with their team on Tuesday and Wednesday. They got the opportunity to talk with the family about faith and even invited them to church on Sunday. The family is planning on coming to church this upcoming Sunday, praise God!

Bemowa Flats 2

The view from the family’s flat

We were super encouraged as a team by a story that Pastor Adam recently shared with us. We think it will be an encouragement to you, too! A few weeks ago, Pastor Adam met a man at a picnic (hosted by one of the previous mission teams serving here). After meeting and visiting, they decided to meet up again and chat. The next time they met, which was yesterday, Adam shared the gospel with the man and the man received Jesus Christ! Praise God!

Thank you for your continued support through prayer! As you can see, God is working so powerfully here in Bemowa! Please continue to pray for Jesus’s love to be shown to the people here; for hearts to be stirred up for Jesus; and for the local church to be strengthened in Christ’s love.

Rachel


July 3 | Day 3

Today was another wonderful day spent in Bemowo, Warsaw.

Alongside the four of us from Traders Point, there are other teams working with PCM and Bemovo this week, so we started our morning off by gathering together alongside the other teams to plan out our next week ahead. Adam, the pastor of Christian Fellowship West, lead out our prep time.

We split up into four different groups, three of which would go to renovate three different families’ flats and another that would go to visit a senior house. Alex and Lauren went with a team of people to one flat, while Rachel and I went to another.

The flat Alex and Lauren went to belonged to a single mom and her son. They renovated by cleaning, prepping for painting, and then began to paint. What was most amazing was the fact that this didn’t feel as if it were something they were doing for this family; they were amazed by how much the mom and son worked alongside them and how much they wanted them for themselves. It was a time of empowering the family instead of just doing a task for them.

Rachel and I spent the day at a flat that belonged to an older gentleman. Our work was really similar to Alex’s and Lauren’s in that we cleaned out things and then began painting. What I enjoyed most of today was bonding alongside the other members of the group I was working with. It was cool to see how even though we all hadn’t known each other previously, we still had a great time working together. And I think that’s because our focus was all the same: we want to impact people with the love of Jesus Christ. When people come together focused and strengthened by that goal and the love of Jesus, unity happens.

Another thing that struck me today was just how incredible language is. Before leaving to go work together, we all spent time praying as one big group. To close the prayer, Adam prayed in Polish. And it was fascinating to me. I had no idea what he was saying, but Jesus did. It’s incredible to me how personal language can be, and I’m amazed by how God created all of the different types and cultures.

Monday was great, and I’m really excited about how God is going to continue to build relationships with these families we are working alongside them and how He is going to use the local church to bring them closer to Him.

Thank you for your prayers!

Kelly


July 2 | Day 2

Different day.  Same outfits.

This morning we attended the church plant with which we will be working/serving, Zachód Społeczność Chrześcijańska (Christian Fellowship West).  Christian Fellowship West is the only evangelical church in Bemowo, a suburb of Warsaw, and that is why we are so thrilled to be working through them to serve and reach out to the community.   The church has been meeting for 18 Sundays, and they are already averaging around 50 people.

Church pic

the church service held in rented space

 

 

We loved hearing Pastor Adam preach on Isaiah 44, even if we had to have the Polish translated for us.  It was an amazing reminder of how many different languages there are in the world and that God speaks every one of them.

In the evening, we participated in a prayer walk around Bemowo.  It was a wonderful opportunity to pray for the people who live in this region before we begin forming relationships and working with them tomorrow.  We were encouraged by learning that, before starting each church, the Polish team invests around 1,000 hours of prayer into that particular region.

The day concluded with kebabs and Polish pizza (with cranberry sauce on top), as well as some shopping for new clothes since we are still waiting for our luggage (eye roll).

Please pray that the people of Bemovo would know Jesus!

Alex

bemowo pic

Bemowo


July 1 | Day 1

After a long night of flying, the team arrived safely in Poland around 10 am this morning.  We experienced only some minor setbacks: all of our checked luggage was lost, and later Kelly was pooped on by a Polish pigeon, further decreasing her already limited wardrobe options.  Aside from being worn out and not being able to change clothes, today was an encouraging beginning to our nine days in Warsaw, Poland.

We spent the evening exploring Old Town in Warsaw, marveling at the colorful, timeless architecture and digging into the rich history and the cultural roots of a people whom we long to see experience the goodness and grace of Jesus Christ.  We also spent this evening becoming acquainted with the other men and women who work for and serve with Polish Christian Ministries.  We are absolutely thrilled to be coming alongside of a ministry who is doing incredible things in the name of Jesus and to serve with a church plant in a place where the transforming love of our Savior is foreign.

We’re stoked to find out what God has in store for the next week, and we hope you are too.

Alex

From left to right: Kelly, Alex, Lauren, & Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Town, Warsaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ognista Szpada (shish kebab, basically). Our dinner was accompanied by tuba and accordion in pure Polish fashion.