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Chapter 19: Engage

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.

Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

 

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NIV)

 

Following God is the easiest and most difficult decision we can make in our lives.  It consists of multiple small decisions and habits that have long lasting, lifetime implications.  Though we may have the title of Missionaries, we are all missionaries.   Identifying with this call on all of our lives is a daily struggle.  When we accept this direction we are being led in, the implications are extreme.  No longer can we view the staff at the grocery store, the barista at our coffee shop, the customer in front of us in line, or the client to our business as just another person.  This other person is someone that God has included in our circle.  How we interact with this one person has a big picture impact.

 

God is so awesome! God gave my family this promise: I have called you, so I will provide (1 Thessalonians 5:24).  And He has! The way in which He follows through with His promises is incredible.  Here we are in Poland, entering into our 2nd term, 10th total month, following God’s call.  Nothing has changed and everything has changed.

 

We are enjoying our first intensive language course as our kids are enjoying their first month at school!  How awesome and scary these two events are.  The idea of trusting our kids daily to a school, while we are not pioneers in this area, is both scary and exciting.  Good thing we have surrendered this fear to God!  Though our minds are like mush as we leave our classes, the victory far outweighs the challenge.

 

We have enjoyed using our broken Polish to engage in the most basic of conversations, “Jak ma pan/pani na imię? (Sir/Man what is your name), Jak się pan/pani ma? (Sir/Mam, how are you?).   We are using what little Polish we know, every opportunity we have. This has provided some awesome times of horrible translations that cause our friends at the local grocery, Fresh Market, to smile every time we enter….and not because the ever eccentric Loralie is with us!  For example, I first asked one of the ladies at Fresh Market, “Jak się pani ma na imię?”  That is like asking someone, “Mam, what is how are you name?  The blank stare, tilted head, and response of “Como?” clearly indicated that I had said something wrong.  But God!  He loves to take our horrid blunders and turn them into instant wonders.  God used this to ensure that we were fan favorites as we enter the store.  Able to make someone’s day just by entering the store, God is awesome.

 

The kids love their school.  Loralie and Jack have received excellent reports from the teachers and are making new friends!  Of course it is hard to tell when Loralie is just making up words and using some new Polish words.  They seem to be adapting well and playing hard.

 

This year’s visa application process has been a bright comparison to last year.  We arrived to the window of one of the only English-speaking clerks, with a very cheery disposition, and an uncanny desire to help us.  Not only did she cheerily discuss the many flaws with our paper work, she allowed us to stay at the front of the line to correct our mistakes.  Then, after seemingly an hour of signatures, we were on our way with a warm smile and a friendly good-bye.  None of our staff or fellow missionaries believes us when we recount the dream like adventure Michelle and I were on.  God is so awesome!

 

Today was another dream.  Church was great; full of praise, God’s presence, and a wonderful message on Mark and God healing the blind man.  After this great time of fellowship, we discussed multiple ways of remaining in Poland and the various visas’ that might accompany them.  This led us to a late lunch, but I’m not going to believe it was a coincidence.  It was at lunch that we met a new Polish friend, Hostia.  It took a bit into the conversation to realize that he was homeless.  I know that God put him in our path.  It was by no coincidence that we had just read an article in the paper about Krakow’s homeless community problems.  It was by no coincidence that we had a late lunch after church.  By no coincidence that the only available table was by Hostia, that he spoke English, or that he allowed us to pray for him.  When we stop living our lives by coincidence, we start to see the world around us in a different light.

 

Hostia was thirsty for truth but almost refused food because he could not imagine mercy. He told us “I do not like mercy. It makes me feel like you are up here (motions his hand up high) and I am down here (lowers his hand to the floor).” After inviting our new friend to join our merry company he allowed us to ask him questions and in return he did the same. We left with his number and information on Sweet Surrender and how he could get there during the week so we could meet with him and just talk. He was very open to this idea!

 

 

Praise! We had our very first, ever, Teen Party Night last Saturday! Because there is a small Protestant community here in Krakow there are not many youth groups large enough to have any sort of events as perhaps you or I have attended as teens. Michelle, along with several other leaders collaborated on this. 35 teens from 5 separate youth groups showed up and stayed the entire time. Many new friendships were formed and a gap was filled. We enjoyed group games, ice breaker questions, Xbox games and lots of music. All of the kids went home asking “Why is this not happening every 2 weeks??” I supposed we have more to work on then, right??

 

I am thankful for a loving God who cares deeply for all of us.  He knows us by name.  How great is that!  Of all the people in the world, He has a plan for all of us.  We are all interconnected by a passionate, relational, caring, loving God.

 

Let me share a few things we desire for you, our family, to pray for…

 

Hostia and his faith in God, a job, friendship, and a warm place to set down his head tonight.

 

Language studies and the many hours of studying and practicing.

 

Worship night in which Michelle will be leading. She has never done this sort of thing but God has put it on her heart to make sure this happens. We plan to have a 2nd Saturday Worship night every month with different people leading. Pray for anointing!

 

Our next Teen Night-That the teens that attended for the first party will feel the desire to invite their friends and neighbors.

 

Provdence for Loralie and Jack’s school to be fully paid for. If you have questions about how to help, email Brad.

 

An event we plan to put together in March called Father Of Lights. This is a very impactful documentary that we plan to show at Sweet Surrender. We are hoping to invite neighbors, people we know from the stores we shop at and friends.

 

Brad will be sharing his knowledge on coffee with the Say What group (and English club) that meets at Sweet Surrender on Friday evenings.

 

Brad will be leading a black coffee night in the near future and plans to possibly show the Father Of Lights video there as well.

 

In March we are moving. Lord help us and our little people as we attempt to stay sane!

 

 

What about you? Have you any prayer requests? Or questions from us about what we are doing? We love questions!

 

Much love,

 

From

 

Brad, Michelle, Loralie and Jack-Jack

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