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Quick Update!….maybe not so quick

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28

We are so thankful for a God who is good and capable of all things!  Amen!

Just wanted to drop a quick update for all of you supporting our family’s pursuit of God’s will.  This pursuit has lead us to Kraków, Poland for the past year and a half.  It sure has been an adventure and we are excited to continue on this journey!

God is so good and full of wonder.  This past weekend our first Worship Night went off without a hitch and was full of God’s grace and mercy.  He blessed us with a wonderful teen group that lead us in almost 2 full hours of worship.  You would have thought this group did this regularly, but it was their first time hosting!  They were full of His peace and it showed.  Praise God!

Michelle and I have decided to continue our language studies.  This means that we will continue to attend the school near our work.  God has blessed us with an amazing teacher who understand our learning style.  This is a miracle because the Polish language is not an easy language to learn.  She makes it easy….as it can be.

We also are keeping the kiddos in the Polish/English kindergarten.  We have not received enough to cover the costs of this school, but we believe it to be where the kids need to be.  We have started making contacts with the school teachers and parents of the other children.  They all know Loralie and Jack and it is wonderful to see their interactions with our kids.

With the latter focuses on schooling, with prompting from our time with God, we will need to raise the support needed to cover these added expenses.  We are following God’s leading on this, so we know that He has a plan.

Our goal is to raise our monthly support to 100%.  We need 130 people at $20 to reach this goal. 

In doing this we will be able to…

  1. Cover the costs of our school and the children’s school on a monthly basis
  2. Look at Poland and our ministries with longer term focus
  3. Reduce financial restraints, with monthly costs covered
  4. Focus more time and energy on language studies, which will allow us to build more relationships and establish more effective ministry

We are excited at the possibilities and doors that can open with the prospect of having monthly support fulfilled for our time in Poland.

We ask for prayer with our finances.  If we can reach 100%, we will be able to spend more dedicated time, in Poland, focused on ministry.  We want to glorify God in all that we do, and be good stewards with our finances.  Pray that God would open doors for us, bless our time in language studies, and strengthen the relationships that we have.  Pray that God would help us to dwell in our communities, serving God in all that we do.

We are incredibly thankful for the support, prayer and financial, that we have received.  We continue to receive confirmation that we are right where God wants us to be.  We are humbled by your willingness to serve God in all the ways you do.  Please let us know if there is anyway that we can join in prayer with you.

May God bless you, and keep you.

The Graves Family

Chapter 20: Pursuit

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 NASB

 

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

John 1:4 NASB

 

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:12-13 NASB

 

I find these verses to be encouraging, uplifting, and powerful.  Really look at the words describing the pursuit of God and His creation.  Since the beginning God has sought us, directed us, and claimed us.  God has given us purpose, understanding, and birthright.  Praise be to God our Father!

 

This past month has been full of illness in our family.  It seems like a revolving door of sickness.  As one member gets better, another is passed the infection.  But God likes to use these times for His glory. We exit the rotation with a deeper sense of gratitude, hope, and focus. We praise Him as we are now all recovered!

 

This past month was also full of joy.  We welcomed back Erica to our volunteer team, completed our second semester of language study, and had a wonderful visit from our friends the Williamsons.  Erica is nearing her second full year of volunteering with Poland and has been working extremely hard with our accounting paperwork.  Huge props to the tireless work she puts in day after day, what a blessing!

 

Language study is going slow but steady.  We remind ourselves daily that it is not a simple task and that investing more time now will produce greater fruit later.  The missionaries we have talked to who have been here for more than 4 years have expressed the importance of ministering to the Polish people in their native tongue.  This has increased our passion and drive to learn the language.  Praise God that the school has halved our tuition through alternative courses!  We love our school and teacher.

 

Having a package arrive from the States is always a welcome refresher.  Having friends or family arrive is renewal.  God used the Williamson family in ways they couldn’t even have imagined.  To share your vision, call, and ministry with someone brings new light, focus, energy and direction.  They were an uplifting presence and we are excited to follow God on our family’s journey.

 

In the month to come, we have a few events to mention.  Tomorrow, Sweet Surrender is host to the first community worship night.  A local group of missionary teens will be leading a small community of believers in a time of worship.  This is an exciting time and we are excited to see where God takes this event!

 

Next weekend, Sweet Surrender will co-host the 2nd youth night of this year.  Exciting times as we see a more unified youth within Kraków.  God is moving in this group and it is exciting to be part of His movement!  Fun Fact: Michelle is co-leading this event for the second time!

 

Sweet Surrender is also traveling to Warsaw for the Coffee Olympics!  Maybe not on the scale of the Winter Olympics, a barista from the shop in Poznan is participating in this Poland competition.  We are traveling to support, gain valuable coffee education, and have team building exercises to connect the Sweet Surrender Coffee shops.

 

As we pray for God’s leading in our family’s future, I feel God leading us towards a longer stay in Poland.  Though the timing may not be clear, the direction is.  God is pressing on my heart the need of monthly donors.  Monthly support, no matter the amount, ensures that my family can look to dwelling in our city in new ways.  Our goal is to raise our monthly support from $350/month to $3,000/month.  If you would like to help us achieve this goal, please go to our Nazarene Missionary Profile page here (tax-deductible):

http://web.nazarene.org/goto/TheGraves

 

Please continue to lift up these prayer requests:

  • 2nd Saturday Worship Night:  God’s presence, anointing of leadership
  • Youth Night:  God’s presence, anointing of leadership, good turnout
  • Moving:  As we house sit, then move to a new apartment.  That God would lead us in this pursuit.
  • Financial:  That we can raise 100% in monthly support/children’s tuition.
  • Michelle’s Family:  Unspoken
  • Michelle’s travel in April to travel home to help family in the States for two weeks.
  • Sweet Surrender Krakow:  As we hire new staff and transition from old to new crew.
  • Pray for our persevering neighbors of Ukraine. They need not only a revolution and independence…they need food, shelter and an honest reminder that they are not forgotten.
  • Loralie and Jack as they learn more about the Lord they become more concerned for the people in the world. Namely Ukraine. Loralie has faithfully prayed for “Our Ukraine” and insists we pray for “the little ones to go to bed with no food in their bellies.” – A prayer from a four-year-old!

 

Now that we have shared our needs for prayer, what can we pray for YOU about? We think of you often. We are grateful for you, our family, our friends, who have lifted us up in prayer. You have not only prayed for us but you have been the people who have pulled us aside to tell us we are not crazy for following His call on our lives. You have prayed for our little ones as they grow bigger and stronger and they are now noticing the world around them is not fair but Loralie and Jack know how GOOD God is. The prayers you lift up cover our family with peace as the Lord hears, He answers. Thanks to the beautiful support you give through your sacrifice we see the Lord moving here in Poland!

 

The Graves

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