Saturday, December 30, 2006

Denise's News from Poland

Change: A Life of Dependence On Jesus
Fall/Winter 2006

Now that I am definitely middle aged, Yikes! Erroneously I had believed that there would be some stability, even a bit of monotony or at the very least a regular routine. May be there was a bit of the Hollywood fairy tale image influencing my thinking. You know that peaceful life found after you have found your knight in shining armor and you have ridden off into the sunset. Although I am aware that those images are not the reality I think that somewhere in my subconscious I hoped that some of it would be true.

With the amount of change and loss I have experienced in the last few years one would think I would be at peace with change. I don’t know that it is really possible to be at peace with change but I’m confident that as I rest in Jesus his peace encircles me and my world. I wish I were better at this practice then there would be more of his love manifested in me and less frustration. I am so grateful that Jesus walks with me every step.

The Church in Zakopane is also learning what it means to be dependent on Jesus through change. We have had the opportunity to be a “sending church”. This is a particular challenge in a society that has lost a great deal and the culture is one of holding on and not releasing. In our short life we have had the chance to let 2 young people go … to attend other fellowships, and last month we sent one of young people back to CA for a 2nd year of internship. It is difficult to explain how hard it was for many people to understand that we need to have hearts and hands that are truly OPEN, that our love is without condition or strings of any kind.

Now we are starting new once again with a handful of individuals. Yet, I have a new excitement that they growing in what it means to follow Jesus voice for themselves. That each person is called to fulfill their own personal assignments that Jesus has prepared in advance for them to do. When each one of us are doing what God has called us to do with a common love and service for one another the kingdom is expanded.

There is a deep sense that this is a time to really prepare and release to individuals in the church in their giftings. A new urgency is challenging me to equip each person as Lord would desire to expand my connections and relationships in Krakow. Please pray that the people of the church in Zakopane/Nowy Targ would see this as a great adventure in their relationship with Jesus. That they would grow in expectation and anticipation of what God would do in and through them individually and together.

February 19-25, 2007 we will be inviting people from our extended church family to come and join us in “Digging Deeper”. Deeper in our relationship with Jesus and our relationships with one another. It is out of those Deeper relationships that we will go out in the power of the Holy Spirit to Share the Love of Jesus. Such times of fellowship are so important for the Christians here because of the isolation that is felt by the spiritual climate found here. If you feel that God would want you to be a part of this time of worship, fellowship, skiing, sledding and passionately loving the lost in our world, please let me know ASAP. Please pray for God’s provision and blessing. May each person be encouraged and challenged in their relationship and ministry.

News Briefs
Contact Information
Friendship Ministries: The end of an era. You may have noticed that the place where you can your financial support has changed. I founded Friendship Ministries 18 years ago. At that time the world was a very different place. Through these last 10 years that I have been in Poland the Lord has provided 5 faithful servants that have been the board. These wonderful men & women of God have stood by me in prayer, service, advice, and friendship. I am confident that I never would have been able to persevere. However, at this time they have come to the end of their service. Due to the reality that I have no other individuals sensing the calling of God for this ministry we will be closing Friendship Ministries as of December 31, 2006. Please pray with me for a special blessing on the Board of Friendship Ministries: Bill & Marian van Baggen, Loretta Wallace and Tina-Joy Kinard. Thank you is just the beginning of my gratitude.

Change in procedures: Please make your financial contributions to Mission Dispatch. Please attach a note with my full name: Denise Johnson. And mail it to the below address.

Denise Johnson
c/o Mission Dispatch, Inc.
21911 76th Ave W., Suite 211
Edmonds, WA 98026

Remodel: The remodel the beginning of May (see my blog for pictures). It seemed to go on forever in fact my main bath is not fully functional. You know how it is when you run out of time and money. However, I have heat! I can turn it on and off as I wish as well as control the temperature. Soon I will even have a thermostat. Then I will look into painting the living room.

The best part about the remodel is that it opened up opportunities to get connected with the neighbors. It was as if the remodel was a common enemy that united us to work together to conquer this “invader”. I was invited for coffee, tea, beer and vodka (the last 2 were my least favorite) at various neighbors to discuss the various methods used to handle the situation. As a result of these interactions I have started an English Conversation Class for adult neighbors and friends. I haven’t had so much fun teaching English ever. It provides an opportunity for me to build relationships with those individuals in my immediate circle of influence. It is a relax atmosphere where about 10 ladies come once a week to try their hand at speaking English. Those individuals that actually complete 4 lessons are entitled to a “free” individual lesson valued at 45 zloty ($15). The individual times gives me a chance to actually talk to each woman & to answer the “Big” question: “Why are you in Poland?” Please pray for more opportunities to show the life of Jesus to these women.

Visiting the USA: I will be traveling to the US between February 28, 2007 – March 26, 2007 for the purpose of spending time with you. I will spend the 1st week in CA and the following 3 weeks will be divided as follows 1 week in OR and 2 weeks in Seattle. If you have time to get together please contact me so that we can schedule time.

Current Financial Needs: I thank the Lord daily and am amazed at how he finances things. Even though I am responsible for all the bills that were once shared somehow I have been able to meet my financial responsibilities monthly. This school year is a particular step of faith as I am no longer working at the private English School as it was really taking away from my ministry time and draining my passion. I am trusting Jesus for the necessary funds for the visit to the US. It will cost about $1200 for airfare and travel expenses. Please pray for the protection over the money I do have: somehow over the past 6 months around $1000 has sprouted legs and walked away. I know that Jesus will deal with the individual(s) as those funds were all set aside for specific bills or ministry. I also need about $1700 to finish the remodel. I have a wish/desire to good to the 4square conference in Israel in July 2006 (approx $1700). It is an important time of fellowship for me. Thanks so much for standing with me for the Lord’s faithful provision.

Your Partner in Christ’s Service,

Contact Information
Denise C. Johnson
Os. Witosa 4/8, 34-400 Nowy Targ, POLAND
Phone: 48-18-2665899

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Expectations: Joys and Disappointments

I don’t know about you but I have discovered something about myself. I’ve discovered that I have many expectations of people, life, even God that are deeply rooted in my needs. Some may say what’s wrong with that? At first glance I think we would all say “Nothing, it’s normal.” But over the past few months I have noticed that I have been being disappointed, as it seems, over and over again. I’m not talking about those types of disappointments that you just brush off, rather those deep disappointments that are filled with great pain.

For me, life began to run away. It began with the thought/plan that I would have a bit of a sabbatical, but instead I had extra work and responsibilities. Then there was the information that the heat conversation would definitely take place in May & the gas would be connected in 2 weeks. The longest 2 weeks I've ever experienced, it that ended last Saturday four months after the first time I heard "2 weeks". It certainly gives a new meaning to "2 week notice". The remodel continued and continued and continued (and still isn’t finished) so that my 2 week vacation in the middle of June was moved and moved and moved.

Deep inside me I knew how tired I was and there was such a cry/need for rest. A rest that seemed to be so evasive. Then when I did finally get vacation it was a week and a half in Switzerland. I was so looking forward to spending time with my friends. A time to be with people I know and trust. To be able to just relax and not “work” at scheduling my time, not work at starting new relationships, not work at communicating with unknown people but to just be. Well, due to the on-going remodel by the time I was able to get on the plane to Bern 90% of the people I knew and am in relationship with were gone on vacation.

The disappointment that came from those shattered expectations is hard to describe. The feelings of loneliness, and isolation that I had been fighting all winter seemed to be lurking around every corner and growing. Each day I had to will myself to make contact and find ways to make new friends. All the while inside of me was this struggle with the injustice of it all. Or at least that is what it seemed like to me. In the end It was a good week for me, I did meet and get to know a lot of wonderful people that I probably wouldn’t have spent time with.

It wasn’t until later when I was really able to hear what God was trying to say to me that I really understood. There was so much in me that was broken and needing Jesus that I became desperate for anyone or anything to “HELP” me, to SEE me, to not leave me alone with myself. All the while Jesus was calling to me to be like David. To learn to sit with My Savior and Friend Jesus in the field of sheep. Jesus was challenging me to embrace solitude. Because in the quiet place my expectations/hopes are based on what My King has prepared for me not on my broken heart. For as I sit with My Lord I begin to see his hand in the circumstances of life. It is at that point that I can say with my whole heart …

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given.” Romans 5:5

Saturday, August 26, 2006

10 Years – Time Does Fly!

From Seattle/Kirkland USA to Nowy Targ/Zakopane POLAND
Tomorrow, Sunday 27 August 2006 marks 10 years of living and serving the Lord full time in Poland. Who would have thought?

When we, Carol, CJ (Carol’s cat), Me, Jesse (my cat), left Seattle with our 4 bags packed to the maximum limit (75 pounds each), who would have thought that our 2-3 years maximum 5 would quickly become 10.

During that time there has been many seasons. Each of which is a chapter all in itself. Of course just like any in any life those chapters have their joys, tears, hopes and fears. But through it all Jesus was/is/ and always will be the Rock and Firm Foundation.

Let me just recap for you some of those seasons:

The 1st chapter started with the basics, finding a place to live. Some of you might remember that this was no easy task. It was truly an adventure! The 4 of us living with all our “worldly” belongings in one room the size of a normal bedroom for 5 weeks. The whole time CJ & Jesse were wondering what happened to their “little condo in the woods”. At the same time we were looking for English teaching jobs so that we could secure a long term visa.
God is so faithful as we had the privilege of working for a woman who helped get established and has proven to be an easy boss to work for with the changing schedules and needs of the ministry.

The 1st chapter of ministry was a time of supporting and encouraging the local Penacostal Church. There were English lessons that were an outreach to the community, video nights with discussions for young people, together with fellowship times that were fun and encouraging. We also had wonderful times of fun and fellowship with the women on retreats and “Girl’s Nights Out”.

Chapter 2 was a season of encouraging various churches outside of Nowy Targ through workshops, fellowship, and times of friendship. This was a time of lots of local travel and challenges of what God would want to share with each fellowship. It was during that time that a group of young people from Jaworzno (2 hours away) were really desiring to move forward with Jesus. We met every 2 weeks to go through the Experiencing God Bible Study. It was a challenging time for us all and a real commitment for them.

Chapter 3 teaching at the English Teacher’s College in Zakopane overlap a bit with 1 and 2 but was a significant time of personal challenge and growth for me. These 5 years in the middle of this decade gave me a unique opportunity to challenge young people to find God’s best for their lives. To proclaim the truth of God’s good future that He has planned for them even if the world around is deprive and unfair.

Chapter 4: planting a church in Zakopane. The church is now 3 years old. There is a core group of growing believers. Everyday it is exciting to see how they are gaining hope and confidence in their individual walk with Jesus. The most exciting statistic for me is not how many we see every Sunday but how many have come tasted how sweet the Lord is. They have been encouraged, blessed, prayed for and they have been set free to choose.

Who knows what all the Lord has done in and through the time I have been here? Who knows what is ahead? How much longer will I be here? There is only One person who can answer all these questions: JESUS

Chapter 5: Housing? Well, I purchased the condo that Carol & shared together. Now, the remodel is almost finished. Visa? I have a permanent visa that is valid until January 2015. Pets? Both Jesse & CJ have gone on to cat heaven with special honors for missionary service. Now, Pepsi the Polish Princess rules the kingdom.

Work? Soon I will start work for the American International School in Krakow as a school counselor consultant one day a week. This will give me more time and flexibility for the ministry & at the same time a new, fresh group of people to be in contact with. Will it be financially better? I will be employed as a consultant so what the means in Zloty and grosze only the Master knows.

Ministry? The church will continue in Zakopane. It will be a season to empower the core group to cease the opportunities God has put before them. This will include helping the young men to establish a Hotspot cafĂ© and culture center. It will be a time for helping the older women to reach their peer group for Jesus. For me personally it will be a time to reach out to people in my age group primarily my female neighbors and the mothers of some of the young people I have been ministering to. I also sense that it will be critical that there are more opportunities for the young people to meet their Christian friends from abroad. I’m not sure how the Lord will do that but you are invited to be a part of the solution.

Jesus is so faithful! I am so grateful for the privilege of serving here 20 years and being the person God has chosen to live among the people now for 10 years. I pray that I can be a good reflection of Him daily.

My prayer for the day comes from Philippians chapter 2:

Lord, let me be one who does everything with praise and thanksgiving so that I may become a blameless and pure child of Yours without fault in a crooked and depraved generation in which I will shine like a star in the universe as I hold out Your Word of Life.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Thank You

I just wanted to thank all of you who have been praying for me during this remodel. It has truly been a challenge far beyond anything I could have anticipated. Tomorrow they will check the gas connection. I continue to work on some of the details each day...Attaching molding, cutting the molding for around the new doors, putting in door jams. Little by little the apartment is being put back together.

Along with the lose ends comes the final bills. Like many of you, I have been curious about what all of this would cost. Pre-work bids aren't really done here so it has been quite the stretch of faith. Praise God that labor costs are usually lower than in the US or Western Europe.

So, How much has it cost?
Building supplies: $750
Heat conversion: $4450
Materials for redoing the Bath: $1900
Paint: $670
Doors: $370
miss Labor: $1400
Total Cost to date: $9540

Some of you may be wondering where this missionary "found" that kind of money. The Lord has blessed me with a few stocks that I had been saving for retirement. If you would like to help replenish my retirement fund the donation info is on this page.

The Lord has been so faithful through your prayers and giving. I have been able to meet all my financial obligations in a timely manner, even during the summer months when I have no money for teaching. This has a particular challenge to really trust the Lord during this time of huge financial expenses.

I am always amazed that the church in Zakopane is able to pay the rent every month, as well. We have been in the space in Zakopane over 2 years now. Our little space costs a reasonable (for the area) $270 a month including utilities. The Lord faithfully blesses this handful of retires & students to maintain this facility. How? Only Jesus can explain how the fish and loaves can feed 5000.

Thanks to your faithfulness and prayers.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Words for the Day

Door's going the wrong way
Forgot the hings
Oops too much foam filler
Oh we need one more....
Confused cat
Runaway cat
More paint
Paint in the hair
Paint in the ears
Paint on the cat

But progress is being made!!!!!

And here we come UTURN 2006 in Germany

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

“Jaws” Revisited

Dundant! Dundant! Dundant! Dundant! Dundant!

That familiar theme song of the eminent attack of the giant shark Jaws has been running through my head for the last few weeks. Not because I live close to the sea, far from it actually.

About a year and a half ago news made it’s way through the grapevine that all of the houses and apartments in my complex were going to change their heating source. But like most such pieces of info the locals take it with a grain of salt and wait to see if it really happens.

As time has past the info has gone from a mirage to promise to a threat and a “real and present danger” to the reality of the ever approaching Jaws of destruction. The last few weeks have seen the fruit of it all. It started in the bottom apartment in my stairwell and worked its way up the stairs and finally into my apartment.

You may be wondering what this all means? Well, for me it means that in every room the radiators have been replaced, the main bathroom is in the process of being gutted, and new pipes from the new heating system to the radiators in every room has been installed. And lots and lots of dust not to mention the DUST.

The monetary cost is still being tallied but somewhere between $3000-$5000.

But don’t we know that in ALL things God works for our good. This heat conversion is not optional. If I didn’t do this conversion come September there would be no heat as the contract for the central heating from the plant has been canceled by the whole neighborhood. The upside is that my heat costs should be lower as a result. I will also have the option of having heat in the Spring and Summer when the plant usually doesn’t heat. This will also be a reduction of costs as I won’t have to use space heaters. And the new heat system will also heat my water. This is also a great bonus; as my hot water tank is on its last leg and not very efficient. Finally, it provides the opportunity to remodel the bathroom which is the only room in the apartment that has never been touched. This means I can finally put in a proper high voltage cable to the oven so I won’t keep popping the fuse.

I know that He will provide the funds needed for the repair.

Yet, what is God doing in the mist of all this chaos and dust? Believe it or not…it has been the open door to the neighbors that I could never have anticipated. I have been invited to socialize with 3 different neighbors and I have been in the homes of all the neighbors in my stairwell. Who would have thought? Praise God for “Jaws” of all different sizes and shapes.
(Pictures to come)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Road to Recovery

In a time when many people are talking about recovery of one sort or another, whether its recovery from drugs, alcohol, divorce, abuse, overeating, under-eating or even just plain recovery from life itself, many seasoned church goes need recovery from their church involvement. Those of us who have walked with Jesus a long time often find ourselves so consumed with “church life” we have lost sight of our True Love. I think for me, I have gotten used to adjusting to the expectations of what others have defined it means to be part of God’s Body.

In essence, we need to “recover” the original DNA of our first encounter with the Greatest Love of our life, Jesus.

I know for myself my heart and soul have been ravaged by “doing good” & “serving”. The heart wrenching disappointments of investing my heart, soul, & life into people who in an instead turn & reject me & the Lord I serve.

The weariness that comes from too much to do, too little time, & being too tired and overwhelm to do anything topped by guilt that rolls in light thick grey smoke across the floor, filling the room & over taking your joy.

In it & through it all there is a cry deep pulling me to “Return”. Often not know to what exactly. Just to Return.

Where? To What? Why? How?

“You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first…” Revelations 2:5

For a long time I knew & recognized where I had fallen from but why & how I really didn’t know or understand. I had “done” everything that was “asked” &/or expected of me & often more but I seemed to be lover than ever.

I found myself looking for “someone”…”anyone” to “help” me. My heart was crying out; “Don’t you see me? Doesn’t anyone see the needs?” My thoughts, attitude & emotions went from disbelief, to shock, anger, blame, & resentment. But repentance never crossed my mind – Why? I WAS doing God’s STUFF…wasn’t I?

“Repent”: Recently I realized that I needed to repent for putting the STUFF between me my truest love…Jesus.

“Do the things you did at first”
What things?
I’m going to church. I’m serving. I’m tithing. What things?

What did I do at first?

A truly repentant heart
Everything I did was motivated and empowered by the Love I experienced from Jesus.
The reading of God’s Word with daily anticipation of a visit of His visit
There is nothing like the thrill of meeting with friends who also were waiting daily for & experiencing the adventure of God’s greatness.

Everyday is adventure of the Lord’s daily guidance, provision, and leading; every change and difficulty an opportunity to see My God work.

Lord thank for your patience with me and my journey.
Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ingemar Martinson

A Great Man of God
A Trusted Friend
A Faithful Servant
A Visionary
A Master Mentor
A Loving Spiritual Father

Last night I was shock to learn that Ingemar went home to his heavenly reward on March 10, 2006. I say shocked because for me Ingemar was someone who was some how more than human, which meant that somewhere in the depths of my mind it was impossible for him to not be around. Though I hadn’t spoken to him in years I always knew he was behind me and would be there if I needed a hand or advise.

For those of you who don’t know, Ingemar was the one who showed me how to work in Central and Eastern Europe when it meant crossing the Iron Curtain. I did a 3 month internship at the Solasen Training Center, under his leadership the summer of 1987. This was a difficult time for me because I had just been released from staff position at my home church. I had no career (I had resigned my teaching position a year earlier), no job, my apparent attempt at full-time ministry didn’t work out, and I was really beginning to question if I had any value in God’s work. Yet, I knew I had a call to Central/Eastern Europe but how? I really believed I was to build relationships with the believers. I had no idea what to do or where to begin.

Though Ingemar had only met me once he agreed to take me on for the summer at his training center. I was quite broken and confused when I arrived at the training center in Kolmarden Sweden. Yet I found myself accepted into a loving family at Solasen. I was content to serve in anyway possible. I enjoyed being able to pour myself into the manual work of clean bathrooms, peeling potatoes, cleaning guest rooms, setting tables & doing dishes. Actually, I preferred to hide in my work but that was not acceptable. They wanted me to be in relationship with them…to be a part of the family. They made me stop my work everyday and have coffee with them. Ingemar included me. from the very beginning, in the planning and organized of the activities. Like I said I would have been very satisfied to just do my “household” duties all the time but soon after I arrived Ingemar sent me as the Solasen representative with a group of Americans to Poland. I was responsible for the group: the contacts, money, everything. I really questioned his judgment …but he believed in me. During that summer he tutored me, directed and guided me but more importantly he encouraged the call on my life like a father. The Lord sent Ingemar to be the spiritual father to me that my own father could not be.

At the end of the summer we reevaluated my situation and our relationship. We were all pleased with our new friendship and how well we were able to work together. Though I desired to come back and Ingemar was open to that he encouraged me to start an extension of the work in the US. Thus, Friendship Ministries was born. In the early years we both travel back and forth a lot. I was learning all the time and he was teaching, encouraging, supporting, challenging. To say that I am a full-time missionary in Poland as a result of his mentoring would be an understatement.

Ingemar was a man a head of his time, who develop a Sister Church program with East/West Churches partnering together. He was often criticized by other mission leaders as to the wisdom (or lack there of) and risks of being groups of westerners into Communist countries to visit Christians. He was undaunted in his passion to keep our Eastern brothers & sisters in Christ connected to the great Body of Christ. Though the “Iron Curtain” has been gone for quite sometime now the impact of Ingemar’s vision on the lives of individuals on both sides will be felt for generations to come. I pray that that same heart and passion will always be at the very core of my ministry.

Thank You Ingemar!
Well Done Faithful Servant!

I will always be grateful for the investment you made in my life.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My Sunshine/Son shine Room

It is hard to believe that we have been using the room in the basement for a month now. March 28th to be exact we had our first meeting in the new room where the group from Eastside Foursquare Church was visiting us.

The room in the basement got its name from the color that we decided to paint it. Because of its location and the fact that the windows are quite small there isn’t much light. After much discussion it was decided to paint it 2 shades of yellow. To me it felt warm and inviting like the sun and then realized that it was going to be used for the “Son’s” purposes. Thus the Sun/Son shine room.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support during this project. There is also a special thank you to the Board of Friendship Ministries for providing the funds for the materials for what has already been done.

I would like to show you where we have come from, where we are and where we would like to go.

What needed to be done & where are we at now?
1. The 2 small rooms need to be cleaned and secured (locks etc.) so that the items stored in the large room can be move. – Completed February 22nd

Room 1: used for bikes & seldom/seasonal used items. Room 2: general storage.

2. The large room needs to be cleaned out and consolidated into the small rooms.
In the beginning it really seemed like an impossible task. – Completed February 22nd 3. The large room needs the following:
a. Flooring – Completed March 27th

b. Wall board and insulation (sound proofing) – Completed March 18th
Due to the type of construction Styrofoam was used.

c. Sound proof door and locks – Due to cost a better door was purchased but not necessarily sound proof.

Still needed:
1. Secured door and locks for the storage room with bikes etc. Cost: $175 (must be custom made)

d. New windows – Installed April 3rd
e. Paint – Completed except for touch up after the windows were put in.
f. Tile for around the sink (we have a sink) – Not possible at this time as there is a problem with drainage.
g. Light fixtures – One was purchased but it is not possible to attach it to the ceiling with the sytrofoam insulation.
The Workers: h. Equipment Still Needed*:
i. Sound:
1. 2 Multi use speakers $500
2. Amplifier $650
3. 2 microphones & cables $130
ii. Projection: LCD projector to use for worship, showing films for outreach, etc. Cost $1000.
iii. Chairs: 10 + Chairs: Cost $150
*Note: All equipment will be inter-changed between this new location and the church in Zakopane as needed.

Currently: I have been transporting the overhead, overheads & chairs back and forth between the 2 locations, a couple of times a week.

If you would like to help with the costs of this project you may send your tax-deductible donations to Foursquare Missions International or Friendship Ministries, T.L. P.O. Box 8387, Kirkland, WA 98034 USA. PLEASE ATTACH A NOTE FOR THE NEW ROOM.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Beginning of Expectancy Unfolded

The other day I had the great pleasure to share a meal with 4 very incredible Young Adults. All of them have a hunger for more of Jesus. And each one of them are individuals that exhibit the character and heart of Jesus. It was a great time to share how we desire to grow in Jesus and our personal expectations, needs, and desires.

As a result of our time together we decided that we needed to start meeting regularly in Nowy Targ. There were a number of reasons but the greatest was that more and more people seem to be interested and the travel to Zakopane is too difficult because of the lack of private vehicles and the time it takes to travel by public transportation. “If only we could meet in Nowy Targ those with a strong desire to grow in Jesus could attend more regularly. And those that are seeking would feel more comfortable visit without being stuck without return transportation.”

There was also the desire to have a meeting just for young people. They all expressed their love for the “Ladies” in the church but they are 2 generations older than them. Talk about a GENERATION GAP – Yikes! Their spiritual needs are also quite different.

So, what does all this mean…
Starting Wednesday they will begin working on the rooms in my basement to prepare the big room for a new meeting space.

What needs to be done?
The 2 small rooms need to be cleaned and secured (locks etc.) so that the items stored in the large room can be move.
The large room needs to be cleaned out and consulted into the small rooms.
The large room needs the following:
Wall board and insulation (sound proofing)
Sound proof door and locks
New windows
Tile for around the sink (we have a sink)
Light fixtures
Sound equipment

We hope to have this room ready for use by the time the team from Seattle comes the end of March.
Monday we will start a home group/Bible study in my home until the new room is ready.

Please pray with us that the Lord would be in the midst of all of our time together.

If you would like to help with the costs of this project you may send your tax-deductible donations to Friendship Ministries, T.L. P.O. Box 8387, Kirkland, WA 98034 USA

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Christmas in February?

A little more than a week ago I had the opportunity to join some people from the Charismatic Catholic community in Nowy Targ for an evening of Prayer and Praise.

I don’t know what it is when I have the time to actually WALK I seem to hear the voice of the Lord a bit clearer. This was one of those situations. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the snow was falling heavily, adding yet another layer onto the already winter wonderland. Or if it was the stillness created by the thick blanket of snow together with the evening air. The whole scene looked more like Christmas time than mid-February, at least to a once Seattleite. Or maybe it was because that day was the 1st day of winter break. Then again it could have been because I had just spent an incredible few days with my good friends (Family) from Switzerland. But whatever the reason I had the distinct sense of expectancy. Expectancy of what, was unclear but there was that inner peace & growing anticipation of what could be. It reminded me very much of the feeling a child has at Christmas of what might be under the tree.
What great surprise has my Dad found for me?

For I did not receive a spirit that makes me a slave to fear, but I received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him (Jesus Christ) I cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with my spirit that I am God’s child. Romans 8:15-16

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

God’s Loving Care

I was searching through some “OLD” files, of course looking for something else completely different, when I happened upon a prophesy I wrote years ago for who or what purpose I don’t remember. I can’t even say when exactly it was written as I didn’t put a date on it. I can determine from the paper & it’s discoloration that it was written in the late 70’s early 80’s. I could even think that I didn’t write it except it is in my handwriting.

The Lord and His words of encouragement are so amazing, timeless and timely. When I read these words I was deeply touched as they spoke directly to my heart and my situation today. Here they are:

My child, do not let the words of others influence you – neither their praise nor criticism. Weigh each word for its proper value and bring them all back to Me. Only in communion with Me can you be sure of the Truth.

Your faults and weaknesses can best be helped & corrected by understanding how much you are loved by Me and allowing Me to heal the hurts of your soul. Knowing & experiencing my Perfect love, knowing that you don’t deserve it, will generate more honest humility than a thousand scoldings for obvious failures.

If you will accept My love & My approval, you will be given courage to face your sins & faults & deal with them with more effectively.

I Love you, My Child – My very dear & special child. Through your childhood years I walked very close to you and in your childlike way you were very aware of My presence and reality. You have climbed many a mountain that you could have easily walked around.

I have longed to deliver you from the very pains you have inflicted upon yourself.

I offer you My path now, if you are willing to accept it. Life & freedom, love & joy, health & peace, simplicity & rest are yours to have. All of these blessings have been waiting for you all along.

I don’t want you to work under pressure & tension like a machine – striving to produce, produce. I want you to just LIVE with ME as a PERSON. I have waited for you to wear your self out. I knew you would find it eventually – the secret of silence & rest, of solitude & of song.

I will rebuild your strength – not to work again in foolish & selfish frenzy, but just for the sake of making you strong and fruitful.

Thank you Lord for seeing me and not giving up.