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