Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Christmas & New Year Greetings from Poland

Winter 2008

Denise’s News from Poland

Dear Friends,

I pray that you all had a wonderful holiday time with family and friends. I enjoyed a quiet time here in Poland. I had my missionary friends from Czech for Christmas. It was like having family. They made themselves at home, we shared meals together, we did puzzles, played games, and they assisted me in serving the people here.

I did something totally unheard of here I chose to spend New Year’s Eve at home alone. It was a great time of watching my favorite movies and snuggling with Pepsi.

I hope that next year I will be in Seattle to spend Christmas with my family. In the last 22 years I have spent only 3 of those at home. I’m looking forward to spending the holidays with my nieces and my nephew. It will be the 1st time I will have ever had with my nieces. I’m doubtful that Seattle will have the same wintry weather that is shown above.

The Best Outreach Ever!

Well, I’m sure there are individuals who might disagree with me but for me it was the best. Let me just start by saying that the Lord has been challenging me to be more of a “Mary” in my day to day doings and not be pressured by expectations of what “ministry, service, and even church” should be. He has also been speaking to me that who I am and how I am is not only acceptable but is more than enough for whatever task he would have for me to do. There is No Stress! There is No Performance Issues! The results are Not my responsibility.

So, for Christmas I went back to my roots. My roots of how & what I like to celebrate Christmas. When I went to college I would bake some little goodies, cranberry bread, cookies or something else equally easy. Then I would deliver them to friends and older people that were like aunts and uncles to me. It was great because I was free once finals were over, the beginning of December, giving me plenty of time. It was also something that was within my limited budget.

This year was similar in that I have control over my time and I have a limited budget. A couple weeks before Christmas, I set out to make various sweet breads. Any recipe that would be relatively easy, unique for Poland, include inexpensive ingredients, and take a minimal amount of time to prepare was an option. I baked more than 2 dozen loaves of bread; banana, lemon, lemon poppy seed, and apple cinnamon coffee cake. I delivered them to neighbors, friends, parents of some of the young people I work with, my mechanic and my hair dresser. It is always amazing how the hearts of people are opened when they receive something they didn’t expect.

While delivering one such loaf of bread to one of my neighbors I also invited the whole family for a game night, in the evening of Christmas Day. It was truly a great time! The husband, wife, their 2 adult girls and 1 Italian boyfriend came barring gifts and ready to try their hand at a game in English, Cranium. I also had a missionary couple from Czech and one of the young women who likes to hang out at my place. Everyone had such a good time that the neighbors are taking initiative to be in further contact with me and to do more things together. They are also very open to talk about the Bible and what it means to be and behave like a Christian.

Jesus is so faithful to open doors when we simply follow His lead.

Your Partner in Christ’s Service,


News Briefs

Health: It is amazing how long it takes to recover from a broken bone. I still go to physical therapy once a week in Krakow. The progress is slow but recently my therapist encouraged me to go skiing. I did make 3 runs. The Lord somehow continues to provide the finances to pay for these visits as the insurance stopped after 10. Each visit costs 90 zloty and with the fall exchange rate that translate to $30 in June and $37.50 today, plus travel to and from Krakow.

Freedom: A Winter snow camp weekend February 22-24th. We are planning on between 20-30 people who will participate from various countries. We are praying for a release in many people’s lives from the bondages that keep them from the life God has for them.

New Bible Study Group: The Lord has opened new doors in Krakow. I will be starting a Life Hurts God Heals group in Krakow together with the leaders of young adult group from the Church of God Church in Krakow. Their group will also be joining us at the winter snow camp in February.

Coming Soon! Ladies Night: As many of you know I have been teaching a group of ladies in their 40’s Conversation English. Through those conversations I learn many things and one of those tidbits of information revealed that these ladies don’t have a life. So……this month I will host an evening of games and getting to know one another for all the ladies I know over 40. The Lord showed me that I know 20+ women in that age group most of whom would be considered unchurched/traditional attendees. Please pray the Lord would prepare their hearts and that He would give me wisdom on what and how to organize the time.

Sabina: Thanks to all of you who helped to make it possible for Sabina to attend the internship program at the Coastlands in Aptos California. She seems to be doing well and adjusting to the intense life of being an intern. If you haven’t heard from her, it’s just that they keep her so busy I think she sometimes doesn’t remember her own name. But it is a good time of learning and growing for her.

The USA visit: I saw many of you when I was in the US this last fall. It was a great time of renewing relationships and building new ones. As I spoke with many of you, you held up a mirror for me to see where God was working and where I was striving to make things work. You encouraged me, believed in me, prayed for me, and you shared your faith and love with me. You really helped me to reevaluate and to refocus in the areas the Lord would want me to be. I am truly blessed to have you all in my life.

Current Financial & Other Needs:

I want to thank all of you who have been so faithful to support me in prayer and finances. I am always amazed at the Lord’s provision even when on paper it does not work somehow He pulls it off. Right now the church in Zakopane is struggling to make ends meet. So I have to make up the difference on the bills paid until we can renegotiate our contract. According to our contract we have to give 3 months notice but I’m hoping to find favor with the landlord and that he will allow us to move the end of February. This will create an interesting challenge with the church location. I’m sure Jesus has a very special plan. We may just relocate to Nowy Targ where I have a greater circle of influence. Your prayers are greatly appreciated for all this and that the Lord would prepare the people for change.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and support, Denise

Contact Information Financial Information Please make your financial contributions to

Denise C. Johnson Contributions: Mission Dispatch.

Os. Witosa 4/8, 34-400 Nowy Targ, POLAND Denise Johnson Attach a note with my full name:

Phone: 48-18-2665899 c/o Mission Dispatch, Inc Denise Johnson

Email: denisecjohnson@hotmail.com 21911 76th Ave W., Suite 211 Please send your checks to the

www.journeyofheart.blogspot.com Edmonds, WA 98026 address to the left.