Sunday, September 28, 2008

People Often Ask

People often ask me what a “normal” day is like for me as a mission church plant pastor in a small town in central Europe. Their motivations vary; some are just curious, others are looking for some way to relate to my world, still others desire to understand what life is like in another country. Whatever their reason sometimes I struggle to know how to answer. My days are always different. My office is where ever the people I serve are. In some ways it is similar to general practitioners of days long gone by; whose offices were where ever they had their bag and the people that needed their help.

Recently I have found my territory being stretched to lands far from Nowy Targ to the people who have traveled to other countries in search of work and opportunities. As I visited these individuals I discovered that though they now have work and resources they are lonely, isolated, and struggling to find hope. So what do I do? I visit those in need of the hope and encouragement of Jesus. A couple weeks ago I was in Ireland with K & D in Galway: pray that they would see Jesus in their daily lives as they embrace the blessings they have received. A & T: Pray that Agnieszka would grow in her confidence to speak English. Pray that T would be encouraged and strengthen in abilities to build bridges between Polish & Irish workers. Also that he would have the freedom to lead his Charismatic prayer group to the place Jesus is calling them to. In Killarney…A & N: Pray for the health and safe delivery of their 1st child the beginning of the New Year. Also pray that they would find fulfillment and satisfaction in their relationships in Jesus. Wednesday I had the pleasure of a wild adventure. I traveled my car, train and ran walked through Vancouver, BC’s Chinatown to meet with Arie. He showed me his world…the life of an engineer on a cruise ship. Though the visit was short (3 hours) and the travel was 6 hours I’m sure that my friend has been encouraged and strengthened.

Monday, September 22, 2008

God's provision

It's funny...You think you understand family, or church but it isn't until you have needs that you see the substance of your beliefs. Saturday I had a work party at my condo. There were 6 people I had never met who had come to paint my place to get it ready for the next tenants. They came from all backgrounds: a single mom with 2 kids, college student, a retired personal shopper, a near retirement nurse in a correctional institution, a professional painter and his new hire. What do they all have in common? Jesus! And a willingness to share what they have or have recieved with others. I was the reciepient of a huge blessing. They painted the whole condo in one day. All I have left is a bit of touch up and clean up.

Thank you Jesus for sending these people to bless me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Honor

Yesterday...the eternal day of travel from Nowy Targ to Seattle, I was struck with how honored I am to be Jesus servant. The honor of serving the people of Poland for Jesus. I think of all the young adults in my life who I have had the priviledge of speaking truth, hopefully more God's truth than my own, into their lives. I have had the opportunity to see them take their "1st steps" so to speak in Jesus, independent life, finding their unique place in the Body of Christ, learning how to be men and women of integrity. And each time I feel like a parent watching their child perform in the school play. What an intense feeling of honor to know them and pride to see who each one of them have become and are in the process of becoming. Thank you for letting me be a voice in your lives. I pray that it comes from the heart of Jesus.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

An Irish Adventure

This is my first time in Ireland. In some ways I feel very much at home. It is so green and the rain is very similar to Seattle but these days I'm not so sure that I'm a Seattlite. Ireland's booming economy has prompted many Poles to come here for work. It is estimated that there are 120,000 Poles living in Ireland a country of a little more than 4 million. At the moment I'm in Galway on the West coast of Ireland. It is believe that there at 10,000 Poles in this city of 60,000. So, about 1/7 people you meet on the street speaks Polish. In the time I've been here I would say that it true. There are Polish people everywhere; shop assistants, wait staff, shopping, walking and chatting, pushing baby carriages. So, the Polish part of me feels a bit at home.

Though there are a lot of Poles you don't see many of them mixing with the Irish. I wonder why? Maybe it is the language? But all the Poles I have run into in shops and service industries speak great English, they even sound a bit least to me.

Yesterday was a beautiful day and I had the opportunity to see some of the countryside. We went to a place where Ireland resembles the moon.
I wonder what Jesus is doing in this situation with these 2 cultures mixing together? Pray for me as I watch, observer, seek God's heart and pray. What would He have me to do? If anything? How can I help and/or support the Polish people who live here? Is there anyway for me to help the church in Ireland connect with these Polish people? Jesus reveal your heart!
Lord may these stones cry out with Praise to you that all the people here would know You and glorify Your Name!