Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An Article I was recently asked to write

Denise Johnson missionary in Poland

I have been ministering for 22 years in Poland. In the beginning I visited twice a year encouraging the believers I had met on my first short term missionary trip with my local church. As time went on I found myself sharing in churches & youth camps, smuggling Bibles, teaching parenting & marriage courses, coordinating small humanitarian projects. When communism fell it changed the whole face of ministry in Central and Eastern Europe. It was during this time that a number of my Polish friends began to ask me to come to Poland to stay. To be honest it hadn’t really crossed my mind to be a full time missionary. As I prayed about it & sought God’s confirmation it became clear that the 10 years of “commuting” to Poland had written Poland & her people deeply on my heart. Although I was still physically living in Kirkland, WA my mind & heart had already relocated.

As Poland has changed and adapted to being part of the free market world, NATO, and most recently the European Union so has my focus. My primary goal is to be Christ’s vessel of unfailing love & faithfulness through modeling integrity & truth, while teaching & empowering individuals to minister God’s love & power in everyday life. Today that includes pastoring a small group of believers in a suburb of Krakow (Nowy Targ). Teaching parenting classes in a small Church of Christ fellowship (2 hours away). Recently I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with a Church of Christ pastor in Krakow to reach the university students.

One of my greatest joys has been the relationships I’ve been able to build with my some of my neighbor ladies through teaching an English conversation class. Once a week four ladies come to my home for tea & conversation. This is a time for them to share what they are struggling with and to be heard. We have covered all topics under the sun from marital issues, struggles with church practices, and questions about Protestant beliefs. This time is the highlight of these ladies week & all the while opening the door to their hearts.

Pray for:
An experienced church plant couple to come join the work.
Strength & encouragement for the church in Nowy Targ as they are a long way from any other fellowship.
New doors to open in the community

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