The last two days have gone so well, and the prayers we have sent up have resulted in blessings being showered down. Many of us on the team have related to multiple people here and have really solidified those relationships over the last two days. Just a few examples… Caroline connected with Marta. Chris has his new buddy Antony. Felix dived into deep discussion with Favel. And I have had long and gentle conversations with my new friend Karolina.
Now it is T-3 hours until we leave this country we’ve fallen in love with over the past week. I can spend the next few paragraphs telling you all the cliché things one would say at the end of a mission trip, like, “I learned so much,” or, “I’ll never forget this experience,” or, “the people here will remain in my heart forever.” Yes, all of those things are 100% true, and, for those of you who have been on short-term missions trips before, I’m sure you can relate. However, I’d rather spend the next ten or twenty minutes to use this blog to reflect on, not what we did here, but on what has already been going on in this ministry.
As many of you know, we worked with Joe and Becca Dowdy, Doyle and Karen Fletcher, and Albert and Kirsten Hesskew (whom we were connected with through FBCSA, as they were members of our church from 2000-2001). The Dowdys and the Fletchers have been working here in Krakow for around 8 years now. In addition to taking language classes and emerging themselves in the culture, they have created VoxBox through their church to teach people English. It is a healthy and growing English club.
The goal of this week was to bring in a younger age group (college students) to VoxBox and to minister to those already active in the club. Last night, we had between 6 and 7 college students from the classes we held on Monday show up to VoxBox. It was, by far, the best night we’d had, and at the end, many of the older members came up to us and thanked us multiple times for the encouragement and joy we had given them this week.
Tonight, we had many of the women come to our last event of the week, which was a Tex-Mex cooking night. We had women from their early 20s to their 60s. The night was a spectacular ending to the trip (aside from Caroline getting lost in Krakow for a few hours, but that’s a story that must be told in person). As we began cooking, the ice was broken and everyone began to talk and laugh like old friends, despite the fact that no one had met before they entered the Dowdy’s front door this evening.
We accomplished the job we were sent here with, but now, as we prepare to come home, the actual mission is just beginning. It is now time to stay in touch and to feed the relationships we’ve made as much as we can. We also have two new missionary families that we can pray for–the Dowdys and the Fletchers.
To finish up, I ask that you pray specifically for the commitment in each of our own hearts to be intentional with these people and that staying in touch with them would come easily. Also, please pray over the prayer requests that the missionaries gave us to relay to you.
-Strength and Consistency in our walk with God.
-Ministry: relationships with people from VoxBox and University
-Family: kids, schools (next year all four of the Dowdy kids will be in different schools!)
-Scheduling ministry and everyday life
Finally, before I end, please pray for Stephanie Cobb. She was another young missionary working alongside us. She currently is living in the northern part of Poland and is working with a Baptist church. She is actively engaging with the people there, but the ministry she has been trying to start has been suffering. She was hosting an after school sports program but it was shut down because one of the mothers found out about the Christian background and protested it. She is extremely positive and is still very active. Please ask God to continue to teach her and that, if it be His will, she finds a way to begin a steady ministry there.
Thank you, Church Family, for your constant prayers and unwavering support. We are so excited to tell you about all our experiences face-to-face. We love you all deeply and will see you soon!
Pictures coming soon….