Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Update #2

So here's another brief (read that 6 paragraphs long) update from Poland...
Let's see...it would appear that I need to amend a few things from my previous post...we left on tuesday and arrived on Wednesday morning (rather than monday...) we traveled all day from Frankfurt through Eisenach to Legnica.

Also, I would like to take some space to mention something that took place while we were in Jawor (the city with the wooden church.) After we had toured the church, Bubu took our group through the city. Although it was a Saturday and after 12, most people had closed shop for the day and gone home; and even though it WAS cloudy and wet, there was a certain gloom and despair that hung over this city. We could feel the oppression -- it was almost tangible. Part of the visit included a stop at a castle that, during WWII, had been converted into a women's prison camp. As I approached the iron gates that led to small courtyard before a concrete wall, I stopped; (At that moment,I wasn't aware this had been a concentration camp) and I could feel something was wrong. Mom called out to me as I stopped and asked me if I knew where I was going. I replied that I didn't. She explained. I don't really have words to explain the feeling that went through me at that moment, but suffice it to say, I knew I would be unable to enter those walls. Even though the majority of our group had gone inside, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I walked to the corner instead and looked down the hill over the city, overcome with an emotion I still can't describe. Horror? Grief? Thankfulness maybe??
Rebekah had gone in and as we walked back to the town square, she and many of the others in our group had tears streaming down their faces.
After we had spent some time wandering around a bit, I felt something inside me say "You need to be praying for this city right NOW!" I called the girls together and we walked into the completely empty square and started to sing. For about 15 minutes, there was nobody there. A few times, we were too overcome with emotion to sing and could only stand in the rain and pray with and for eachother and that city. Becka said "That concentration camp has permeated the whole city. I don't care if it's not a prison camp anymore...this city does not know Jesus and has no hope. These people's eyes are empty".
Pray for Jawor, that the bright and mighty Son of God would shine down and tear back the veil of darkness that holds sway over it.

Sunday evening was spent at Pastor Alec's house, where i wrote the first post. It was so nice to spend time with their family and the families that came from the church in Warsaw. It was very much like having our fellowship time back home. All of us felt the rest and refreshment of Sunday fellowship.
Monday saw us having our ESL classes in the morning, singing and street evangalism in the afternoon. Every day has brought more (and new) people to listen to us and to talk with us. So far, we have had great opportunity to invite several people from the street or the shops we've visited to come to meeting. It seems that God is working in this city. This morning Mom and some others shared with us that as we have been singing and witnessing, more and more Catholic priests and nuns have come out and been watching us. God's word is a powerful sword, and we are out to battle for this city. The enemy knows we are here; pray for us for strength, both physical and spiritual that we would withstand the darts of the wicked, and be strong against sickness. Some of our group have gotten very sick--Pastor Gary ended up going to the doctor today and I think they said he had pneumonia. Mom has been sick and Becka too. Also Josh Cannon and a couple of others; I've kind of begun to lose my voice...but most are on the mend but pray that no one else would get sick and that the remainder of our trip finds us all healthy.
I was also able to visit a Polish shop with authentic Polish wares --- got a few things for some friends and, well myself too. :-)

Tuesday (today) we had our last ESL class. It has gone very well. The same people have been coming back, which was very encouraging. I will miss everyone I've met on this trip.
There is one girl - Biata, that Becka and others invited to meeting after visiting her several times in her shop, that came to meeting and they (the girls and also Pastor Alec) were able to share the gospel with her and her boyfriend. One student from ESL class - Kasha, came to 3 of our meetings and listened to us sing on the street as well. Pray for both these girls, that when we leave, the excitment of meeting Americans (and Canadians) wouldn't go away, and that their eagerness for Truth would not waver.
There is also another young man here who has been friends with Bubu and Alec. His name is Mariusz (pronounced Mari-yush). He is a very kind person with a tender heart towards Jesus but is also filled with doubt. Like so many Christians, even myself at times, has a hard time believing that Jesus would die for HIM. Pray that he would continue going to church and that the words of encouragement he has heard will build him up and that those demons of doubt would be driven away!

We watched the movie Luther tonight. It was very powerful. We had a couple new people come to watch it with us as we had advertised while out on the street today.
Tomorrow morning we leave Legnica for Warsaw. I'm not sure what the plan is for there, but like much of this trip, God has showed our way one step at a time.

Thank you for your continued prayers and may our Savior Jesus bless you.