Dear Prayer Partners:
Many of you know that Mary and I are leading a team to Poland once again this summer. With COVID restrictions hindering travel for many, it has been 3 years since we have been able to take a team on a missions trip. This spring, just as we were finalizing plans for a Family English Camp in Poland, the invasion of Ukraine was launched. In just a few weeks, an estimated 4 million Ukrainians poured into Poland. As we talked with Pastor Z and his wife Edyta, we all agreed that the greatest need was no longer an English camp. Instead, God redirected our efforts to serve and encourage the displaced Ukrainians now living in Głogów, Poland.
Pastor Z and his wife Edyta along with the entire church have been working tirelessly for months to provide shelter, find homes, secure employment, and even file official paperwork. It is a very difficult time for the Ukrainian women and children who have left their homes, husbands, fathers, friends, and families, and now must live in a foreign culture. Many lost both loved ones and homes to the violence. So, Pastor Z and Edyta have invited our team to host a VBS for children and a youth day-camp for teens. These events will primarily be for Ukrainian refugees but will also include some Polish children and teens.
It has been a wild couple of months planning this trip. After many years of running well-defined English Camps, we needed to create an entirely different plan from scratch, knowing little about what will transpire during our trip. For example, even one week ago did not know whether we would have 20 or 80 children attending the VBS program. We are beginning to pack our bags this weekend, and there are still so many unknowns. Dr Kevin Meyers, our pastor, taught from the story of Peter walking on water. As we get on this airplane this week, many of us are feel the discomfort of God asking us to get out of the boat. God has promised He will lead us and give us all we need as we go.
Here are some of the planned activities our team will be involved in:
- A 6-day VBS for Ukrainian and Polish children ages 6-11
- A 6-day day-camp for Ukrainian and Polish teens, ages 12-16
- Optional Bible Studies for the teens immediately following the day camp
- Several optional crafts for Ukrainian women.
- Teaching for Ukrainian women regarding living heathy and parenting in times of extreme stress
- Dinners in homes, hosted by local Polish families (both believers and unbelievers)
- Evening Equip2Counsel seminars for the Polish church and community
There will be 21 team members flying into Warsaw, Poland and traveling by bus to Głogów. Our trip dates are this Wednesday, June 29 – Wednesday, July 13. As you can see, it will be an extremely busy week with team members serving in multiple locations throughout the day. Each day will likely bring surprises and changes to plans. We are trusting that God already has a perfect plan that will accomplish His perfect will, somehow through us—an imperfect team of Jesus’ followers.
Here are some prayer requests:
- Team unity: “By this will everyone know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jn 13:35
- That God will give each of us boldness to speak and the words to communicate
- That God will bring the people he wants to reach with the gospel
- That God will use this trip to build his kingdom and bring hope to the Ukrainian people
- That this week will be a time of peace, hope, and joy for the Ukrainian kids, teens, and women