Our first trip to Poland was about 13 years ago. I remember in those early years talking with Poles about divorce rates. “There is almost no problem with divorce in this country,” I was told. “Very few marriages end in divorce here.”
Fast-forward about 10 years. In 2012, the divorce rate in Poland was up to 17%. Though many marriages were not healthy 10 years ago, economic hardship kept families together. An improving economy and more job opportunities has resulted in divorce being a viable option. It is a new reality in Poland. And like here in America, divorce is occurring both outside and within the Polish church.
As we did camps in Poland, the pastors of our partner church began asking Mark Henderson to come and teach some marriage counseling tools. Pastor Zbyszek said, “In America, you have dozens of books by Christian counselors to help men and women having difficulties in their marriages. We have almost no resources in our country and in our language. We need some Biblical tools to help us reach hurting marriages in our churches and our community.”
The primary mission of the Equip2Counsel ministry is to train missionaries. And we are excited about how God is already giving us many opportunities to work with missionaries from around the globe. But as we prayed and talked with pastors and lay people from Poland, it became clear to us that God was opening a door in a place where we had not been looking.
Poland Marriage Counseling Training
Next Friday, February 21, the 4 of us (Mark and Doreen Henderson, Mike and Mary Snuffer) will be traveling to western Poland to conduct a Marriage Counseling conference. We will be meeting with about 16 Polish men and women who have a heart for ministry in marriage counseling. These represent several churches in Poland and will be attending to learn how they can begin to reach out to hurting couples with some simple but powerful tools.
After working for months to prepare materials and get many of these translated into Polish, we are excited to see how God uses this conference. We are scheduled to be in Poland for about a week. After a 4-day intensive conference, we will also be working in Glogow with the Church and Christian School after the conference.
Please pray for us as we travel Fri, Feb 21 – Sat, Mar 1:
- Pray that God’s Spirit transcends language and cultural differences as we teach.
- Pray that conference attendees will catch a vision to care for those in difficult marriages.
- Pray the conference attendees will leave with a working understanding of how the Holy Spirit works to heal marriages.
- Pray for stamina for us as we work and teach for many hours every day with jet lag.
- Pray that God will plant the seeds in Poland for a movement of men and women who are passionate about counseling ministries and equipped be a part of God’s healing work in marriages.
- Pray for God to protect and bless our children, who will be back here in the states.
A special thanks to our friends Greg Zytka (in North Carolina) and Agnieszka Jaduszynska (in Glogow, Poland) who have participated in this ministry by translating many materials into Polish. Equip2Counsel is not a team of 4, but a team of dozens who are supporting, praying, serving, and ministering in many ways that are necessary for this ministry to impact men and women around the globe! Thank you!