Celebrating What He IS Doing
When you are in a constant state of change and unknowns, there’s a tendency, at least for myself, to, well, struggle and struggle inwardly. Despite the inward struggle that has encompassed pretty much my entire last year and a half of my life, God is vibrantly at work all around me! I’ve always said “We don’t get to dictate how God is going to manifest Himself in our lives” and well, that is ringing pretty loudly in my life once again!
I feel like the blog has more or less showcased my life which highlights personal change, struggle and how I have coped with it. What’s difficult for me is reconciling the hopes I had for the blog in detailing all the amazing ways God is using us, our family, and our impact for the global Kingdom here in Poland versus how self-absorbed it actually has become.
Honestly, truly in all honesty, all that is happening here would be occurring without us.
The “story” is in our personal lives and how we have and still are responding to it all. It’s hard to accept at times and I think that’s where the “struggle” comes into play.
We struggle and resist the “way” He chooses to manifest Himself in our lives because it is contrary to our dreams and expectations of how He would use us. I think this is actually healthy as it eventually places us at the foot of the cross. The ‘getting’ there is entirely individualistic and dependent on us, but make no mistake, we’ll all get there. Either on this side of heaven or before Him face to face.
BUT, I can indeed say with great joy that there are a lot of great things happening within the context of the ministry for ProEm in Tomaszów and in Łódż despite our personal, on-going craziness!
Not just in these two communities, but all throughout Poland. ProEm’s worship band, Exodus 15, shares how they receive numerous emails detailing testimonial changes as a result of their music. Music is and always has been a powerful medium for me, so I’m not surprised this, but it’s always awesome to hear how people are personally touched. They are often in venues all around Poland and this is but one aspect of the ministry I have barely shared how God is working.
Another area is the after-school program at Solna Street in Łódż. Relationships are being built with the kids and connections are being made with lasting impact among the parents. American teammates of ours are going to open their home Sunday evenings to study the Bible together, but in English, which opens doors for the diverse population here in Łódż who may want to either expand their Engish skills or for those who live here like us and don’t speak Polish.
The school continues to thrive in Tomaszów.
The church and it’s various ministries are thriving both in Tomaszów and Łódż.
Eyes are set for another city, so I mean, listen, I could go on and on about all the wonderful things happening and lives changing and it’s important for me to share:
That it IS happening!
So this brings me to a personal reflection on the church here in Poland and even Eastern Europe. I’ve been able to see firsthand the collective unity among the Body of Christ all throughout Poland. Poland by name is a Christian country, but, like the USA, there is a brokenness and disconnect between having a relationship with our Creator and the Church as a whole. But I have met people, not only from Poland, but from Eastern Europe who are working so hard in their communities and God is blessing their efforts. I have had an amazing privilege of meeting people on the front-lines and they are NOT Americans. They are Ukrainian nationals, Belarussian nationals and Lithuanian nationals.
I can honor them by praying for them and I mean really praying for them in the battleground for Him. It’s not even praying for more American missionaries to “go” abroad, but praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ in each of their countries to rise up and “share what He has done” to those right there around them… in their own heart language in their own cultural context! It’s happening, I am seeing it happen here in Poland! My life may have been a messy one here, but oh my gosh, the thrill of seeing my Polish brothers and sisters share with their friends, family, colleagues, neighbors is like no other. To give an example, the women’s ministry team decided to offer another day for the women’s conference next weekend because SO many signed up and many had to be put on a waiting list!
Don’t you see? I’m counseling myself right now as I write these words because we are in the middle of waiting on God’s next steps! The writing on the wall has been there regarding our return to Stateside and it’s been a tremendously difficult thing for me to process. So….
Instead of staying heartbroken in what seems to be our inability to live a healthy and productive life as a family unit here in Poland, I can celebrate all that God IS doing.
Instead of staying heartbroken over the women I have forged relationships with and feel God has used me to touch their lives (as they have most certainly touched mine), I can celebrate that they have been introduced or are connected to many other amazing Polish sisters who love the Lord and “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
I leave you with a request to pray about your partnership with Christ. Are you struggling against “how” God is trying to manifest Himself in your life? Are you praying for genuine transparency in allowing God to use you RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE with your family, friends, colleagues? Are you praying our brothers and sisters all around the world, just like you who are living in your home country? Are you praying for the Body to be unified and strive together? Are you praying about participating in a short-term missions trip? Because I see the fruit of when churches partner with existing ministries and the teams actually aid/help/support the ministry, so why not pray about this?
Collectively, in this moment, let’s take a look around and celebrate all that He IS doing!!