Monday, April 12, 2010

the HOPE

These are some photos I took yesterday as we walked around. We didn't make it to the downtown area where the government buildings are, but I can imagine that they are covered with flowers and candles. We did wander into a large Catholic cathedral (the boys love to see the stained glass and ornate architecture) and we got such a feeling of hopelessness in there. People were praying, but they came out looking just as sad as they went in! I am so glad for the HOPE that is within us and I pray that we can share it with others.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yesterday a plane crashed. On it, the Polish president, his wife, and many many top advisors and military officials. They were traveling to Russia to honor the memory of Polish officers massacred during WWII. And now they, too, have entered eternity. We are praying for this nation and the families and friends of those lost.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Easter Sunday the children performed the song "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High" for the church. I found the motions for it on youtube and they had such a great time sharing the message of Easter:

You came from heaven to earth
To show the way
From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord, I lift Your name on high!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

First Popsicle

It's April 1st and those of you who know me as a blogger may, ahem, think that it is a joke when I say that I am going to give this a go. Again. I will admit that there are certain things that I am completely sporadic about - journaling, writing things in my day planner, balancing the checkbook (which is why Joel took that over). . . but I WILL TRY. So, instead of trying to tell you everything that has happened so far here in POLAND (did I mention that we are in Poland now!!??!!), I'm going to tell you what's on my heart at the moment.

Let me say that things are different here, which is probably no surprise to you. But, I personally didn't think I would experience "culture shock." Well, I have. Because when something seems "normal" to you, it's hard to step out of your box. So, something that is different here is that people are not as "friendly" with strangers as we are used to. Rarely smiling, making eye contact or chatting on the bus. The exception to this, which I am so very grateful for, is with children. It is perfectly acceptable to be friendly to kids and parents seem to warm up to us because we are kind to their children. I gave a little girl a flower on the bus and her mom and brother repeatedly thanked me; moms on the playground have become very friendly after I have helped their child down from the monkey bars or picked up a fallen toddler. Smiling and making silly faces at babies doesn't just make the babies smile - the parents do too!

It is difficult to communicate well with people when you don't speak their language. But everyone understands the language of kindness. Remember the saying "actions speak louder than words"? Well, I hope our actions glorify the One who is in us. And as for words: we would like to print flyers (in Polish) to hand out to those parents that we meet, inviting them to bring their children to the new children's ministry that we hope to launch mid-May!

Progress in the children's ministry:
1. Puppets are coming later this month!
2. The shell of the puppet stage has been constructed by Joel and Rich; I have to find a place to purchase fabric to make curtains.
3. Curriculum is purchased! It is super-hero themed and we are totally looking forward to using it!

And in case you are wondering at the title and photo at the beginning of this blog, it references a bit of culture shock (really, just a new experience, but with the shock of potential brain freeze) that we provided for a small guest in our home, which she truly enjoyed, her FIRST popsicle! Frozen juice on a stick was a true experience for her. She kept saying "mmmmmm", which by the way, means the same thing in Polish as it does in English :-)

Friday, January 29, 2010

The boys are ready for chilly weather in these hats!

An excerpt from the newsletter I am sending out tonight:

The day we have been waiting and praying for is finally drawing near!

In just over a week, our family will be on Polish soil. In some ways it feels like the culmination of two and a half years’ work, but really, it is just the beginning. . .

We are filled with anticipation, knowing that the Lord has awesome things in store for the year; that all of this has come about in HIS time, not our own.

We look forward to reaching out to the children and youth of Warsaw - sharing the good news of Jesus with them in a way that is engaging, fun, and REAL! We plan to assist with VBS and outreaches during the summer, and to lend a hand at a recently donated piece of property that will become a campground filled with kids hungry for the Truth.

There are many exciting things happening in Warsaw and we want to thank YOU for being a part!

Open up before God, keep nothing back: he’ll do whatever needs to be done.

-- Psalm 37:5 {the Message}

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Moving Forward!

We have financial clearance! (That means we have "raised" enough funds). This week we should be getting our visa/travel clearance and then we will be able to purchase tickets! One step at a time. . . whether baby steps or giant leaps. . . we are grateful.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Time for an Update!

Hello friends,

As you can see, this blog has been rather "neglected" for some time. Now that we are approaching our departure to Poland (YAY!!!), I will be updating regularly. We are very close to fulfilling our budget and expect to leave in January. Right now that means lots of preparation: working out the details of leaving our house, selling our car (we already sold one), placing our dog in "foster" care, getting paperwork in order - I need to collect copies of birth certificates, our marriage license, get international drivers' licenses, etc. Details! Perhaps too mundane for you to read about, but an important part of the process. Thank you for all of your prayers and support - I'll see you back here soon!