Andrew Gorski, Director of Gospel Joy writes this update sharing how God is growing him as a leader as well as how the Spirit is using Gospel Joy to bring hope and change lives.
Dear in Christ,
I have just realized how God is changing me. I have always been (and I think I still am) a “go getter”, somebody who gets things done quickly and goes to another project, with (unfortunately) not the best counseling and listening gifts. I realized today God is changing me slowly: yesterday we had 5 hour bible/discipleship group at our house, tonight Ania and I are meeting with one person who has spiritual problems. Tomorrow we meet with another person to talk about her baptism and then we’ll spend 3 hours with another person on Celebrate Recovery program. Wow! Can’t wait for Thursday evening when we’ll finally have time for a date with Ania 🙂
There’s one person in our team who, I really think has great potential for leadership. I’m hoping she’ll join our Gospel Joy team when she finishes school. I’m praying for funds for her, starting next June. She’s really good with people and very fast thinker and achiever. Perfect fit for our team! 🙂 She’s been already serving with us as volunteer for few years. I’d like to encourage you with her story. If you came to Poland to serve with us, you, for sure, remember her – her nickname is Cookie. [Cookie also goes by Joanna and Asia]
I was involved in my parish activities, I sang and I played in various choirs and bands in my church. I went to church every Sunday. It was me who encouraged my parents and my brothers to go to church but they didn’t want to. Even though we were a good family, we didn’t talk about God at home. My life was harmonious, people liked me, I always led many different groups. I had influence over many people. I controlled my life. Until one moment…
In my family suddenly things began to collapse. My brother drank too much and went so far that my mother at certain stage told him to leave the house because she didn’t want to watch her son in such a horrible condition. My father never protested against this heavy drinking. One day when both my dad and my brother were drunk, a conflict arose between my parents. I started talking because I couldn’t stand the yelling. I’ve heard many hurting words also about me – that I’m the kid they don’t want and that I’m hopeless.
It hurt me deeply. But I, raised on good values, after hating my father for few months, wanted to make peace within my entire family and fix everything with my own hands. I used to sit my parents and my brothers around the table and told them to talk about emotions, feelings. Shortly after that it turned out that my mother had a romance and wanted to leave us. I went to confession and admitted that I hated my father. I tried to take responsibility for my parents’ mistakes and fix them.
Many times, out of helplessness and deep conviction that I was hopeless (they were telling me so), I sat alone and cried, cried for hours. I stopped going to school because it didn’t matter to me anymore. My friends couldn’t help me and I couldn’t count on my family. On one hand I couldn’t believe what was happening, because my family was always a good family, on the other hand – I tried to fix the situation. I felt that on my own I couldn’t do a thing.
My friends from my school saw that I didn’t attend school and to make my life a bit more entertaining invited me to Gospel Music workshops. They lasted one day and they were led by Gospel Joy Choir from Poznan and Toronto Mass Choir from Canada. I didn’t feel like going but for some reason I did go there. From the morning we were singing songs, which I liked. Between the songs one choir member shared her testimony. She read few passages from the Bible and I was surprised that one can use the Bible on an every day basis. When she was speaking about God loving us, and that He wants us to be his children I started to cry.
I felt God’s amazing love, a wave that hit me and knocked me to the ground. I felt someone telling me: “I love you. Even if your parents hurt you, I will never hurt you. But stop doing everything on your own. Give me your life. Trust me.” In big sorrow and the overwhelming feeling that I was hopeless but also in helplessness, my heart was almost shouting: “Yes, God! Take me out of this miserable condition. I don’t want to do it alone. Take my life in your hands!” I knew that my life would not look the same after that. When the girl stopped talking we sang “He is exalted” and I cried and sang that Jesus was exalted in my life. I talked to her afterward, I thanked her and told her that she has just made a revolution in my life. She assured me that God wanted this and that I should follow Him.
Gospel music and what I have experienced during workshops convinced me that I want to serve God. I participated in gospel music summer camp and at each of the next many workshops I was a volunteer. And even though my problems didn’t disappear (right then my mother moved in with another man and my father had a nervous breakdown) I knew I wasn’t alone. I passed to next class and God took away my sorrow and gave me joy. He took the feeling of hopelessness and He showed me who I was for Him. He healed my relations with people and took away sin, which had been imprisoning me for years. He gave me great people around me. Associated with the gospel music workshops there was a Bible group, which I joined. We were reading Romans and then Gospel of John. I started to understand what God had really accomplished in my life and what it meant that I had put trust in Christ. Soon afterwards I joined Gospel Joy Choir. Now, at the concerts we do all over Poland we sing about Jesus who gives salvation and changes life!
Today I still help organizing gospel music workshops around the country and I’m convinced that I want to serve God 100%, using everything I have from Him. I want to tell people about what God has done in my life and I want to give them love, which I have from my Lord, Jesus Christ.
I pray you’ll have great summer!