This article was originally published in the February 2013 edition of ITMI Monthly.
ITMI Monthly sat down with Richard Nungesser in hopes of giving our readers a glimpse into the every day lives of his family and what it takes to build the thriving ministry that is equipping and sending missionaries throughout the world. Hearing from Richard is always inspiring, so...ENJOY!
ITMI Monthly: You have been living and ministering in Poland for 11 years now. What is life like for your family in Poland?
Life in Poland is very busy. Here’s a quick idea of what a typical week was like for our family during the last 11 years.
Monday through Friday I do administrative work with church and Bread of Life, developing, leading, etc. Then on Friday nights I start my sermon and usually finish on Saturday at 1, 2, or 3 am.
Sunday we get up, go to church, preach, share, encourage, and disciple. Sunday afternoon I usually meet with people, then come home to get ready for the next week. Then we do it all over again.
I don’t want this to sound like I’m complaining; we love our work. Something I would like - and you can pray with us for - is to find more pastors to come alongside and help pastor PIC. So...pastors? Anybody interested? You are welcome!
ITMIM: What are some of the greatest needs of the Internationals you work with?
We have students from Norway here for medical school who buy luxury condos and cars as students, as well as Africans who get scholarships as refugees and survive on next to nothing. One Nigerian student came to us asking for a job. PIC paid him to clean the discotheque, where the church met, before and after our meetings.
He survived eating an apple a day and would take some of what we paid him and put it back in the offering. When we can, Brooke and I sponsor students by buying food or shaving cream or whatever they need. Some come for their undergrad, others for medical, others to work.
They come from US, Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand. They range in age from 18-19 to their 40s.
As far as spiritual needs, 70% of people of faith entering the university will abandon it by the time they graduate. For a foreigner living in a different country it’s hard to connect with nationals. They need mentors, someone to talk to, even counselors.
Foundation of Faith, started by PIC, is a registered club at the Medical School. Currently there are about 150 members. It’s geared to help students keep and even grow in their faith during school. The club does socials and festivals through out the year.
Poznan International Church is made up of people from all over the world!
ITMIM: What have you learned through the 11 years, launching an organization (BOL) and pastoring a church (PIC)?
From the get-go, our focus was to make disciples. I don't know if I really understood how to do that at the very beginning.
Something Paul says in I Cor. 3:10-11 has always stuck with me, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. ...no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Our focus has always been laying a foundation on Jesus that someone can cone alongside and build upon.
Another key: not quitting!
Brooke can tell you there was a couple times I felt overwhelmed with prepping sermons. I never went to seminary. We weren't trained to start an organization. We were just available to God. We’ve learned about being faithful and not giving up.
Sometimes Brooke will tell me, “You don't have to do (whatever it is I’m overwhelmed by) because there's freedom.” We balance that with setting goals to try to achieve and not quit.
We hold on to being FAT: faithful, available and teachable.
Whatever we have is available to God; we realize “our” funding isn’t ours and we try to use it to help other people. Being teachable: start an organization? Ok. Teach me how. Or Piotr says, “We can't find pastor for PIC. Why don’t you do it?” I don’t know how, but God can teach us.
We would both agree that we wish we had more lifetimes to give overseas because the need is great for work to be done.
ITMIM: What are your family’s needs?
We'd really like to get a good medical buffer fund ($20,089 USD) for emergencies so that we can get somewhere and get some help in an emergency and won't have to hesitate because we can't afford the needed care in a crisis. Max’s lungs were severely damaged, so he'll have problems for a long time and need nebulizing treatments 4-5 times a day for at least a few years according to Polish doctors.
In the US that costs $465 for one month of the generic medicine. Because of the damage, he is more susceptible for RSV and lung complications resulting in hospitalizations.
When we had to take Max to Germany for medical care, he spent 3 days in hospital and we paid $2,000 out of pocket. After we arrived here, we had to take him to urgent care with a form of Bronciolitis. It wasn’t as bad as when he was a premie, but he still needs lots of attention.
A buffer fund would help us deal with deductibles, hotels, evacuation and treatment costs.
Max Nungesser in the hospital as a newborn.
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 12 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.