ITMI and Bread of Life: Empowering Nationals for Mission
ITMI’s mission is to serve and empower national believers. We find national Christian workers are doing a great job with what they have.
Then we present what they are doing to you, our supporters. When supporters get excited about what these quality workers are doing around the world, the efforts of our partners can be multiplied.
It’s cheaper than sending Americans, (although occasionally we do that because sometimes that’s what the mission calls for) because nationals already know the language and culture.
They don’t have moving expenses. They can live more simply in their own country than an American can, so their support needs are less.
When support needs are less, more of our gifts can be directed to benefiting those they serve.
Long time ITMI partner, Dr. Piotr Zaremba is a pastor and Bible Translator…and so much more!
He discovered that in Poland, Americans have influence that Poles do not. In this specific case, ITMI teamed up with Piotr to multiply the influence of his ministry by sending some American workers to Poland.
Americans Richard and Brooke Nungesser serve in Poland.
Americans Brooke and Richard Nungesser have used their influence as Americans to co-founded Bread of Life, a multifaceted organization that empowers the Polish people to serve their own countrymen in need.
As Bread of Life has grown, it has expanded to empower those in other countries to help their countrymen, too.
Bread of Life Kalisz Director, Tomek Jezyk (middle) with Bread of Life Moldova Director John and his family.
Providing Glasses for Those Who Can’t Afford Them
Bartimeusz, named after the man whose sight Jesus restored, is the vision division (say that 5 times fast, I dare you!) of Bread of Life.
Husband and wife team, Hannah and Peter Buczkowski are the founders and directors of Bartimeusz (under Bread of Life).
They are both optometrists. Hannah mostly teaches at the University. Peter mostly works in their own clinic.
3 Ways Bartimeusz is Empowering Nationals to Serve the Poor Around Them
1. Eye exams for the poorest of the poor are offered at a clinic in Poznan, Poland, where most of ITMI’s Poland projects start. Eye doctors volunteer their time at no cost to Bartimeusz and Bread of Life.
Existing clinics donate the use of their facility for the free exams and the Buczkowskis create glasses for those who need them, donating the cost from their own pockets.
This way, the poorest adults and children who need eyeglasses can have them.
We are excited to announce that Bartimeusz just opened free eye clinics in a new location! Kolobrzeg is a city in the northern part of Poland near the Baltic Sea.
Through the clinics, eye doctors in Poland can serve the poor in their midst.
Eye Exam at Bartimeusz clinic in Poland
2. Short-term Missions to Africa. Glasses for Africa organizes short-term mission trips to northern countries in Africa with a sister organization. These trips provide free eye exams and if needed, prescription glasses are made on the spot.
Doctors volunteer their time for the trips, and the funding for this also comes from within Poland.
These trips are another opportunity to serve the poor, not just for doctors, but also for those who support the trips financially.
Photo Credit: Glasses for Africa
3. Driven for Vision is a mobile vision clinic going throughout Eastern Europe where there’s a great need for sight. “Sight” is twofold: Sight for the spiritually blind; sight for the visually impaired/blind.
Driven for Vision is an Exciting Opportunity to Bless the Poor All Over Europe
MANN, Worldwide has donated the bus and the engineering to customize it to be a mobile clinic. Thanks to the Nungessers’ work with Poznan International Church, there are doctors of all nationalities lining up to donate their expertise.
All Bread of Life has to provide is the equipment to outfit the mobile clinic.
The mobile clinic will be able to travel all over Europe, offering new sight to the poorest of the poor.
With the ability to see will come a great increase in their quality of life. For some, this will mean going from very handicapped and unable to work to productive citizens. Being able to read will mean they can travel in their city independently, or even be eligible for jobs they weren’t before.
It will also mean they can read the copy of God’s Word they’ll be given at the clinic.
Who other than those who previously couldn’t read, would be more excited to read about why they were given the gift of sight?
Driven for Vision is also an opportunity for a lot of people to be blessed with involvement in this project.
The start up cost for this project is around $75,000.
We know most of you can’t write a check for that amount. But maybe you can share the link to this article from Facebook with your friends.
Or maybe you can give something.
Every little bit helps.
Summer Kelley is a writer living in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and three kids. She’s had the honor and privilege of telling ITMI’s stories since 2006. She’s a homeschooling mom and a T-shirt and jeans aficionado who likes all things simple. When she’s not writing or homeschooling, you can find her honing her skills as what some might call a “suburban survivalist” as she learns to thrive in the suburbs with 3 kids. As a productivity and organizing enthusiast, she may or may not spend hours attempting to use technology to “save time.” Summer loves reading, the outdoors and Coca-Cola Classic from the fountain.