Winter has definitely overtaken Poland, but I honestly love it. The temperature typically hovers in the teens and low twenties (Fahrenheit), though this past week we have been in the single digits during the day and below zero at night.
With a continual covering of snow and ice, it is just beautiful. (Thankfully, though, my apartment has heat now, so things are warm and comfortable inside.)
I am the first to admit that my lack of consistent communication has dug a bit of a hole for me in that I now have too much to share for just one newsletter. I will do my best to keep this update to just one page, and then get other newsletters off as soon as possible.
Children’s Ministry in Poland on Encouraging Upswing
My Sunday school class has been going really well. The Lord has faithfully given creative ideas on activities/project that support the lesson themes. The past month we have focused on “kindness” as a desirable character trait / fruit of the Spirit.
A side benefit of this study has been a very natural opportunity for my students to fellowship and develop relationships among themselves.
The class averages 7 or 8 students each week (I have 11-12 year olds this year). From my perspective, this has so far been the most successful and cohesive year of Sunday school since I started seven years ago.
Thanks for all your prayers and support towards this aspect of ministry.
This young man from Gniezno who came to our first camp back in 2003, has gone through some tough times since his mom died in early 2008. He and I temporarily lost regular contact a couple years ago, and he made some unwise decisions during that time, but we have recently re-established more regular interaction. He really seems to be back on a good track.
Arek spent about ½ of November and ½ of December with Daniel and me, which made for a nice holiday season. Whenever visiting us, Arek very willingly attends our church (K5N Church: Pastor Piotr Zaremba’s church in Poznan).
Arek admitted that he has pretty much stopped his church attendance in Gniezno, but when I asked him if he intended to start again, he acknowledged that he felt that tug inside drawing him back.
I also asked him if he knew which church he would be going to. His answer was quite gratifying. He told me he would likely attend the church that co-sponsored the camps where he was in my Bible classes.
In explanation of this choice, he said, “When I was at camp I learned new things about Jesus and the Bible that really made sense to me, and I think that church is where I’d be able to learn even more.”
Prayer request: Arek’s strengthening personal Christian commitment.
Dom Dziecka (Institutionalized Foster Home/Orphanage)
I still make weekly trips to the dom dziecka. My own command of the Polish language has reached a point where I can at least communicate on a basic level with these kids, both during the homework sessions, as well as in informal interactions such as when playing board games or taking small groups of kids to a nearby town for an evening hamburger or hotdog outing.
The dom dziecka staff and administration seem to be increasingly open to me, and I am hoping that I will eventually be able to host more dom dziecka kids in my home on weekends, holidays, and extended vacations.
In an attempt to be ready for this possibility, I have invested in a set of bunk beds and arranged a semi-private corner in the back room of my apartment.
Please pray that opportunities will open up for even deeper involvement with and impact on these very needy dom dziecka kids.
The next newsletters (which I am already working on) will address some new and unforeseen areas of ministry involving kids at KDS, the small private Christian school in Poznan.
Jim LaRoseITMI partner, Jim LaRose, ministers to children in Poland, through serving at camps, sunday schools, christian schools and foster homes, he has developed deep and impactful relationships. He has also developed and trained teachers and leaders who have impacted children’s lives. Jim is honorary “grandpa” to Julian, the son of a young man he met through his ministry to children living at a foster home.