This article was originally published in the November 2013 edition of ITMI Monthly.
From the Director
After six of the last eight plus weeks being either in southern Africa or in Eastern Europe, my body’s internal clock has pretty much gone haywire. For the whole week that I have been home my body has insisted on transitioning from deep sleep to wide awake at anywhere from 2:15 am to 3:35 am.
Driving to the ITMI office at our normal starting time mentally feels like I’m arriving in the mid-afternoon, due to my work day starting 5-6 hours before.
Heading overseas to visit and connect with each of our national partners has always been more than enough fuel to carry me through whatever unfolds in each of their unique and challenging locations and ministries. God has seen to that.
We together attack the distinctive cultures and complexities, side by side with each of our ITMI nationals and partners, seeking to “…serve and empower godly nationals” as they eternally impact the individual lives of their communities.
Mark Burritt, Piotr Zaremba and other Polish believers, working side by side with Steve and ITMI to eternally impact their country.
It’s the coming back home with the need to process and condense all that was seen/learned/experienced, combined with weeks of the other homebound duties that can overload a person’s mind and body. This reality is not exclusive to me alone.
It is experienced by each of the many missionaries and nationals that try to balance the demands of ministry, logistics, family, church and calling on multiple continents. This is a great reminder to us to continually hold God’s frontline servants up in prayer.
While in Arad, Romania last month, I got a chance to visit and catch up with our dear partners Vio and Daria Pop, who themselves are significantly, physically disabled, but who have a precious ministry to the forgotten elderly widows in their Romanian community.
To be an elderly widow in Romania many times means hunger, freezing conditions, intense loneliness and suppressing isolation.
This is not the case with those that have a place in ITMI’s Bethesda Foundation. If you have ever been in most homes for elderly, you know that rarely will you experience a spirit of hope, gratitude and love.
Daria Pop hugs a smiling Bethesda widow.
Yet these traits were clearly exchanged and realized between the widows and the Pops.
I wish you could have been in the Kalisz Baptist Church with ITMI’s Mark Burritt and me last month. It was a cold and drizzly Sunday morning on the outside, but on the inside it was warm and full of all-walks-of-life people seeking to worship God and show appreciation for what HE has done in this once forgotten church.
ITMI’s Tomek Jezyk, the current shepherd of this abandoned flock, kept saying over and over in his broken English, “…it is hot, it is HOT”, meaning “…isn’t it nice and warm in here?” Those of you who helped Kalisz Baptist Church and Tomek have provided a special infusion of hope and awe at how real and capable our God’s provision is.
There is a new sense of hope and wonder, a sense of “what is God going to do next” to help them continue the journey of rebuilding this old church, this old church building and the only life changing presence in all of Kalisz.
Kalisz Baptist Church, Poland.
In the midst of Piotr Zaremba’s continuous 17-18 hour days of translating and ministry, he still carves out time to mentor and develop the next generation of church leadership in Poland. Piotr, his team, and all our ITMI partners in Poland are committed to changing Poland’s current blindness to Christ’s true nature, opening their eyes and revolutionizing lives and families.
ITMI's Piotr and Krystyna Zaremba
In months to come we will share how Piotr’s newly translated New Testament is now being converted back into an audio version so all the seeking Poles can download from the internet and hear the Good News in their own mother tongue.
May we all seek to have our internal clocks and compasses fixed completely and in tune with all that our great Shepherd and Savior has planned prepared for us.
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.