by Summer Kelley
ITMI partners, Ania and Leszek Wakula, have an exciting multi-faceted ministry in Lodz, Poland, reaching into many corners of their city's population. This includes pastoring a local church of about 150, a Community Education Center reaching people from all walks of life and an annual 30-years-running evangelistic Summer English Camp for youth.
From Program-Oriented to Discipleship-Oriented
Two or three years ago, Ania and Leszek shifted the heart of their ministry from program-oriented to be discipleship-oriented. They began investing in people around them, sharing Jesus through relationships. Life-on-life evangelism is simple, organic way of sharing Jesus that has been shown quite fruitful in Poland.
Both Leszek and Ania have been doing this for 2-3 years, and now they are beginning to see the fruit!
The Wakula Family
Last year, 6 young people gave their lives to Christ and were baptized!
Leszek shares, "For young Catholics living in Poland it is a very costly and powerful decision. Because of that, at many occasions, their parents or friends reject them still calling them as sectarians. We are praying for them, so their hearts won’t faint in the midst of such distress and troubles."
All along, Ania and Leszek have been encouraging people to follow them on this journey of a "lifestyle of discipleship."
Now they have a group of about 20 ready to study and be trained to make disciples.
By leading them in groups of 2-6 people. Through these groups, each person participating will learn how to lead others and how lead a small group, then be "sent out" to start one (with Ania and Leszek walking alongside them and supporting them), and the multiplication begins!
Multiplying the Reach Through Other Local Churches
Leszek reported recently,
"We want to encourage you to come along and praise God with us for the great opportunity that He is giving Ania to serve women in our city! Besides her faithful commitment to mentor and disciple other women, she is also reaching - with them - to other ladies."
In June, Ania and the ladies she disciples organized a gathering or conference for women in Lodz. The gathering drew many women hungry for God's presence and comfort in their lives.
The conference drew many women hungry for God's presence.
Building relationships, enjoying fellowship.
Worshipping God, seeking Him.
Leszek encourages, "It was so encouraging for Ania and her friends to make this effort for God’s glory and well being of others."
The conference brought to light another great need; the need for restoration and care for pastors' wives. Being a pastor’s wife in Poland quite often means three or more jobs - a church servant, mother, wife and a house manager.
"There are not many ways to restore spiritual strength, share daily struggles, find understanding and help," Leszek says.
Ania is praying and seeking His guidance to bring together a conference to lift up, encourage, and comfort wives of many pastors in our country.
She is asking God to provide short-term team of 4-6 women who could teach, encourage and inspire to travel to Lodz, where they would put on a conference for pastors' wives.
Please pray that God would provide just the right group of women to care for pastors' wives in Poland.
If you are connected with a church that would like to send a group of women to Poland for this purpose, please contact the ITMI office today!
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.