by Summer Kelley
Kalisz Baptist Church meets in a stone structure built in 1926.
Mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD, Kalisz, Poland is considered by many to be the oldest city in Poland. Steeped in history, Kalisz could have been one of the stops of the Roman caravans heading for the Baltic Sea (about a 4 hour drive north of Kalisz).
The small evangelical church, is part of a small minority in Catholic Poland. The average person in Poland considers themselves part of the State Church. Only one-third of one percent reported being evangelicals.
That one-third-of one percent is country-wide, meaning the numbers are quite small in any given city. For example, ITMI partner, Leszek Wakula's church of about 150 in Lodz, Poland, is considered large.
But this small body of 15-20 believers isn't daunted by their size. They consistently create effective ways to reach the needy of their city with the love of God and the message that they can have a relationship with Jesus.
In fact, the church is pastored by the Director of Bread of Life, Kalisz. Tomek Jezyk is the driving force behind this church's outreach to the community.
The building serves as a place for the church to gather for worship. Until recently, the old stone structure was cold and dank inside. That all changed when ITMI helped provide a heater! They'd really like to finish renovations in order to use the structure to provide a safe place for neighborhood children to come after school.
But with mold and a crumbling structure, that's been impossible.
Kalisz Baptist Church's old stone meeting place.
Tomek recently shared that the walls are now mold-free! The interior walls are close to finished, and 5 replacement windows are coming soon! Before long, this place will be ready to "let the little children come" to Him.
Before: interior wall
After: interior wall.
Christmas at the Square
Under Tomek's direction, Bread of Life, Kalisz and Kalisz Baptist Church organize Christmas at the Square to benefit local children who face serious medical issues. The proceeds help fund treatments and travel expenses related to treatment.
Its a wonderful, hope-filled event that allows townspeople to enjoy a civic event, help local families in need, and be exposed to Bread of Life and its mission to serve the poorest of the poor.
Tomek with two of the beneficiaries of a previous Christmas at the Square event.
Bread of Life is working toward the realization of a hospice facility in Kalisz for children with Cancer and their families.
Tomek humbly asks if we would pray for spiritual restoration and the multiplication of Kalisz Baptist Church, as well as the physical renovation project.
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.