“We’ve been praying for this for 8 years!"
Evangelical leaders in the city of Sroda Wielkopolska were responding to Gospel Joy's offer. Gospel Joy would put on a weekend Gospel Music Workshop in the city, and train them to offer participants the opportunity to learn more about a relationship with Jesus at a weekly meeting.
A weekend Gospel Joy Workshop.
After leading and duplicating Word Zones 3 times, with different leaders in different locations, Gospel Joy has discovered there were 2 things that seemed to lead people to come to faith:
- Reading the bible in safe environment and being transformed by it.
- Hearing others sharing how their thoughts and faith wove through their real life.
This is how Gospel Joy's Daria and Bartek Pryzbyla were saved.
After a workshop, they joined a Word Zone in Poznan, where they heard believers in the group sharing what they'd been reading from the Bible, or related something that was said to something they'd read or prayed about.
New believers and seekers reading the Bible and discussing in a safe place - Gospel Joy's Word Zone.
"We don’t convince or argue," Gospel Joy Director, Andrew Gorski, says of the Word Zone meetings, "we just read the Bible."
Andrew and his team have been focusing on reproducing in other cities. If a model works in 3 different locations with 3 different leaders, it can be reproduced anywhere, they reasoned. Now, before a workshop in a new city, Gospel Joy will identify local evangelical leaders, and train them to lead a Word Zone.
The Sroda Wielopolska leaders preparing to lead a Word Zone in their city.
The Sroda Wielkopolska leaders had been trained by the Gospel Joy team. The workshop was organized and scheduled.
Eighty of Sroda Wielkopolska's 22,001 people attended Friday night and all day Saturday, where they learned to sing and understand Gospel Music.
Minutes before the start time of the workshop's Saturday Worship, the Gospel Joy team was sweating. Most of the seats were empty.
"Somehow when we closed the doors, there were enough people," Andrew recalled.
The workshops are typically met with great enthusiasm. People are blown away to discover the idea of having a relationship with Jesus. Many of the very people who would have scuttled away in fear from someone other than State Church officials talking about a relationship in Jesus, now wanted to know more!
Nine of those 80 people from Sroda Wielkopolska began a relationship with Jesus during the weekend, and eight of them began meeting weekly with the newly trained leaders!
The new Word Zone began with Galatians, focusing on removing the cultural belief in a works-based salvation. As the group grew in their understanding of salvation by grace and faith alone, they began inviting their friends to join.
Poland is wrapped in a cultural belief in works-based salvation.
The Sroda Wielkopolska Word Zone meeting.
Today there are two evangelistic Word Zones in Sroda Wielkopolska and one home church.
But there's something else. Something unique is happening.
One Family's Unique Outreach
Iwona and Maciej live in an area of Sroda Wielkopolska where there has never been a body of believers who believe in and preach salvation by grace and faith alone. Iwona, Maciej and their daughter Anastasia were among those who joined the new church in Sroda Wielkopolska were saved.
The family served as volunteers at workshops and sang in the choir. They even bought a 9 passenger vehicle to help transport volunteers - many of whom weren't yet saved - to workshops!
A Gospel Joy Choir performance.
Anastasia has a beautiful voice. She traveled with the Gospel Joy Choir to Toronto, spreading the Good News and raising support for Gospel Joy.
But Anastasia is also a leader. A leader who wants to share her relationship with Jesus with her friends. She has started an evangelistic course on discovering Christianity for 15 young people.
The group has been meeting for a year, and still meets to study the Bible together today!
Thanks to your support of the Gorskis and Gospel Joy, this area in Poland is hearing about the freedom and joy of a relationship with Jesus for the first time!