This article was originally published in the January 2021 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Psychoanalysis Book Convinces Atheist There Is a God
Filip* was surprised by the realization. After years of claiming there was no God, he now believed there was one after all.
He glanced at the copy of the psychoanalysis book on the table next to him. The archetypes explored in the book had made sense to him, and the book had played an important role in opening up this new perspective.
A thoughtful and intellectual man with a PhD in biology, Filip had lived and worked as a researcher in Korea for 5 years before moving to Denmark for a research grant at a University. He met his wife while living in Denmark.
Filip didn’t know Jesus yet, but he was searching. He began attending a local Roman Catholic church, which he chose over the extreme liberal doctrines of the protestant churches in his area. He learned some spirituality, but wasn’t introduced to Jesus.
Meanwhile, his wife was living her life according to the humanistic doctrines of modern Europe. The marriage collapsed.
Eventually, Filip connected with Alicja*, a Christian Polish woman living in Poznan, Poland, and a member of the K5N Church led by ITMI’s Dr. Piotr Zaremba.
She and Filip discussed evangelical Christianity, but Filip felt he couldn’t be objective because he was interested in Alicja. He wanted to learn from someone he was less emotionally connected with. Alicja asked our Piotr Zaremba if he would correspond with Filip, who was still living in Denmark.
Piotr agreed. For the following month, Piotr and Filip exchanged long, meaty emails almost every other day. Each email was a large investment of time and effort, which Piotr joyfully made. Piotr worked hard to introduce Filip to the Jesus he knows and loves and to explain the Gospel with things Filip already understood. When Piotr learned Filip was a kitesurfing enthusiast, he used this to help Filip understand the “faith alone” nature of the Gospel.
He wrote that kitesurfing is a combination of what you know, your skills, and the power of the wind. What you know eventually has to boil down to you just flying in the wind. Not with the power of your intellect or spiritual deeds, but with the power of the wind.
During the month of corresponding with Piotr, Filip decided to trust the Lord and give his life to Jesus!
In October 2020, Filip came to Poznan and was baptized by Piotr. While in Poland for baptism, he also introduced Alicja to his parents and asked her to marry him. It looks like they will be married in 2021.
Piotr Zaremba baptizes Filip!
Ushered into God’s Family and Reunited in Marriage
Wiktor* gazed at the bachelor-style decor of his somewhat empty living space. His wife, Amelia*, had left him as Poland’s frigid winter gave way to spring, which brought with it a worldwide pandemic. He found himself newly living alone just as the world locked everything down to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
With Amelia pursuing the legal avenues of divorce, Wiktor began reading a Christian book. By the time he finished reading, Wiktor believed in Jesus.
Before they separated, Wiktor and his wife had lived in Great Britain for 16 years prior to returning to Poznan, Poland. Whenever they visited family in Poland, Amelia would attend a type of church he’d never heard of before, an Evangelical Christian church called K5N Church, with her sister.
Wiktor had never met the pastor, but decided to reach out to him. Wiktor contacted Pastor Zaremba and asked to be baptized. Piotr led Wiktor through a Biblically based baptismal preparation course via email, and Wiktor was planning on being baptized in October.
Meanwhile, Amelia had dropped her pursuit of divorce and in time, also began coming to church. Piotr counseled Wiktor to focus on growing in Christ and be patient through the situation with Amelia. He listened to this wisdom and let God work.
Amelia seemed to be waiting for something. She was coming to church, but she wasn’t ready to commit to Christ and be baptized. She told Piotr, “I’m not ready.”
Piotr wisely and gently responded, “Amelia, I understand. And it is always wise to do things with thoughtfulness. But suppose you had a car crash. Please tell me, if you were wounded, would you say, ‘well, let us not call the ambulance? I’m not ready. I need to go home and get prepared to meet the doctor, then when I am in better shape I will call the ambulance.’ We wouldn’t do that! When we realize the condition we are in, we just call the ambulance. We don’t care that we are dirty, covered with blood. We just call them and they will take care of it. They are meant to do that. That’s what they are for.”
As she chewed on this countercultural idea, Amelia went with Wiktor, her son and her sister on a vacation. Her sister saw the remarkable changes that were happening in Wiktor’s life.
Ten days before the baptism ceremony in October, Wiktor and Amelia were reunited. A few days later, she wrote Piotr, “I don’t know why I was so hesitant…to...follow the Lord and be baptized. Could I still be baptized?”
So Amelia and Wiktor were baptized on the same October day in a beautiful celebration of the Lord’s work in their lives.
Wiktor baptized into the family of God!
Amelia declaring her faith in Jesus through baptism.
Wiktor and Amelia reunited!
Would Wiktor have read that book if not for the pandemic quarantining him at home alone? Would the situation have been as ripe for Piotr and Filip to email about the Gospel? Only the Lord knows.
But what we do know is that we are seeing story after story of the Lord taking the difficult situations and losses that we saw all around us in 2020 and turning them into celebrations of His goodness that span both the here and now as well as eternity.
These are just a few of the people who have been blessed and saved through Piotr’s willingness to follow the Lord’s leading and adapt his ministry to reach many while God held the door open with situations created by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Piotr’s church was already making its teachings available online and reaching Polish speakers around the world, like Maja*, who lives in Greece with her husband, but doesn’t speak Greek well enough to connect with a local church.
Maja was saved through, and continues to connect with other believers through, K5N Church’s online ministry. Piotr reports that since the pandemic began, the number of people accessing K5N Church’s services online has grown by leaps and bounds.
Maja was saved through, and continues to connect with other believers through, K5N Church’s online ministry.
In addition to Piotr’s Bible translation work and pastoral responsibilities, he now teaches six weekly classes at various seminaries: Exegesis of the New Testament, Pauline Literature, Selected Bible Translation Issues, Old Testament in the New Testament, The Septuagint, and New Testament Greek.
He also teaches two classes at Poznan University: Biblical Hebrew and a writing class, as well as three once a year classes on Pauling Literature, Psalms and Isaiah, and the Reliability of the Bible.
When Piotr also saw that the pandemic was triggering questions in people’s minds about eschatology, he started holding live Q & A sessions on Thursday evenings using Facebook. These sessions are attended by around 400 people on average, between the ages of 20 and 72.
Piotr is being presented with more opportunities to reach people with the Good News and usher them into the Kingdom of God than he can humanly accept.
His ministry could really benefit from a few one-time gifts that would enable him to reach further with the Gospel in Poland by purchasing equipment, or some monthly donations that would enable him to bring in some administrative help that would free him up for ministry.
*Name changed for privacy
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