This article was originally published in the May 2022 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Making Biblical Teaching Widely Available
During the Covid pandemic, the Lord expanded the reach of ITMI’s Piotr Zaremba.
He was able to make his preaching and Biblical teaching available online to many who weren’t located in Poznan, Poland, where he lives and shepherds his church.
He even had the opportunity to disciple and lead people to Christ via email and Zoom!
Several small groups of believers who were located in other cities gather regularly and go through his teaching together.
The groups really appreciate Piotr’s help as they study the Bible.
In some cases, there may not be a pastor or church that they are able to be part of because Evangelicals are such a minority in Poland (less than half of 1%), that the teaching is like a lifeline for some of these groups and their leaders.
The leader of one such group wrote an email to Piotr, letting him know how helpful the Biblical teaching was, and how his group put into practice what they learned about the Holy Spirit as they were seeking to minister to Ukrainian refugees.
“Thank you for the handouts [teaching material and worksheets] about the Holy Spirit. Today as we were finishing one of them, we spontaneously broke into prayer.
Our church is currently housing two families who arrived from Ukraine, so we were praying together for their needs and also for the peace in the world. … The church has become a warm home.
People are bringing everything the refugees need, including washing machines, refrigerators and children’s things.
… In the past two months I got so used to listening to your daily recordings that I’m beginning to miss them already.
I also feel how much I have benefited from the last two months when I was working on the handouts [worksheets] from K5N.
A Lifestyle of Discipleship
Before Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, ITMI’s Anna Wakula attended a special weekend gathering designed to build up Christian Ukrainian women living in Poland.
Some of them had left Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, others fled eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been dropping bombs since 2014.
Others had left for economic reasons -lost property or jobs.
“I saw a lot of tears and emotion,” Anna remembers, “I understood how difficult it is to leave your homeland.”
Many gave their testimonies, and Anna was moved time and again by the things many of them had faced, and how God was good to them in the midst of these difficulties. Some met “deceivers” who promised them a good job in Poland but never delivered and others faced health issues.
“But in each case, they would experience God’s care and protection - people sent by God to help them and meet their needs,” Anna shares.
Anna’s husband, Leszek, is the pastor of the only Baptist Church in Lodz, Poland. The foundational methodology of Anna and Leszek’s ministry is a “lifestyle of discipleship”. Both of them invest their lives in 5-7 others, whom they disciple.
“Discipleship is helping someone love Jesus more,” Leszek said. He doesn’t believe it is a complicated program, but it is a regular, slow process. “You do the same things week after week, sometimes, without much show of change.”
But the guys in Leszek’s group describe this group and the spiritual growth they’ve experienced over the long term as their oxygen. Over time, they’ve become capable of discipling others.
Eight years ago, there were no such groups like this, but now, 20% of the church is part of a discipleship group.
About the Authors
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 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.
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