God's desire for a personal relationship with His people is not a widely spread message in Poland. It's even more rare for a foster child being raised in a group foster home to hear or see that God wants to know them.
That they are valued, regardless of how the adults in their lives may have treated them.
That they matter to Someone. Someone with more clout than those in their lives who may or may not have valued them rightly. Someone who sees their tears and cries with them. Someone who suffered in order to make right all the wrongs of the world, including those done to them.
Enduring broken families, hurting and hopeless caregivers and dark pasts leaves so many disconnected to life, unable to function, and far from the God who loves and values them.
They so desperately need to know what's true. They need someone to first reach them by investing time and interest, then to tell them, repeatedly, that God loves them and seeks a personal relationship with them.
Jim's ministry focuses on children in Poland, but there are several arenas in which he serves.
Kids Living in a Local Group Home
Jim taking foster children out for ice cream.
Jim volunteers at a local dom dziecka, the Polish word for government-run group foster home. But he is much more than a volunteer. He's showing those whom many have forgotten that they matter. They are loved.
And they just eat it up.
While he is there, Jim does whatever the kids need. Help with homework. Build relationships. Ice cream outings.
At first, many initially respond by hating the love they are shown. But true Christian love forces itself through the cracks of their hardened exteriors. Then, as promised, “love never fails” - and eventually these children become capable of receiving and showing love. (1 Cor. 13:4)
Jim's relationship with the home has grown over the years, and some of the relationships with the kids he's invested in have grown into something truly familial. Two young men were allowed to spend Christmas break in Jim's home. Another spent whole summers with Jim.
Jim met Daniel through his weekly visits to the home. Their relationship grew and grew, until eventually, Daniel became part of Jim's family and vice versa. Daniel is now married with kids, Julian and Nadia. Jim enjoys his role as "honorary Granddad" to them.
He spends regular time with them, investing in their development and his relationship with them.
Jim with Daniel at the group home.
Supporting Children's Ministries in Poznan
Jim also uses his skills as a teacher and English speaker to minister to children in Poznan, Poland. He participates in summer camps for kids each summer, building relationships and teaching English. Some of these grow the church and others are for outreach purposes.
He has a relationship with King David Christian School, Poznan's only private school, where he has trained teachers and worked as a substitute teacher.
- Share Jesus with children and youth who lack hope.
- Be a catalyst for the flourishing of Poland's foster children.
- Prayer support for Jim and his team as he faces the challenges and demands of ministry.
- Continued personal financial support allowing Jim to bless those around him.
- Short-term missionaries to volunteer at the summer camps.
Tears slipped unchecked from her dark eyes, carving wet paths down the olive-colored skin on her youthful face.
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