The Need

Feature, Leszek Wakula, Ania WakulaThe Polish city of Lodz (pronounced “Wooo-sha”) is a city of about 700,000 people. There are only about 7-8 small churches with a community of only about 400-500 believers. 

Leszek Wakula is the pastor of a local church in Lodz.  

At about 150 members, his church is considered quite large. This Baptist church has a long history of being faithful during the communist years, even when the communist came and confiscated their whole multi-story church buildings without any compensation.

Not many in Poland hear that Jesus wants a relationship with them. Leszek and Ania are leading this church in a "lifestyle of discipleship." They have poured their lives into others, discipling them and leading them into relationships with Jesus. 

The city of Lodz is the second largest city in Poland. Lodz's textile industry was once the largest in Eastern Europe. But as post-war politics and economics changed, the factories shut down, one by one, leaving thousands unemployed.

This happened with other industries in other parts of the country, but in those areas, the government stepped in to reinvigorate industry. However, Lodz was ignored and poverty overtook much of the city. Almost thirty years later, Lodz's unemployment rate is still one of the highest in Poland.

Large pockets of the city have simply resigned themselves to poverty. They see no reason for their children to attend school or become gainfully employed someday. For kids growing up in some of these pockets, there is a 90% chance that they will not change their economic status at all. 

Because of the great needs in this city, anything anyone does to serve is well-received and fruitful. 

Description

Pastoral Ministry - Making Disciples

Leszek is the pastor of a Baptist Church in Lodz, Poland. He and Ania lead the church in what they call a "lifestyle of discipleship."

At first, Leszek and Ania practiced discipling others themselves. After a few years of investing in and discipling people around them, they are now calling these and others in the church to follow them on this journey as they follow Jesus.

This ministry is on the brink of multiplication as there are now a number of people ready to be equipped to follow their example. These believers who are ready to change their lifestyle to share the Gospel and disciple those around them will be trained to disciple others in small groups of 2-6.

Women of Lodz

As Ania pours into the lives of women around her, discipling them and leading them closer and closer to Jesus, she was presented with the opportunity to gather a larger group of women in Lodz. This conference was for discipleship training as well as to create community bonds of support for discipleship.

This gathering was such a benefit to those in attendance, that there will be follow-up gatherings on a regular basis.

Pastor's Wives

At the first Women's Conference in 2015, Ania's heart was ignited with the need to support and care for pastors' wives. Anna is seeking opportunities to lift up, encourage, and comfort wives of pastors in Poland.

Leszek shares, "Being a pastor’s wife in Poland, quite often means three or more jobs - a church servant, mother, wife and a house manager. However, there are not many ways to restore spiritual strength, share daily struggles, find understanding and help."

Youth Ministry

Ania and Leszek have been involved in an annual Summer English Camp since the mid-1980s. Between 100-130 teens come from all over Poland to attend. Through the learning of English, these youth are able to hear of Jesus' desire to have a relationship with them. This news changes many lives each year.

Over the years, they've seen more than 150-180 souls saved for eternity! In addition, many renewed their commitment to Christ or got involved in serving and leading for His Glory.

Community Education Center Project

The Wakulas operate a Community Education Center which serves the old, sick, handicapped, poor families and single parents, sharing the Good News of hope and salvation in Christ.

The Wakula's have undertaken a huge task of renovating an old building for those purposes and for more projects to be run in this place.

Leszek describes his church's ministry to the elderly and why they do it in this video.


 

History

Leszek tells the story of how he ended up where he is today.

Goals

  • Disciple their church to reach their city with the Gospel.
  • Reach the youth of Lodz by renovating and opening a youth center.
  • Support and Equip women and pastor's wives in Poland.

Needs

  • Prayer and financial support.
  • Funds to renovate and open the youth center.

Who’s Involved

  • ITMI to provide oversight and US awareness.
  • Piotr Zaremba to provide localized oversight.

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