To understand this post more completely, you may first need to read my opening posts. Through serving in Poland this year, there are three things that I understand more clearly and more completely about being a faithful servant.
1) There is peace and blessing in being obedient to God’s call.
Saying yes to God can be hard—especially when we let many perceived challenges get in the way of saying yes. MONEY-How can I afford to go on this trip? TIME-How can I go on the trip and still get all the things done I need to do? FAMILY-Can I leave my family for this amount of time?
I have been going on mission trips for many years, yet all of these things challenged me this year. God covered all of them for me. MONEY-Generous people contributed and supported Josh and I in this trip. TIME-Everything that needed to be done got done, often through accepting the help of others. FAMILY-My mom and dad both having health concerns encouraged me to go.
My son Josh and I both said yes to serving in Poland this year. Every day in Poland I woke up feeling at peace and ready to serve. Every night I went to sleep feeling blessed that I had spent the day how God intended.
2) God does the extraordinary through the ordinary.
Early in the trip I started to think about the little things—the simple things. Because Josh and I had so strongly felt God’s “push” to Poland, I thought that there must be something big he wanted us to do. When we got to camp and we were doing what we had always done—teaching English, leading crafts, playing games, and worshiping—I wondered why the “push” this year. And then I helped Laura fix her bracelet, and she gave me a big smile every time I saw her for the rest of camp. Even though I had little Polish and she little English, we connected through something so simple. I shared the song “Beautiful” by Mercy Me during English class and had a chance to tell the children how beautiful I think they are and how beautiful God thinks they are. Later that day a girl came up to me and said, “Beautiful, I like this song. It helps to know I’m beautiful to God.” When Piotr gave a couple a Bible at Family Night, they later said they were interested in visiting the church in Krakow. Josh hung out with the Polish youth, and I watched a lot of smiles and laughter. I simply stood near some girls at worship and showed them hand motions to the worship songs, and on the last day of worship they told me how much they would miss this time. These are all very simple things, and there are many more I can describe, but the important thing is that God takes care of the extraordinary through our ordinary. We don’t have to do anything other than be ourselves and show love to others, and he can do something extraordinary with all of our hearts.
3) There is power in partnership.
Wheatland Salem Church has been partnering in Poland for about 13 years and we have helped to lead Christian English Language Camps for 12 years. There has always been an American Team that comes to work with a Polish Team to lead the camp. Every year I have felt the lines blur more and more reflecting one team—God’s Team—serving Him, serving the children together. Josh and I felt pretty small this year as a team of 2 going to Poland, but we weren’t a team of 2 when we got to Poland. We were part of a team of 10. Some of us Polish, a couple of us American, all of us working to serve the kids. Together, we showed these kids God’s love, and I pray every day that they come to know him more and more deeply. This camp would not impact the lives of these kids without a strong partnership between WSC and our friends in Poland. Incredibly, 2 of the leaders, Ola and Lukasz are former campers themselves. They have each recorded their experience with camp and what lead them to become leaders. I will share those with you soon.