In October we loved our Poland trips back to our ROOTS (we started our time with Operation Mobilization 27 years ago there) and to plant more seeds into new people. WE LOVE TO BE A PART OF GOD’S MULTIPLICATION into the Next Generation of Key Influencers, and our trip represented just that! We pray for these seeds (represented by these DUZIE selfies) to land on good ground and will produce a crop of 100 fold!
Arek and Donna have been leaders of the OM work now in Poland for 17 years. It was excellent to be a part of the ZOOM missions conference they organized in Warsaw, to experience their fruit, and encourage them too!
In 1988 we moved into Kraków, Poland to organize the “Festival of Christian Culture”. We brought in 600 short term missionaries, from 25 countries, for this 3-week event of “showing and telling” Jesus on the streets of Poland. Thousands of people encountered followers of Jesus during these days, but where is the fruit of it?
Fast forward to last month in Warsaw when we reconnected again with Agnieszka, and heard her “27 years later” story. As a 19 girl searching for God through a Catholic pilgrimage, she met one of our teams, attended one of our meetings, attended our English Bible studies in our home, and found Jesus. Since then, she has gone to 16 of the most impoverished countries of the world (some several times) “showing and telling” Jesus. We were able to stay with her and her family in Kraków, and left so encouraged.
In 1989 we met Andre, an Artist and university professor in Kraków, Poland. During our first 4 years in Poland, he was one of our greatest sources of creative input and “out of the box thinking”. While in Poland, we were able to spend an hour in a café with him. Again he inspired us and set us on a journey to better understand creativity and the way the next generation best learns. This conversation has already affected the way we are communicating to young people.
In 1992 we moved north to Gdansk, Poland to focus on partnering with churches to reach the younger generation. Our Polish Pastor’s daughter, Estella became “Suzie’s Girl”. She spent hours with us and other teenagers at church and in our home. We learned so much from her, and a deep bond grew. Years later, she herself became a missionary on OM’s Ship. Today with her husband, they work in a very influential Christian organization in Poland. We spent two days with them and their 2 year old son (Joshua). We were blessed then by our friendship, and took it to another level of encouragement & connection that will continue.
In the summer of 1988, we spent our first 3 months with OM living in our yellow tent in Hungary & Poland. August 1988, in the midst of an all out evangelistic campaign, we slept in the backyard of the Swinoujscie Baptist Church, where Szczepan’s (center right in the photo) parents pastored. We had many connections & ministry together with his family there in the years to come.
Jump forward to fall of 2005, Przszemek was part of the 14 who came to us for our 6 week “Imaginations” Youth worker training course in Michigan.
These two friends, have recently returned from a church plant among Polish people in Ireland, and are now are in a church plant in Poland. It’s amazing to have another touch into their lives, and to commit to journey with them in this season too!
In May, 2015 Suzie’s youngest brother Ben married Kate, a Polish Doctor! We were not able to attend their wedding, so part of our time in Poland was to spend quality time with them and Kate’s family. We loved getting to know Poland in its modern version through visiting some of their favorite places, and sharing the Polish language (which we actually remembered quite a bit of) & life experiences. It is always great to be with family. Ben also helped us brainstorm and find resources to take our NEX GEN training to another level.