Dear Family and Friends,
Our love and our greetings to you from all of the Staff at Elim!
We are grateful for each one of you who have so faithfully followed with interest the Lord’s work through Elim center here in Poland! We are also very thankful for those who have prayed for this work, and for those who have sent support in various ways, at various times. May the Lord bless you as you have sought to be a blessing.
Winter is over here (it was a long one) and it is supposed to be spring, but we are still having cool weather.
Before the camps begin later this month there has been a lot to do in preparation. The Camp Section at the Mission is booked up for the 3 months of the summer break, and now we are preparing the facility for use again. We already have a few people using it, as sometimes we do not have enough room in the Palace building at the Mission.
Its great to see that the Palace is also full for the summer months, with camps, groups and guests that will be coming from a variety of places. Some of the guests are planning to help the Mission with our summer ministries, which will be great. Others will be here to run their own camps and programs, and some are coming for refreshment in their personal lives.
Whichever the purposes for their stay, we are just so blessed to see Elim full and being used as God intended His Mission to be used!
We have just finished hosting a wonderful Mission camp from Faith Baptist Church that was a tremendous blessing to so many people in this region. One of the people who was blessed is Pani Josefa..
Pani Josefa was orphaned when she was 3 years old. Her mother died giving birth to her younger brother and her 2 sisters had died of diseases. She was taken in by a relative who had 11 grown children of her own. She was never allowed to call the woman “mother,” and she never knew the love and hugs that a family can give. At the age of 17 Josefa left home to find work on government animal farms, travelling from farm to farm around Poland wherever work could be found.
When she was 30 years old, Josefa married in the hope that she could find a better life than that which she had. Unfortunately, her new husband turned out to be an alcoholic, violent, and unloving. They were also unable to have children. Josefa found herself also turning to alcohol to try to fill the tremendous lack and emptiness that continued in her life. They moved to a village near Lwowek Slaski because of work, into a small, basic apartment, where they lived for over 30 years. Eventually, Josefa’s husband developed cancer and died, leaving her a very poor, unloved alcoholic widow.
In our last newsletter we showed a photo of Pani Josefa receiving a Christmas package, and at that time we did not know her story.
Pani Josefa was invited to come to church, and from that point on the Lord began to do a beautiful and restoring work in her life. Josefa came to receive Jesus as her Saviour earlier this year, and since then has begun to experience the love of God in a most beautiful and real way.
Last month when the Lord sent the team from Faith Baptist church they joined the Mission in helping to give Pani Josefa a decent place to live. When we met Josefa we saw that her small home had become utterly poverty stricken. A lot of much-needed renovation was able to be done, and the Lord has now blessed this precious woman with not only a new start in life from the ‘inside’, but also a fresh beginning for her ‘outside’.
P.S. This took 15 women and 5 men 2 days, (using many donated items). Pani Josefa still cries from the total shock of this tremendous gift, and she continues to say, ‘I have a family now.”
The mobile Medical Clinic was a truly blessed and amazing event this year. A team of doctors and nurses from the Faith Baptist Church traveled with the Elim staff (using the Evangelism Bus) into the villages surrounding the Mission, giving free consultations and medication. God brought more than 500 people into the Evangelism Bus through a 2-day period.
Each person who came for a consultation received a personal touch of God’s love shown to them through the team of Doctors, nurses and translators. Each patient received free medication for their needs, Christian literature, and many also received prayer for their personal lives.
On the first evening of the Clinic, we already began hearing reports from the Christians in a village of how God had worked in the lives and hearts of some of the people in their village that day. One of the sisters (from a village where the clinic had ministered) shared with great joy what God had done through the clinic. She said that the village Leader had visited her that evening after the Bus came through, with such excitement at what happened in her life when she came to the bus. One of the doctors had prayed with her during the consultation and she experienced an amazing warmth and peace like she never has experienced before. Her teenage daughter experienced the same when she was prayed for. They have both decided to come to the church’s Cell group that is held in their village, The effects of the Clinic continue, as doors have been opened to begin personal visitation with people in these villages.
It was also so wonderful to experience the open blue sky that followed the Evangelism Bus as it went from village to village, and to find out that it had poured with rain in the villages surrounding us!
The Children’s Home next door to Elim also received another 50 large Scripture picture-frames (also sponsored and prepared by Faith Baptist Church). These particular frames were made to go into the bedrooms of the children who live in the Home, and we pray that they will do a special work in the hearts of these neglected children.
We still see this time as a very opportune moment to place these scriptures and God’s Word in places that are government-operated. We believe that in a few short years this privilege will be lost, when this government begins to conform to the standards of many other countries in neighboring Western Europe.
The Lord has led the Church to begin 2 Bible school Courses, one for 6 weeks and one for 2 years. The 6-week one has just finished, and we were thrilled to see over 40 people enroll. The 2-year Course is soon to begin. This is being run by Wiktor and Ania Zabska (Elim missionaries), which is a wonderful step of growth for them both.
God has been adding more people to His church, with another 9 people to be baptized soon. One of these is Grazyna.
Grazyna walked over 2 hours in the cold winter from her village to get to our church. She said she had felt so spiritually hungry and did not know where she could find God in her life. Her daughter remembered hearing about the church at the Vacation Bible School and told her mother that she felt that this was a place that they could go to meet with God. She walked to church every Sunday for several weeks with her children, before we realized how far she had been walking to get here.
A van was later sent to make weekly pick-ups for this family. Since then, Grazyna has given her life to Christ, and is actively involved in the Church’s ministries and the work through the Elim Mission. Her husband has begun coming to church and to the Mission; he is still unsaved but involving himself in the things of the Lord.
Grazyna’s village is one that received specific prayer for several years, believing that God had something special in that place. This also was one of the villages that the Medical Clinic was able to minister in last month. We look forward to what God may do in that village in the future.
God has led 9 youth from our church to attend the Discipleship Camps this year. These camps are different than all other camps, as the sole purpose is to train and disciple the youth in deepening their relationship with Jesus Christ and to prepare them for the Lord’s service in their community through their local church. The camp for the younger youth is 4 weeks long, and the older youth camp runs 6 weeks. Wonderfully, all of the 9 teenagers received sponsorship from the Faith Baptist Church, without which many would not have been able to attend because of the families’ financial situations. We look forward to great fruit in their loves resulting from these camps.
The Vacation Bible School is planned to run 6 days the last week in July. Like last year, we hope to have separate VBS’s for children and the youth. This year we have ‘changed hands’ in the preparation and running of VBS, and the ‘baton’ has been handed over to a team of 5 younger staff at Elim: Wiktor & Ania, Tomek & Gosia, and Justyna. This is a first for them and is a big job, as they have had to prepare programs that involve hundreds of children and teenagers, work out all the transport and organize the roles of more than 50 other helpers.
We appreciate prayer not only for this new team as they prepare and lead, but also for God’s blessing and for changed lives for those who will come to VBS. (Dates – July 24th – 29th).
A couple of years ago we shared about a woman who came to Elim for help. She had wondered around Poland homeless for about one and half years before coming to us, while her 6 children were in Children’s Homes, Foster care etc. We had known her in earlier years and she came to the Mission to ask if we could find a home for her unborn child. She came to live at the Mission, and while waiting for her child to be born, she dedicated her life completely to the Lord.
Iwona kept her new baby (now 2 years old) and is still with us here at Elim. She has grown in her love for the Lord, and God has since begun to bring back the children that she had lost. The local Court has recently granted 2 of her children to be taken out of Foster care, and her oldest daughter has also come to live at the Mission. The Lord has provided for the renovation of another room at the Mission as an extension to Iwona’s home in the Palace, as we hope to ask the Court for yet one more son (who is still in the Children’s Home). Iwona herself was raised in the Children’s Home as a child, and her life is now a testimony to the grace and the renewing work of God.
Oil for the Mission’s heating system has skyrocketed in Poland, as it probably has in many places. We feel it is a waste of our finances to spend so much on the oil, even though we use it very sparingly. So now we believe that it is time to try to change the heating system into one that uses wood and sawdust (a fuel which is cheap in Poland).
Renewing the heating system would be a major step for the Mission – a decision for which we need God’s wisdom. If we proceed, we are hoping that the Lord will allow it to be done before the next winter arrives. For those who know the Mission’s layout, we intend to use a part of a building at the Camp section (which was once the stable), and bring piping underground to the palace building. This is the best option open to us, as a wood-heater needs more space than the room in the cellar of the main building offers.
God has just provided a commercial washing machine for the Mission through the Spandahlen church. This is a wonderful provision as we have always used small household washing machines, which take a lot of time and are not so efficient. We praise the Lord for how He provides!!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.” Romans. 15: 13.