For You are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved… the fragrance of life
2 Corinthians 2:15
Though this newsletter comes later than planned, it comes with heart felt appreciation to each of you and your part in sharing the love of Christ to those here in Poland. Please know how much a part of this mission each of you are whether you are near or far!
Our Christmas season was a great time for us to see God bless others through many generous gifts and to be able to share with them of God’s gift given to us in the form of His Son. Jesus was willing to come to earth as an infant, knowing that His purpose was to live among us until the day when He would redeem us by His death.
Many were encouraged through Biblical examples of how the Lord uses different people to accomplish His purposes. Whether it was Mary (who was young and not married) and Elizabeth (who was barren and well along in years) the encouragement was that it doesn’t matter what age you are- old or young- He can use you. Are they willing to let the Lord bring forth something in them? When Mary was told that she was to conceive a son by the Holy Spirit she did not argue or protest, but willingly said, “Be it unto me according to thy Word.” Would they have the courage to say those same words?
Those in the local Elderly and Children’s Homes could relate to the Shepherds who had a lonely job out in the field away from people. No one seems to notice them or appreciate what they do. God knows who they are. He loves them and He still visits His people right where they are, just like the shepherds, even to the lonely and often forgotten people in an Elderly and Children’s Homes.
Sometimes as we get older, we think we are too old to be of use to the Lord. Maybe we feel forgotten, that is simply not true. He can and wants to use us at any age. We all need to be reminded not only at Christmas but also throughout the whole year that Jesus is the Light of the World and He came as a babe into this world to bring Light into our lives.
Thank you so much to the many groups from France, Holland and the American military in Germany who gave beautiful gifts at Christmas for those in our community to whom we minister throughout the year. In faith we trust that the need will be met in order to share the love of Christ through gifts with the adults or children in the Elderly Homes, Children’s Home, Hospital, Hospice, Sunday School children, as well as the families from our daily lunch feeding program. God also provided food packages to some 40 families who otherwise would have not had much food to be able to have a special Christmas meal…as well as enough food to help them get through much of the long winter months. It is so encouraging to see God touch people’s hearts before Christmas to ask about the needs that we have. It is also encouraging to watch as each need is met, one by one. Thank you to each of you who gave of yourselves in order to show Christ to those in need here in Poland!
The Lord continues to bless the Nativity Set Ministry through people who visit the mission as well as coordinators both here in Europe as well as Australia and the U.S.A. It was started in 2004 and sponsors more than 20 needy families. Many lives/families have been changed through this ministry and families who in the past have been among our needy families are now able to take care of themselves. We thank the Lord for His provision and for those of you who have gone the extra mile in sharing these Nativity Sets with others. If you are not familiar with this ministry please go to our website: www.elimcenter.pl and click on ‘mission’ and then ‘mission ministries’. For those of you who may be wondering how you may obtain a Nativity Set, or become involved in helping with this Project, please write to us (we are praying for people to come on board to help out with this).
finishes off Nativity pieces
We are thankful for Caryn and Robyn Cole (mother and daughter from Tennessee, USA) who have been here serving with us since last September. With all of the pregnancies (see below) here at the mission they came at a time where their help has been very much needed. They have cheerfully given of themselves wherever and whenever they have been needed. We have been in need of an English teacher in order to be able to continue our English classes in town and they both have led this ministry each week. We are so thankful for their service here with us!
Again we thank each of you for your continued love, prayers, encouragement and support of this ministry! We cannot do what we do without people such as your selves!
Blessings in Christ,
The Staff at Elim Christian Mission
- Robert and Aneta gave birth to twin boys Jonatan and Daniel on February 9th (two months before their due date). They have just this past week gotten out of their incubators and are slowly gaining the weight they need in order to be able to come home. Both also need to be able to eat on their own which they only have minimal strength at this time to do so. Please pray particularly for Jonatan as he has had more needs with pneumonia and bleeding in his head (though the doctors have said this is normal for premature babies).
- Pawel and Judy gave birth to Jakub James on September 5th. He is a precious (surprise) gift and a joy to his family. They will be going to the states this summer (with Rachel and Joshua) to be able to visit with family, friends and supporters…and for much needed rest.
- Wiktor and Ania are in need of prayer as they have recently suffered their second miscarriage. They were pregnant with twins at the same time as Robert and Aneta. This has been an especially difficult time for them as they grieve the loss of their babies. They feel it is time to have some time out from direct ministry and so they are no longer serving here at the mission. We are grateful for their faithful service here at the mission through the past years. Please pray for this dear couple at this difficult time in their lives!
- Ken and Giselle continue their Sabbatical in Australia. They will not be back to Poland until early September. Please pray for their family for the physical rest they are in need of as well as the Lord showing Himself to them in a special way as they seek direction and wisdom for God’s plan for their future with the mission here in Poland.
- Keith and Shirley Jeans who served here for many years will be coming once again to serve through the summer months. We are thankful for their desire to come and help with the staff needs throughout the summer.
- The following is part of a note from our friends in Belarus. Please pray for these Christian brothers and sisters as they seek ways to minister to their youth in a country that is not open to the Gospel: “After our summer camps [here in Poland] we began to carry out follow up meetings for teenagers who became Christians. Last month more than a hundred people came and we see how God is changing kids lives. Unfortunately it is very very difficult to find a place for such meetings. Yesterday I got a phone call from a place we rented last time and they said that we are not allowed to have meetings there any more. Some people are afraid that if so many Christian people come to their place they can be in trouble from the government. So, if you are still praying for Belarus, please pray for us to find a place for our meetings”. We are excited that this group will be returning here for another camp this August 19-30th. Please pray for their Visa’s to be able to come through and for any red tape to be able to be cut through that otherwise might prevent them from coming!