April-May Partners Update
Near the end of April Lavern and Lolita traveled to the USA for their furlough of two and a half months. They are enjoying being reunited with their two oldest daughters and experiencing Georgia’s hospitality. We hope their time will be revitalizing, and that they will be able to return as planned.
Since the end of March, Agape has been having services online. In April, Poland initiated the first of four stages aimed at easing restrictions. In May, we gathered several times in homes or outdoors for worship and fellowship. We have also been having more small group interactions and that has been a boost to our lives during this isolating time. We’ve just entered the fourth stage of returning to a new normal and are enjoying simple pleasures like sitting down in a restaurant or walking outside without a face mask.
Gateway to English Update
In March, when Covid-19 began affecting Poland, we started offering online classes to our students. Now, at the end of May, our seven teachers are teaching 40 group and individual classes. For some of our students who are also parents, the challenges of tutoring children and working from home have made English lessons impossible. For others, having the opportunity to continue sharpening their English skills in the midst of isolation is attractive.
The last few months of school seemed simultaneously to move slowly and to fly by. The unexpected occurrence of switching to online lessons due to the quarantine, led to revamping some teaching techniques, and familiarizing ourselves with online platforms like Zoom and Skype. While moving to online lessons felt like a challenge at first, and we dearly missed the element of relaxed, natural human interaction that more easily takes place in a classroom, we quickly found that these online meetings with our students were one of the brightest spots in our weeks. We were all experiencing the same things–isolation, lots of questions–and we found that lessons felt a lot like talking with friends, as we were able to encourage and care for each other through a difficult time.
God is faithful, and we experienced Him guiding us in meaningful conversations during both individual and group lessons through this time. In the last couple months of school, we covered a wide range of topics, such as:
What motivates you?: We discussed things like fear, affirmation, and self-determination.
Gardening: It’s the season for planting here, and lots of students are into growing things.
The disease of being busy: We spent time looking at the busy pace of our lives, and asked questions about what our priorities are. We explored the importance of genuinely slowing down to ask people about the state of their hearts.
Humor: Lots of cheesy English jokes were involved. (Would you like to hear a pizza joke? Never mind, it’s too cheesy…)
The prodigal son/making decisions: As one of our last lessons, the story of the prodigal son sparked meaningful discussion about the characters in it and what Jesus meant for his disciples to hear in the story. Some students wrestled with the unfairness of the younger son getting a party thrown in his honor while the older son had worked faithfully at home for years. Some shared that as parents, they have come to realize how strong their love is for their children regardless of their children’s choices. We had some opportunities to share about the Father-heart of God. It is incredible that He loves us so deeply, that he is willing and ready to forgive us when we are truly sorry for our wrongdoings.
Friday was our last official day of school, and it’s hard to believe another year has come to a close. This year has been full of unexpected things—a quarantine, online lessons, cancelled plans. But it’s also been full of what is dependable and unchanging—the faithfulness of God, grace for each day, and beautiful moments of seeing how He redeems even the difficult things and uses them for His glory. All praise to Him.”
In 2017, AIM worked with Grace Press to distribute tracts and evangelism material to Seed of Truth subscribers. We are working with them again to publish two books about Christian martyrs during the reformation: In the Whale’s Belly and Whom Shall I Fear? Grace Press has done the work of translation and is covering part of the printing cost. Grace Press has done the work of translation and is covering part of the printing cost. AIM is printing 2000 of each of these titles to distribute in Poland and anticipates a printing cost of around $1,500. If you would like to support this project, please earmark your contributions “Grace Press Printing Project.”
We need approximately $3,000 to purchase tickets for volunteers traveling to and from Poland in the next two months.
Now that English lessons have ended for the summer, we need an additional $2,000 in June to cover expenses normally covered by income from English lessons.
We have an opening for one female and one male volunteer teachers to provide instruction in conversational English at Gateway to English, starting in August 2020. Teaching experience is preferred but not absolutely required. To volunteer or to recommend someone for this position, please contact Matt Gingerich at email@example.com
Give to AIM
Donors may indicate preferences for where their gifts are used (such as staff support, Gateway to English, or Seed of Truth) and AIM will honor preferences where possible. AIM reserves the right to assign all contributions where needed. If you would like additional information about how funds are used or if you wish to pledge ongoing support, please contact Matthew Mast at firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-789-4394.
To make a donation using credit or debit card, please visit our contact page.