January Partners Update
Gateway to English update
Our January has been moving along at a rapid pace, making us grateful for the time we are given here on this earth. Gateway to English resumed lessons on January 2, and new students keep showing up at our door despite being half way through the school year. We all taught substitute classes for Alyssa, who returned on January 9th from her Christmas visit to her family. We are making a final push toward the two-week winter holiday beginning on January 28. Pray that we could have enough energy to care well for our students and be able to make good connections and conversation.
New Year’s Eve celebrations and Polish NYE traditions
We celebrated New Year’s Eve with our church family. We had a time of worship and prayer, then played games and ate delicious appetizers. At midnight, we ran outside to see the explosion of fireworks igniting all over Mińsk, in a display that would give American firemen nightmares. While Christmas and New Year’s celebrations mean lots of time with family and friends for most Poles, it’s also a time of year when family disputes are most obvious and people spend a lot of time drinking.
Church/school kolędy evening
We hosted our annual carol singing evening for our students, friends, and church family on January 6, at Gateway to English. Matt and Lavern led us in singing Polish and English carols. We enjoyed the special songs sung by the Piotr Ławrynowicz family, the Lavern Hershberger family, Jaden and Jewel Kilmer, and the GTE teachers. Afterwards, we feasted on Christmas cookies and punch and conversations with old and new friends.
December and January have been filled with music events here in Poland. Before Christmas, Matt and Deborah experienced the Kolędy [Christmas carol] Concert at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. Other team members went to hear Handel’s Messiah the following week. We were also privileged to sing at a kolędy concert in the village school of Wiciejów and at a nursing home where our secretary Ela’s mom is living. It’s such a gift to have a solid team of singers to worship and minister with.
Recently, Hadassah has been a part of Under Grace, a gospel choir in Warsaw that uses Gospel music to reach people who don’t know Jesus. Gospel music has become more popular all over Europe, and this free expression of Christian music is different from what many post-Christian people have experienced. Somehow, people feel a freedom in this genre that we hope opens them to the truth they are singing.
Book distribution project
Update on literature distribution: We continue to receive many requests for Bibles and books. We are exploring options for funding for printing more Bibles. Many individuals and groups need Bibles for evangelism, and don’t have the funds to buy them. Eastern European Mission is not able to send any more at this time, but hopefully will in the future. Praise God that people want to read His word!
Prayer and Praise
- Pray for Alyssa and her family in the states as they walk with their mom and wife on her cancer journey.
- Pray for Lolita as she prepares for her speaking assignments at REACH, in March.
- Pray for safe and restful winter holiday travels for the teachers, the Kilmers, and the Gingerichs.
- Pray for the upcoming Youth Winter Bible School, hosted by Agape. Pray that everyone attending would have open hearts to hear God’s voice speaking.
- Pray that we could keep finding opportunities for outreach in Mińsk.
The addition of Jaden and Jewel to the team has increased expenses significantly. They and the Board have been working to raise the needed funds, but there is currently a lack of funds. We ended January with all bills paid, but with only several thousand dollars to start February. We will need at least $10,000 in general donations in February.
If you would like to help support shipping costs for literature distribution or contribute toward printing more literature, you may indicate that preference on your donation to AIM. We anticipate costs of around $200 per month for shipping.
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