March Partners Update

AIM's presentation table at REACH 2022

REACH reflections by Jaden

Jewel, Patti, and I were privileged to attend the REACH conference this year. Our primary objective for attending was to represent the work of AIM in Poland. We found the conference rewarding for a number of reasons. First, it was good to talk with people from all across the spectrum of conservative Anabaptism. Of course we met many new people, but it was especially fun to unexpectedly meet old friends or relatives. Secondly, there were many lectures and presentations available for us to attend, and we were challenged and inspired by what we heard. Finally, we enjoyed working with Shannon and Dervin, our board members, and felt supported by former staff and teachers who were also attending the conference.

Personnel needs

We have an opening for a male volunteer teacher to provide instruction in conversational English at Gateway to English, starting in August 2022, for a two-year term. Teaching experience is preferred but not absolutely required.

To volunteer or to recommend someone for these positions or for more information, please contact Matt Gingerich at personnel@aimpoland.org.

Ukrainian refugee aid update

Our small church has been helping to meet the needs of Ukrainians in Poland and assisting with relief aid sent into Ukraine. Following are the ways we have focused on helping and an account of how your donations are being used.

Currently, we are renting three apartments for temporary housing. As refugees come and go, Lavern and Lolita and the New Perspective Foundation work to keep the apartments clean and stocked with bedding, toiletries, and food. They also spend time building relationships and helping refugees debrief from the trauma they’ve experienced.

Lavern and Lolita have rented a van and have made numerous trips to the border with supplies for Ukraine and also transported people to and from the border. On several occasions, we have rented a bus or van to take a group of people to other European countries.

International Host Connection works with orphans from Ukraine and has been very active in our area of Poland. Since the war began, we have helped provide logistical support for them in finding housing for orphan refugees.

We have given funds to foundations and churches at the border who are welcoming refugees and sending aid into Ukraine.

The Hershberger family have been at the front line for many of the endeavors just mentioned. Lavern writes, “One thing we are not doing is getting involved with any of this from a political perspective. Jesus did not give people the inside scoop on what was ‘really’ going on with Rome occupying Israel. However, he did say something about loving God, each other, and caring for the most helpless and undeserving. Thank God for so many people who are doing just that. Jesus said in John 16:33, ‘Here on earth YOU WILL HAVE many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I HAVE OVERCOME the world.’ We are seeing this happen before our eyes. May His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Give to AIM

Donors may indicate preferences for where their gifts are used (such as refugee relief, 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 Shannon Lehman at homeoffice@aimpoland.org or 717-816-4587.

To make a donation using credit or debit card, please visit our donate page.

Ukrainian Refugee Crisis Update

At the border near Dorohusk, Poland

A month ago, we wrote about the war in Ukraine and the ensuing refugee crisis. Polish people have continued to pour their hearts into caring for their Ukrainian neighbors, while the international community has shown up to support as well. The UN estimates that over 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled and more are trying to leave areas of intense conflict every day, so we expect refugee needs to continue for some time.

We are deeply grateful and overwhelmed at your generosity in supporting us as we serve Ukrainian refugees. Donations like yours are allowing us to coordinate refugee hosting in private homes and in Airbnb’s, both in Warsaw and in our town of Mińsk Mazowiecki. Our church members are teaching Polish and hosting refugees, and on the AIM team, the Hershberger family have been our front-line people for refugee aid. Lavern has been spending many days in Warsaw, meeting refugees and helping them make connections for the next step of their journey. Sometimes this means helping them buy train tickets, driving them to the bus station, or finding them a place to stay for the night. Annaliese has been volunteering at the border, welcoming mothers and children as they first arrive in Poland. Lolita has been preparing apartments for new arrivals and feeding hungry refugees, besides being a wife and mom.

We have also been able to partner with individuals and organizations in refugee aid. We have been able to give financially to churches that are welcoming refugees, like the Baptist church in Chełm. Our friend Amanda Keeny is assisting our community in translation and debriefing as refugees arrive in their new homes. Matt and Lavern provided contacts and logistical support for International Host Connection as they worked to relocate an orphanage to a new location in our area. Other members of our team have hosted overnight guests who are volunteering in some way.

As you read the news and hear refugees’ stories, pray for the people of Ukraine. Also, pray for us, that God could use our small offerings of help in this crisis, and that we would have wisdom and endurance in serving sustainably.

If you would like to make a donation to our refugee relief efforts, see our information below.

Blankets for refugees at the border

Give to AIM

Donors may indicate preferences for where their gifts are used (such as refugee relief, 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 Shannon Lehman at homeoffice@aimpoland.org or 717-816-4587.

To make a donation using credit or debit card, please visit our donate page.

January-February Partners Update

Winter youth meeting

Recent News Update

Growing tension to the east of us finally erupted in war on February 24th when Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Although the nearest conflict to us in Mińsk Mazowiecki is over 200 miles away, this has had an impact on us and on the people of Poland. There is a palpable level of distress at the violence, along with a strong show of solidarity for the people of Ukraine. The Polish government has opened the borders to Ukrainians fleeing violence. At this time, we are able to continue freely in our daily lives and ministry, and we have no reason to believe that the violence in Ukraine will extend to Poland.

Recently Matt & Deborah opened up their home to host two ladies—an American missionary and a Ukrainian—who are teaching English in Ukraine. They were in our community for a week and a half before moving on to friends in other parts of Europe. Will there be more people from Ukraine coming our way? Hospitality creates disruptions, so we feel a need for God’s grace to keep our hearts and homes open.

The latest reports show that over 100,000 Ukrainians have already sought refuge in Poland and more are still on the way. AIM is trying to partner with other churches and organizations in Poland to host refugees. There will be many needs for housing and food in the days (and likely weeks) to come. If you would like to contribute financially to support refugee aid, you can contact Matt Gingerich to find out about options at administrator@aimpoland.org. We will keep sending updates as the situation progresses. Thank you in advance for your prayers!

Youth Meetings 2022

Zimowisko (winter youth meeting) 2022 was a huge blessing to me. We had 3.5 days together with a group of approx. 18-20 youth. Thursday evening got things started with a time of worship, a message shared by Lavern, and some integration activities for the youth. Friday-Sunday we had a guest speaker, Łukasz, from Warsaw. He shared on the topic of loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. We had lots of opportunities throughout the weekend for the youth to break into small groups and to search the Scriptures together on the topics we were studying; it blessed me to hear how many of the youth shared that this was a highlight for them. One of the most fun highlights for me was the photo/video challenge we did in small groups on Saturday. Each group had a list of photo/video titles- for example, “earthquake”- and they had to create something to represent each title. The results were hilarious and we all had a great time watching the creative things each group came up with. Overall, simply being together, enjoying one another’s presence and enjoying the presence of God was the biggest gift. -Kristin

Reach 2022

Come see us at REACH 2022 on March 24-25. Bring your friends to our table or point them to an AIM presentation on Friday at this big event. REACH brings together conservative Anabaptist ministries and kingdom workers from all walks of life. Join us for this two-day program that includes 97 breakout sessions to support and equip people in ministry and all those with a desire for service. Over 50 participating ministries share their vision in focus sessions and displays. General sessions tie the event together with sermons, singing, and prayer. All are welcome!

  • Location: Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Road, Lancaster, PA 17601
  • Read more information and register: fbep.org/reach-2022

Personnel needs

We have an opening for one male and one female volunteer teacher to provide instruction in conversational English at Gateway to English, starting in August 2022. Teaching experience is preferred but not absolutely required. To volunteer or to recommend someone for this position,  please contact Matt Gingerich at personnel@aimpoland.org.

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 Shannon Lehman at homeoffice@aimpoland.org or 717-816-4587.

To make a donation using credit or debit card, please visit our donate page.

December Partners Update

literature distribution

Recent News Update

As we are sending this email, some of us on the team have tested positive for covid-19 or are otherwise sick with the flu. We are grateful that everyone has mild symptoms and are in the process of canceling in-person classes at GTE. Please pray for Matt and Marzena as they navigate the situation and communicate with our students.

Seed of Truth and Literature Distribution

“Thank you for the Christian literature you provide, Bibles for children and adults. These materials help our community to distribute in our area. This year, we are again conducting the “Christmas Gift” campaign for children and families who are in difficult financial and life situations. Some of the children are disabled or raised in foster families. In addition to the parcels, the children also receive Bibles for young readers or God’s message, and their parents have the opportunity to receive the UBG Bible. Please find attached some pictures. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the recently delivered October and January Seed of Truth and ask if it is/will be possible to order November and December Seed of Truth.”

Ludwik Skworcz, Chairman of the Council of Elders from the Evangelical Brotherhood Association, translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Team Travels

The Christmas season brought a number of friends and family here for visits. It was a welcome contrast with last December when we were not able to host anyone because of travel restrictions. The holiday break also saw Charity and Lyndon return to their respective families for visits. They both will be gone in January, so we were delighted when Matt and Sharon King agreed to come to Poland for a month and substitute for most of their classes. Hadassah Hershberger was back for a visit, and we enjoyed having her teach as well. Matt, Sharon, and Hadassah have all taught here previously, so that is an added blessing. It’s easy to worry about the complications of international travel these days, so we are thanking God that everyone has had smooth travels so far.

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 Shannon Lehman at homeoffice@aimpoland.org or 717-816-4587.

To make a donation using credit or debit card, please visit our donate page.

Fall 2021 Newsletter

AIM Fall 2021 Newsletter cover

Board member Matthew Mast reflects on the power of the Advent Message. Nine Hillcrest Home staff and volunteers encouraged the team in Poland, Annaliese Hershberger helped lead a music camp, and we welcomed three new volunteers serving with AIM in Poland.

Read More

November Partners Update

Gateway to English school building

Gateway to English, our English school. We use the entryway and three windows to the left. Now that the sun sets soon after 3:00, it is nice to have a bright cozy school.

Small Talk

Our second small talk event of the year occurred on November 19. We focused on a Thanksgiving theme. As usual we enjoyed connecting with students outside of the class room while doing fun activities and eating tasty food. With increased covid-19 restrictions coming soon, we are extra grateful that we could host two small talks this year so far.

Funding Needs

photo from a recent Seed of Truth packing

We notice God’s presence in our lives most keenly when we’re also paying attention to exactly what we need from Him. God has been faithful to provide throughout all history, yet today we “notice” His provision in some particular ways. Thank you for your support this year. Your giving gives us confidence to proclaim Jehovah Jireh (“God will provide”).

We want to highlight the incredible increase of supply and need for Bibles across Poland. Partnering with EEM (Eastern European Missions), we’ve nearly doubled the number of Bibles shipped from last year’s total. We’re also committing to shoulder more of the costs associated with Seed Of Truth in order to help CAM allocate their funds elsewhere. You can earmark your gifts for “SOT” or “Literature Distribution” to help with these projects. Simply put, we need more partners in this great work!

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 Shannon Lehman at homeoffice@aimpoland.org or 717-816-4587.

To make a donation using credit or debit card, please visit our donate page.

October Partners Update

Small talk at Gateway to English

Gateway to English Small Talk

We held our first Small Talk of the year in October. Here are some thoughts from the teachers.

Small Talk was a great way to connect with our students through crafts, food and games! I really enjoyed having the opportunity to talk and interact with students, of all age ranges, outside of the classroom setting. -Charity

Small Talk is about community and connection. I really enjoyed seeing the interaction between family members who usually come at different times throughout the week. -Lyndon

This was my first Small Talk, and I really enjoyed seeing the students come and participate in the games and activities. My favorite part of this Small Talk was playing Spot It with some of my students. -Lizzie

It was an evening filled with good food, good friends, and good fun – especially the pumpkin bowling turned pumpkin smashing. -Curt

Hillcrest Visit

Recently we were honored to host a group of young people from Hillcrest Home. Hillcrest organized this trip as part of a thank-you to their volunteers for a term of service. We were able to give them a glimpse into some of our daily activities and show them a few of our favorite places. They, in turn, supported us in our various endeavors. They threw their energy into work projects, teaching, and cooking. We really enjoyed having them here. To learn more about the home, visit their website hillcresthome.org.

Funding Needs

We notice God’s presence in our lives most keenly when we’re also paying attention to exactly what we need from Him. God has been faithful to provide throughout all history, yet today we “notice” His provision in some particular ways. Thank you for your support this year. Your giving gives us confidence to proclaim Jehovah Jireh (“God will provide”).

We want to highlight the incredible increase of supply and need for Bibles across Poland. Partnering with EEM (Eastern European Missions), we’ve nearly doubled the number of Bibles shipped from last year’s total. We’re also committing to shoulder more of the costs associated with Seed Of Truth in order to help CAM allocate their funds elsewhere. You can earmark your gifts for “SOT” or “Literature Distribution” to help with these projects. Simply put, we need more partners in this great work!

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 Shannon Lehman at homeoffice@aimpoland.org or 717-816-4587.

To make a donation using credit or debit card, please visit our donate page.

Third Quarter Partners Update

recent team photo with visiting AIM board couples

Gateway to English began lessons on September 13. With five full-time teachers, we were able to sign up over 130 students. Some students are new and some are returning after coming for many years. It is really good to be able to welcome students in person. We hope that we will be able to continue lessons face to face and not go back to lessons online.

AIM 20-Year Celebration

The team in the early years

Matthew Gingerich writes,

On the last Sunday afternoon in September, the AIM team, Agape church members, other Polish friends, and the two visiting AIM board couples (Shannon and Joella Lehman and Samuel and Suzanne Sommers), gathered to celebrate God’s faithfulness over the duration of AIM’s presence in Poland. The first long-term team came to Poland in 2001, so this year marks twenty years that the mission has been operating in Mińsk Mazowiecki. It was a special time to look at pictures together and hear memories and testimonies from people who have been so connected to AIM through the years. We have received a lot of support and love from many Polish people. In turn, we heard testimonies of numerous people who have come to know Jesus personally and who have been encouraged in the faith through the work of AIM.

I was reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” Many AIM staff have come and gone over the years. It can be hard to know what one’s actions today are actually accomplishing, but I can see numerous instances of one person’s work bearing fruit even long after they have left Poland.

Hope Singers 2022

The Hope Singers tour is scheduled for July 18 – August 8, 2022. More information can be found at www.hopesingers.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 Shannon Lehman at homeoffice@aimpoland.org or 717-816-4587.

To make a donation using credit or debit card, please visit our donate page.