This spring on one of my work trips, I was able to stop by and see one of my old college roommates, Cindy. Cindy is a pastor’s wife in Lenexa and I always love hearing about the ways she and her family are involved in ministry in their church and in the lives of so many people. On this particular trip, Cindy was telling me about an upcoming mission trip she would be leading over the summer to Poland. Over the years I’ve heard many stories about PROeM, the ministry in Poland that her church supports, and that her family has visited many times. As I listened to her talk about the trip, I wished I were going with her. She even tried to talk me into going, explaining that she could really use some help since she would be leading this trip.
I briefly thought about going, but didn’t really think it was feasible because I had already missed a lot of work this year due to sickness, and I just moved into a new house and felt like I needed to keep my life as stress free as possible for awhile until I was back to normal. Plus, when I checked my calendar, I realized we have a big work event scheduled during the time of the trip that I really didn’t feel like I should miss.
Fast forward a month or so and I learned that the work event was being canceled. Plus, my illness finally had a diagnosis (TMJ??? – that’s another post for another time) that seemed much more manageable than some of the options I was fearing. So I contacted Cindy to find out of it was too late, which it wasn’t, so I took a couple of days to pray about it and make my usual pros and cons list. And, well, now I’m going to Poland!
This opportunity is special to me for several reasons. An obvious one is the chance to travel with Cindy, who is one of my life long friends. Her sweet, gentle spirit always encourages me and I can’t imagine a better leader to work with than her! Another reason is that Poland is a very dear place to me. It is the country I traveled to on my very first mission trip, way back in 1991. Almost 25 years ago – wow! It was back when neighboring Russia was still the U.S.S.R., Poland was just coming out of communism, and resources were scarce. I can’t wait to see how things have changed since I was there last! I’ll be traveling to different part of the country this time, and working with a different ministry, but I’m sure I will love the country just as much. I loved my first trip there and have always hoped for the opportunity to return. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to meet new people, love on the kids in Poland, and be challenged to grow.
I will be traveling July 17 – 26 with a group from Cedar Ridge Christian Church in Lenexa. The week we will be there will be spent helping with fine arts type workshops for the teenage campers in Zako Chiele, Poland, as a part of the outreach ministry of PROeM (proemministries.org). Workshops will include things like arts, drama, music, dance, photography, etc. One of our main objectives will be interacting with, encouraging, and sharing the gospel with the campers. This camp opportunity is a big draw for area teens in Poland because it is known as an international camp and they know americans will be there.
I’m very excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to go! I will be asking for some friends to pray for our team as we go, so please let me know if you would be interested in doing that. I’m fortunate enough to have savings that will pay for much of my trip costs, but if you are interested in donating a little bit to help offset the cost, that is always appreciated. The total cost of the trip will be $1950, and I need to have all of it paid for by June 18. Tax deductible gifts can be made through the church website at: https://crcc.cloverdonations.com/poland-mission-trip/
And here’s a couple of photos from my 1991 Poland trip. Just for fun.
My team of five singing in a church in Poland.
With a Polish family that we met and worked with while we were in Bielsk Podlaski.
My team on a picnic with one of the Polish church groups we met.