Wood Shavings

Your prayers were sure needed and appreciated last week.  All of Denise’s medical appointments went well and she had a great time with other ladies and the Lord at the woman’s conference.

Sadly my medical appointment didn’t happen at all, but I was finally able to make contact with the clinic and can now work on future plans.  In the mean time I will also look for more options here in Wroclaw.

For three days of the week I stayed with my long-time friend and family at their house.  If you have been receiving the WS for a long time you might remember them.  (Since this is on the web I don’t want to share names, sorry.)  I helped him, not really that much, rebuild a very rundown house on the outskirts of Prague.  It was a great time though only my friend speaks English.  Their nine year old daughter is already learning English at school, so we did speak some.

I really like my friend, but I saw a side of him that was not easy to see.  In the end he is like nearly every man who doesn’t know the Lord.  My prayer is that our time together challenged him and his family to consider a different lifestyle and future.  Please pray for them.

I also got to visit another great friend and he and his family also exist without a personal relationship with the Lord.  Starting next month this friend will take over a business that was started by his grandfather.  Pray with me for their salvation and for this business venture.

Our drive back was much more challenging than normal.  The snow started at about 9:00am in Prague and didn’t stop all day.  On the drive we found out it has been snowing even longer in our part of Poland.  This snow as not anticipated so almost nobody had changed to their winter tires.  Therefore everyone was driving very slowly, including us.  God blessed us with a safe drive – all praise to Him.

A snowy drive home.

A snowy drive home. We followed this trailer for a lot of kilometers very slowly.

Please keep praying for the requests in the Wood Chip.  There really isn’t much to add to the requests.  I do further ask that you pray that I can meet with two of the young men with which I have a discipling relationship.

I am tempted to write a lot more, but hope to keep these on the shorter side.  I know more will read them if they are not too long.

Thanks for praying.

Wood Chip

Thanks for praying for us last week.  It was a good week, but challenging.  Click the bold The Wood Shavings text above to get the full story (I promise it won’t be too long).

I do want to share that last night there were nine of us at the Prayer & Praise.  God blessed the time as we worshipped and reached out to Him with our prayers.

Your prayer cover helped on our trip back home Saturday afternoon.  The snow started in Prague and didn’t quit the whole – slow – drive.  There will be a picture in the Wood Shavings.

Prayer requests:
Wroclaw English School – sharing the Word and deed of the Gospel.
For the International Church of Wroclaw (ICW) to grow deep in the love of the Lord.
For a new family moving to Wroclaw from America for work and looks to be part of ICW.
For discipling relationship for Denise and I that we would have God’s wisdom.
For learning Polish.

Thursday is a big holiday here – All Saints’ Day.  I will let you google for details.  But Denise and I will, to some extent, join in the festivities with a local family.  Next week’s Wood Shavings I will share the experience and pictures.

Thanks for praying.

Wood Shavings

This is going to be a little shorter WS than last time.  Maybe even a lot shorter.  Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief.

As I said in the Wood Chip, also the previous article lower on this page, I updated you on our busy last few days.  It has been all good busy.  But I did feel the need for a little quite today just to recharge.  I am an introvert so time way from people helps me get back to “normal”.  Your prayers really help, especially when we are running near empty.

I did want to give more detail on a few of the recent events and the prayer requests.

Saturday we had incredible weather for our trip to Ksiaz Castle.  Here is the official website in English: http://www.en.ksiaz.walbrzych.pl/ .  As you see in these next few pictures, it was beautiful there and especially this time of year.

Ksiaz Castle

Ksiaz Castle

Ksiaz grounds, beautiful leaves turning amazing colors.

Ksiaz grounds, beautiful leaves turning amazing colors.

This is my common view of Denise at the castle.

Denise posing to take a picture, the 2000th of the day.

Denise posing to take a picture, the 2000th of the day.

Sunday we only had one person come for our Prayer & Praise.  But it was a young woman from America that we have wanted to get to know better, Lynette.  She teaches with Denise at the English school.  Denise and I have spent quite a bit of time with her, but always in larger groups so it was wonderful to be just the three of us.  I believe she is going to be an important part of the church.  In two weeks we will have our next Prayer & Praise.

A quick word on my meeting with the church leaders, their church council, last night.   I was a little nervous and yet it went incredibly well.  It is such a joy to have such a great partnering church as they are very supportive.  Please pray for the 1st Baptist Church of Wroclaw: their leaders, for unity, for living missionally into the community.

Please pray for us on Friday.  We will be meeting with Ruth, Lord willing, the woman that started the English school were Denise is teaching.  A long story fits here, but I will save it for a separate message some day.  The short version is that in 1987 Denise and I prayed about coming to help teach English to college students in Poland.  Later that year we found out the assignment was in Wroclaw.  You guessed it, we prayed to come and teach at the Wroclaw Language School which started in 1989.  Friday we will get a chance to learn more about the request we were not able to fulfill long ago.  Pray for a great time of sharing and learning all that God has done here in Wroclaw since the late 1980s.

Monday next week Denise and I travel to Prague.  We will be there all week doing a mixture of medical appointments, Denise at a woman’s conference and me visiting friends and not sure all else.  My medical appointments are related to a knee problem I want to get fixed.  I am confident the problem is my meniscus in my knee and that it will need some minor surgery to correct.  The second issue is a very minor, but persistent pain in my lower back.  Please pray for the previous details and next week I intend to write more from Prague.  Pray also for safe travels.

I caught a cute moment the other night.  Dash didn’t seem to mind the lesson too much.

Dash playing piano, but not too happily.

Dash playing piano, but not too happily.

Thanks for praying.


Wood Chip

Here we are again.  Since last time I remembered that my shorter messages have been the Wood Chips – so from now on the email version of the Wood Shavings will be the Wood Chips.  Am I being confusing, I hope not too much so.  Just trying to have a bit of fun.

Read The Wood Shavings through the link at the top of this page.  The link is the bold text: The Wood Shavings above.

Prayer requests:
Polish language studies
The classes at Wroclaw Language School, including Denise’s
Meetings we have scheduled for the rest of the week
Our leaders as they travel for the next week to other teams
The International Church of Wroclaw

Thanks for your prayers as God continues to bless us so wonderfully, but it has been busy lately.   Saturday we had a great day with the staff of the Wroclaw Language School.  We saw the castle Ksiaz (pronounced Kdzions).  In the Wood Shavings I will put a picture or two and a lot more detail about the trip.  Sunday we had our second meeting of the International Church of Wroclaw and one showed up, but it was a great time regardless.  Then Monday our boss and wife came for a few day visit.  Tuesday we entertained, had our Polish lesson, Denise taught and I had a meeting with the church leaders of the 1st Baptist Church here in Wroclaw.  Then this morning very early I ensured our leaders caught their train and I spend the rest of the day catching up on administrative duties.  So there you go with a little of FYI.

Thanks for praying.

The Full Story

I am so excited about what God is doing in, around and through Denise and I.  What is so amazing with God is that when He is doing His work we are swept up in the blessing.  The truth is that this is always the situation, but when I think it is not it is about my failed perspective.  God continues to teach me that a huge element of spending time with the Lord daily in prayer and Bible study – is how He changes me by changing my perspectives.  It boils down to focusing less on me and more on Him!

Come and see the park next to 1st Baptist Wroclaw for yourself on a mission trip in 2013

Here are a few of the blessings from the Lord that have come already this week.  1) Devotional time has been tough.  I have been tired and it has been a battle to keep this a priority.  But I feel blessed through the battle (James 1:2-4).  2) Sunday was a great day.  A good time at corporate celebration and then a day at a medieval fair with two great family members in the Lord.  (Seahawks even won.)  3) Monday was full of paperwork including getting ready for Polish lessons, emails, writing a monthly report, and church planning and a tough hour at the gym.  4) Tuesday was Polish lessons, then meeting with a new believer about baptism, then working on the Bible study for the next day.  The new believer and I feel led to continue to meet in a disciple making relationship.  5) Today included a tough workout at the gym and the privilege to lead a Bible study with the teachers at the Wroclaw Language School.

Reading back through those five points, I don’t even see why I feel so great.  With God the “normal” way of looking at things doesn’t work.  But living in God’s will and letting Him lead is a total joy.  A key element  is also that you are praying for us and God’s work in Wroclaw, this is no small thing.  Seek to let the Lord have total control of you, it is better than anything else!  Being blessed by faithful prayer warriors like yourself is also incredible.

Ok, I better get focused or this will be a book.

One of upcoming joys is this coming Sunday when we will have our next Prayer & Praise.  Please pray for a great turnout and that in all ways God will be worshipped and glorified.

Here are the rest of our prayers for this week.  Thanks for lifting these to the Lord with Denise and I.

English School

This is the back of the 1st Baptist Church building and the location for the English School.

Things are going well at the Wroclaw Language School (WLS).  Pray that small communication challenges will be resolved soon.  Pray also for the teachers as they faithfully prepare and teach this week.  Pray that the students will see Jesus in the teachers and desire a personal relationship with Him.

Saturday the teachers and families, I am going as well, of WLS will gather for a team building day.  It will be a day trip south of Wroclaw to see a castle, take a walk, and eat together.  Pray that the great relationships between the teachers will grow even deeper as the Lord leads our time.

Please lift up four of the core people already active in the new international church.  They are all traveling and we ask the Lord that they will return home safely and with God working in and through their lives.

Pray for Patrick, he was the one I met in blessing umber 4.  Ask the Lord to protect both of us as we seek Him and walk along side each other in the process.

I asked you to pray for this retreat some weeks ago.  Five young ladies are attending and they will be led by their youth leader Jennifer.  Pray that they have safe travel to and from Warsaw and that each of them will come with open minds and hearts to the Lord.

Lastly we do need your prayers as we study Polish.  God is answering the prayers as it is going well and we already see significant progress even just after one week.

Thanks for praying.

Wood Shavings Email Version

Your prayers are so appreciated.  God continues to do great things in Wroclaw and it is our joy to be involved.

Come and see the park next to 1st Baptist Wroclaw for yourself on a mission trip in 2013

One of the most exciting things God is doing is starting the new international church.  This coming Sunday we will have our next Prayer & Praise.  Please pray for a great turnout and that in all ways God will be worshipped and glorified.

Pray also for:
The teachers and students of Wroclaw Language School (WLS)
Saturday the teachers and families of WLS will gather for a team building day
Four of our core for the international church are traveling
God blessed me with a new discipling relationship this week
Five young ladies attending a youth retreat in Wroclaw this weekend
Denise and I learning Polish

Go to TheWoodShavings.org for the full story.  Or click on the title of this email, above the black bar – The Wood Shavings.

Thanks for praying.

Full Wood Shavings

I try to send the WS before prayer meetings on Wednesday, sorry about this week.  With my new schedule I am contemplating moving to Monday to send the prayerletter.  What do you think?  I always love entertain comments.  (Sounds like I am inviting comments to a dinner party.  Hahah)

Thanks for praying for our first semi-official meeting of the International Church of Wroclaw.  Sunday night there were seven of us and more wanted to be there.  As I look at our total prospects, we have as many as 25.  This doesn’t include friends of those 25.  So I am already praying about how we can multiply to two groups or more.  The goal of anything healthy is that it continues to grow and multiply.  If our cat Dash quite growing fur (which would be nice not to vacuum) it would take little time and he would be bald.  Maybe this is not such a great example, but if our church does not grow and continue to grow then we will not be healthy.  It is God’s plan for churches to grow; Matthew 28:18-20.  Please pray with us for this great situation.

This week Denise and I started Polish classes with a tutor.  We are together for now and I will see if I can keep up with Denise.  Our tutor is the same person that taught us earlier this year.  He is a gifted, well trained, and experienced teacher.  Please pray that we will receive the true “gift of tongues”.  As I understand Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians, he is talking about known languages, also the situation at Pentecost.  So I feel there is no harm to pray for this gift.  I have no doubt God will answer this prayer, but mostly likely His will is that it will take years.  Language learning most likely fits under James 1:2-4.  Please pray Denise and I will become “mature, complete and lack nothing”, including Polish.

Please keep praying for Wroclaw Language School.  Pray for the nine teachers, two administrators, one chaplain and over 300 students.  Yesterday the students and the chaplain, myself, took a staff picture.  When I get it you can be assured I will put it on the website.

This weekend the 1st Baptist Church of Wroclaw is conducting a leadership retreat.  Please pray that they have a wonderful time and especially spirit filled time.  Pastor Dawid (David) has a wonderful long-term vision from the Lord for the church.  Pray that this retreat leads to God’s will being done in every way.

God has been convicting me about my lack of prayer for specific lost people in Wroclaw.  So the following is a list of some of the people being prayed for by the future members of the International Church of Wroclaw.  Salvation for Greg, Kasha, Marceline, Nick, Mikael, Adenis, Bartek, Edyta, and more.  The following people have asked for wisdom recently for various issues in their lives: Ferdinand, Robert, Joel, Renatta, Bret, Michelle, Denise and Scott (I need a lot of this kind of prayer).

Thanks for praying.

Condensed Email Version

I regret the late sending of the WS, but I hope you find it better late than never.

Thanks for praying for our requests; it has been a great week.  Following will be the prayer requests for the week, but I really want to tell everyone a bit more about Sunday night.  There were seven of us and we had a great time.  We sang together, prayed for each other, and I shared a short devotional (honest, it was short).  This meeting marks the formal beginnings of the International Church of Wroclaw, thank for praying.

Pray for:
Denise and I to learn Polish quickly (asking for a miracle).
Denise and the rest of the teachers at Wroclaw Language School.
International Church of Wroclaw church plant.
Wisdom for Ferdinand, Robert, Joel, Renatta, Bret, Michelle, Denise & Scott
Salvation for Greg, Kasha, Marceline, Nick, Mikael, Adenis, Bartek, Edyta, and more.
Leadership retreat this weekend for 1st Baptist Wroclaw.

Full details at thewoodshavings.org