25 years of WorldVenture Poland I

Posted: April 22, 2013 in Europe, Missions, Poland, WorldVenture, Wroclaw
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This year our organization celebrates 25 years of residential ministry in Poland. Although we had teachers with Biblical Education by Extension traveling from Vienna to Poland during the early 1980s, the first two families to move to Poland arrived in 1988. In the next few posts, I want to reflect on our presence here.

First, I want to post a letter to WorldVenture people from Wojciech Szczerba, the president of the Evangelical Theological Semininary of Wroclaw (EWST, in Polish).  His letter brought tears to my eyes. Of course, much of what he says does not exclusively apply to WorldVenture, but to all of us who have left family and friends to move to a different country and culture in order to faithfully incarnate the love and grace of God.

Dear World Venture Friends,

First of all I would like to send you warm greetings from Evangelical School of Theology.

 It seems amazing that World Venture celebrates this year its 25th year of operation in Poland. It’s been crucial years in the history of our country: the end of Communism and its 45 years rule over Polish nation, the beginning of our free country with Solidarity movement, the pontificate of John Paul II, the entrance of Poland into European Union structures and the European Soccer Championship last year. Amazing piece of history, tremendous changes over the last 25 years. I am sure many of you remember how it was in Poland at the end of 80’s. The poverty of the nation, grey streets in our cities, empty shelves in our stores, coupons to buy basic goods, long lines to get anything, corruption, black market and the overwhelming weariness of Polish people with the impossible situation. What made you come then to our country, destroyed, poor and wounded? How did God touch your hearts and call you here? How did you find your place here, with such a predominant role of the Catholic Church, seemingly the only opposition to the oppression of the Communists and the core of Polish soul? I would love to hear your stories. I would love to take a look at my country through the mirror of your experience. I would love to kneel with you and pray.

 I remember the beginning of Biblical Theological Seminary in Wroclaw as the student of this school in the first group of students. I remember the challenges, problems and difficulties, but also great teaching, wonderful books, ministry opportunities, thousands of people over the world praying for our school and many coming to serve our country. I was so impressed to see people leaving their countries and homes to come to us and humbly serve us. It was a very important testimony of faith for me, a young believer then, and – I am sure – for many other people in Poland. World Venture, Conservative Baptist at that time, was among the groups, which impressed me the most.

 Time has passed by very quickly, many things have changed here and our country looks different than 25 years ago, new generations have emerged with different attitudes toward reality, different values and worldviews. We are experiencing nowadays the first waves of secularism, a phenomenon unthinkable even a few years ago. We are a different country now in comparison to the end of 80’s. Still, World Venture is here and faithfully serves our God and nation. You are in various churches including Evangelical communities, traditional Protestant churches and the Catholic Church. You serve in many Christian organizations, schools like Evangelical School of Theology and social institutions. I am still impressed, chapeau bas. And I thank God for your good hearts, for your willingness to serve and for your obedience to the Almighty. You give a wonderful example to many people in Poland, you faithfully preach and live the Word of God.

 I truly regret that I cannot be present at the Celebration of World Venture. However, even though I am not physically present, I am with you spiritually. With other friends from Evangelical School of Theology we pray for you and thank God for you. You are in our hearts and our prayers. Our doors are always open to you.

 Ad maiorem Dei gloriam,

Wojciech Szczerba, President of EWST

25 Years of WorldVenture Poland II

25 Years of WorldVenture Poland III

Comments
  1. […] 1. Having the courage to move into Poland in the late 1980s. (See Wojciech Szczerba’s letter in post I) […]

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