Ania, my translator
Grace and a Polish granny
Marti and I walked through the market today – I much prefer the open markets to the modern department stores. There’s ‘way more character to the little shops, and there seems to be a personal warmth that’s missing in the mega stores. Afterwards we went to a bakery and enjoyed coffee and European treats with a gazillion calories – Marti had a chocolate yummy while I tried a tart filled with whipped cream and topped with kiwis and raspberries.
A 25-year-old Polish IM worker joined us for lunch, which is the big meal of the day. She’d just returned from her first trip to the States where she traveled to raise funds to cover her living and ministry expenses. It’s difficult for national missionaries to raise financial support here because sometimes they’re first-generation Christians and their families and acquaintances don’t understand or appreciate their faith and calling. Again, I have the utmost respect for these folks who are faithfully serving the Lord amidst challenges that might cause others to throw their hands up and walk away.
This Polish gal was my translator later in the afternoon when I spoke at a women’s meeting. The gathering was held in a one-room facility – on Sundays it holds church services and during the week it doubles as the neighborhood food bank. The meeting began at five o’clock – not a normal time for a midweek women’s event in North America but that’s what works here because people don’t like going out at night. Most of the attendees were regulars from that church, but there were several women who heard the Gospel, one possibly for the first time.
My heart warms to these women – from eight-year-old Asha who came with her mom after receiving the invitation at the food bank, to the 20-something gal who told me about her dress designing business, to the nearly toothless 65-year-old Polish grandma who showered me with numerous hugs and kisses – and I long to see them live life as fully as God intends. Each one is created in His image and beautiful in His sight. I pray that my message and response to them will bring hope and an understanding of His great love for them.