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Europe Field Story

The Power of Starting Over

“I stopped and took stock of who my friends were, and I decided that I needed to completely start over. The people I thought were my friends, really weren’t many friends at all.”

“I stopped and took stock of who my friends were, and I decided that I needed to completely start over. It was scary knowing that I would be alone, but I realized that the people I thought were my friends, really weren’t many friends at all.”

*Olga, a young Polish woman, made this decision last summer. There’s the saying, “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future,” and Olga didn’t like what that future could be.

At the same time, *Martyna, who Olga had met through Gospel music events in the past, had been inviting her to visit our church.  

So last summer, when the church was meeting outdoors because of Covid restrictions, Olga drove one hour from her home to visit the church. 

I remember her first Sunday with us because she was there early (most people arrive a little bit late) and she helped set up the tents outside.

Over the next few months she came to church regularly and became involved in the Young Adults ministry. She would stay late on Sundays to be a part of the Polish conversation club and she joined the worship team.

When her car was broke, she would take the train into town on Sunday mornings, still making the one-hour commute. Things haven’t been easy for her the past few months at work, and her family contracted Covid at the end of last year.

But she told me last Sunday, through tears, that she never knew that such a community of loving people could exist. When she decided to change her group of friends, she said it was scary. She didn’t know if she would ever make friends again. But through the church she has found a gracious and loving community where she can discuss her hopes, fears and dreams and feel safe. She has grown in her relationship with the Lord and learned to trust Him in ways that she didn’t know was possible.

Her parents were skeptical of the church. They didn’t know if their daughter was joining some cult, so a few weeks ago her mom visited the church. It was nice to meet her and to get to know her a little bit. As they drove home that day her mom gave her blessing and said that she hoped to visit again some time.

All around the world, this past year has given people time to stop and reflect on their lives. And it has been wonderful to see people like Olga take bold steps to draw closer to the Lord. Despite everything going on the world, God is still working and moving, advancing His Kingdom here in Poland and beyond.

*pseudonym used

 

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