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Grace Baptist Mission CIO

12 Abbey Close, Abingdon

Oxon, OX14 3JD, UK

T: 01235 520147

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Go West Go North!

Our two Envision summer teams this year went to Poland, to work with Andrzej and Monika Kempczyński, and to Wick in Caithness, to help the Harbour Mission Church where former GBM missionary Gilbert McAdam is pastor. We were disappointed that teams to Latvia and Italy had to be cancelled due to lack of volunteers. Here the two teams tell their story.


Poland

For the third year running a team went to Legionowo in Poland to help Andrzej and Monika Kempczyński run a Holiday Bible Club. This year the theme was 'Wandering through the Wild West', with lots of cowboy outfits, and much talk of prospecting for gold and other Wild West related activities. Andrzej gave the talks each day, sharing with the children what Jesus teaches about riches and the true treasure that is only to be found in him.


While only six boys turned up on the first day, this more than doubled on Tuesday and grew through the week. It is still a struggle for any group that is not Roman Catholic to be trusted enough by parents for them to send their children along. Having English team members was an asset as young people want to improve their English.

 In the afternoons the team went out on the streets leafletting. A couple of folk on the team had a conversation with a lady who had initially refused a leaflet but then came back looking for us. She wanted to talk about a documentary she had watched about Martin Luther which came from a Roman Catholic perspective. She was happy for her details to be passed on to Andrzej and so we pray fruit will come from that. Please also pray for a lady who seemed so puzzled by these English people giving out literature that she put her hand out to take some for herself! Please pray the Lord will break through the hard protective shell - made up of years of foreign oppression, tradition, Roman Catholicism and suspicion of any other ‘religion’ - that encases Polish hearts. Lord please have mercy and flood this land with your grace.


On the Friday evening the team ran a pizza party for families. (The church meeting room is over a pizza restaurant.) A few parents came, and there was a real quiet as Andrzej explained what he had been teaching from the Bible.  


A new block of flats is being constructed right next to the church building, so please pray for the church as they engage with this new mission field over the coming months. We pray there will be new residents looking for a Bible believing church and also those with hearts that are open to the gospel.


We have all had a great time as a team and have had wonderful fellowship together this week. It's also been a real joy to be with Andrzej, Monika, the other Andrzej and his wife Stasia and the rest of the fellowship here. Though they are a small fellowship with health issues and other difficulties, they are a people who radiate a deep joy in Jesus.


Nicola Edkins


Wick

We had a fantastic week at Wick.  This was our first experience of an Envision team and it truly was partnership in the gospel as well as great fellowship and fun. It was great working with Gilbert and Emily who have strong ties individually with many in the team.  Our kind and generous hosts made sure that we not only dined like kings and queens each mealtime but had some time off to explore the beautiful beaches and cliffs of Caithness.  We even stood in the rain one evening to watch a Pipe-band and highland dancing!


The programme was as follows: on Tuesday to Friday we had four days of Holiday Club (2-4pm) with a social evening and prize-giving on the Friday evening for the parents and children. The theme for the week was 'Mission Impossible' with lessons from Luke's gospel.   There was a coffee morning on the Saturday.  We tried door to door visiting but poor weather restricted this a bit.  Two of us preached on the Sunday. Rebecca did a great job leading the Holiday Club each day and organised the programme skilfully so that each team member contributed according to their strengths.  It was really important to have the contribution of older and younger members.  


What impressed us all was the church at Wick's valuable preparation. They had made good contacts with children at the local schools and at their occasional Thursday Club, but they still wondered if any children would turn up.  Praise God, they did! We averaged forty each day, a number of whom were in the church building for the first time.  The highlight of the week was the Friday evening when many local families were there.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, the children sang well and showed how much they had learned about Jesus and his mission.  And as an epilogue the gospel was clearly presented. We all felt greatly encouraged at what God had done during this whole week.


I'm sure we all left Wick feeling tired but with the conviction that there is nothing more enjoyable than teams working together for the spread of the gospel.  Deep bonds of friendship were developed.  So, who's for Wick next year? 


James Paton