Tuesday, May 10, 2022

           I would like to thank you for your prayers and support during the Poland mission trip.  Please continue to pray for our Christians brothers and sisters in Poland and Ukraine.  They need our prayers and support every day.  The needs we saw are simply overwhelming—physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially and mentally.  The ongoing war has taken a devastating toll on so many people whose lives were much like ours just a few months ago.  You can be encouraged by the response of Polish Baptists, missionaries and North Carolina volunteers who are working to make a difference.  Please keep all of these people and the refugees in your prayers each day. 
            As I return to America, I recognize how blessed I am and we all are.  We certainly do not live in a perfect country and we are not perfect people.  Things do not always go our way.  And we do not always have control of everything.  But we live in a wonderful country and we are blessed people.  We do not have to deal with the ravages of war, the loss of loved ones, the wanton destruction of entire communities and towns and the total disruption of life every day.  For all the problems we may have, I can assure you practically anyone I met in Poland who has escaped from Ukraine would gladly take our problems in exchange for theirs. 
            God has certainly blessed us as a nation, a church and as people.  We have been filled beyond measure with His goodness and grace.  Hopefully, we can live in greater recognition of the blessings we possess and the peace we enjoy living in our community and country.  Perhaps the next time we are tempted to complain, argue or insist on our way, we would do well to remember how blessed we already are and how, again, so many others would gladly trade their shoes or circumstances for ours.  Quite often things we see as major battles are little more than inconveniences or mere differences in perspective.
            Today, I would invite you to pray for an overworked Polish pastor named Marcin who still lives and serves with the joy of Christ as he reaches out tirelessly to Ukrainian mothers, grandmothers and children.  Pray for American missionaries whose names I’ll withhold for security reasons but God knows who they are and will hear our prayers.  Pray for Polish Christians who make thirty-hour round trips multiple times each week to deliver food to Ukrainian churches where hunger is common.  I’ve met these men who make this trip and loaded trucks alongside them.  The needs are real and so too is their determination to get food to where it is needed.  Pray for children as they try to recover from the horrors and trauma of being in an underground bunker for weeks at a time while their cities are relentlessly shelled and bombed.  Pray for God to heal those terrible memories and emotional scars.  And pray for peace...lasting, permanent peace.
            Give thanks today for the life you have and the home you enjoy.  Give thanks in all circumstances.  And make a commitment to be a more thankful person.  If you are looking for a way to support Baptist work in Poland, please contact our church office.  We have also shared those ways in recent Sunday bulletins.  The needs are ongoing and will not end anytime soon.  May we give actions to our gratitude and thank God for our blessings by paying it forward.  Have a great Tuesday!

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