Friday, February 19, 2016


  Now that we have been home from Poland for a little over a week, we've had some time to reflect. For us, this trip was about the kids, meeting the staff of PROEM, and looking at all of the different ministries that PROEM has going on.  Both Tara and I came away very impressed with the small glimpse we were able to take into PROEM.  
  First, I want to tell you about our week at camp.  For the kids, the camp consisted of learning English and different forms of art.  But more importantly, they learned that they could have a personal relationship with God.  This is where the heart of PROEM lies, and what has me so impressed with what they do.  God isn't just Someone they visit on Sunday, but encompasses everything they do. They've interwoven God into the fabric of life.  The hope is that the kids that came forward at the end of camp will go home and share what they learned with their families.
Tara and I found ourselves mainly teaching English as we: 1) found ourselves whisked off during arts time 2) don't have much to offer in the world of arts.  I think we were both a little anxious at first since teaching really isn't our thing either, but those fears subsided after the first couple of sessions.
  Next, I want to talk about the PROEM staff.  The second day we were there, we were called into a meeting.  This wasn't something that we had requested or expected.  Honestly we weren't sure what to expect.  When we arrived for the meeting, the (what I call) four heads of PROEM were present.  They asked us about our calling, what we had been through in our past, gave us insight into what PROEM is about, and answered any questions that we could come up with.  I was totally blown away that all four of them would take time out of their busy schedules to seek us out for a face-to-face.  The lack of this interaction, as well as nobody being on the same page, was something that had really frustrated us when we were looking into Haiti.  It was such a relief to see the level of organization and professionalism that PROEM operates at.
  During part of our time there, we were also given a tour of PROEM's school and church.  It was absolutely amazing!  Many thanks to John Crozier for taking time out of his schedule to show us around while he was sick.  
Now onto some more personal feelings.  This is something that didn't come to me until the last hour we spent with PROEM.  We were able to attend church on Sunday.  One of the things that hits you
the most on a missions trip to a foreign country is always the language barrier.  We experienced it in Haiti, and we experienced it in Poland.  What came to me during that service was just how much my selfish Americanism got in the way of God.  There seems to be this tendency in my flesh to think that God favors us because we are American.  As bad as that sounds, it is something that is good to realize because it has been hidden in my comfortable self.  And until I started seeing God outside of the United States, it was something that was burrowing into and making it's home in my soul. Something that I unconsciously believed to be true.  Oh how the service that day changed me.  It brought back to me something that I had been "preaching" for a couple of years that I will tweak now; every person is God's creation, and He is desperately calling them to Him.  I'm not sure a person can fully comprehend that until they worship with fellow brothers and sisters who speak a different language.  From my experiences, many times their passion dwarfs our own.
Finally, a little bit about our feelings.  Tara and I had many conversations while we were in Poland. We were both hoping for a clear (bright lights, a descending dove, loud voice from the heavens) path being set before us.  Instead, after much conversation, and seeking out some sound advice, we've decided to slow things down and speed things up.  We are not going to set a specific date of when we want things to happen, but are going to let God lead us to that point.  We do, however, plan on making more trips to Poland to develop relationships there.  There is a chance that I may be returning this summer, and plan on bringing people from our church with me.  Our hearts are still in missions, but we are going to bask in His glory, and let Him fill us up from the emotional draining we have felt over the last few months.
As always, we covet your continual prayers.  It is only with His guidance should we ever make decisions based upon where He is leading us.