Kasia translating for an American missionary at the Street Church' Friday service, and later she was sharing her own testimony of how Jesus called her out of the Hare Krishna movement.
They say time flies like an arrow, but I’m not sure if that’s true. After all, an arrow loses its speed the further it goes, but personally, I feel like time is going faster and faster. All that to say, that I finally realized that it was time to give a short update on what is happening here in Poland. As in most other countries, we are also in a “corona crisis.” For us, this means we are having some involuntary time off — but we have chosen to look positively on it. This is, after all, an excellent opportunity to spend more time together as a family.
I was supposed to be both in Norway and Denmark, but have had to cancel both trips. In April, I am planning a trip to South Sudan, but I guess I have to wait and see what happens. Together will other believers all over the world, I am joining in the prayer that this virus will be gone, so let’s keep our faith strong and believe God for a miracle in this situation.
The last months
Besides the corona situation that has been escalating the previous weeks, the last few months have been pretty normal. As I have mentioned in the previous news mail our church have been in a transition period where we have been considering merging with another local church. This has brought with it some challenges, but honestly, I must say it has been much smoother than I expected. As it looks now, the merge will probably be official in September.
Even though joining together also means we have more people on our gatherings, the merge has also created a momentum that has brought totally new people to our fellowship. A few of them have come directly as a result of our live-streaming on Facebook. As new people have been coming, a need for Bible study has arisen. We had planned to start a weekly Bible study this month, but because of the corona situation, we have postponed it to next month.
What we do is reading through a couple of chapters every week. Then we come together to talk about them. The awesome thing about doing it this way, is that it doesn’t require any preparation time — except reading the Bible. Personally, it has also been an eye-opening experience when it comes to how easy discipleship can be done. It should not be so surprising, but you don’t need any unique discipleship material — the Bible is actually enough.
The Bible School has, of course, also been affected by the current corona situation, but since we only gather every third week, it will not change the schedule so much.
A special thank to all you who are supporting us
I want to thank all of you who are following the work we do, and especially those of you who also support financially. Since December the number of graphic jobs has greatly decreased, and this has also affected our financial situation. We are praying that God will open some new doors, or that the situation in some way will work out for good. So we would appreciate it if you would like to join us in prayer for this matter. To know that people are backing us up means a lot to us and I also know that God will richly bless every one of you back.
God Bless You!
— Ronald Gabrielsen
One of the encouraging thing, when you are a missionary in a foreign country, is visits from friends – or when people back home are writing you, saying they are praying for you. This is one of the reasons why we enjoy working with Nations Calling. They prioritise visiting the workers, not only to hear how things are going, but also to follow up on a more personal level.
On the picture to the left Svein, Fredrik and me are having coffee in the old town of Lublin. On the picture to the right Fredrik is ministering to the poor and homeless during Street Church’ Friday meeting.
In the beginning of this summer we had Fredrik Skoglund visit us again and we had a great time, both ministering and connecting.
The first part of this summer was a very busy time for us. As an ending to the Bible school we had a conference, we had started up the Encounter meetings again, weekly gatherings with the International church, picking up and delivering food for Street Church and working on building the Polish church we started last year.
But it is a blessing to be able to use time and focus on building the Kingdom of God and we are thankful to be able to serve the King.
TRIP TO WIEN
One of the ladies attending the Bible school is a Polish lady living in Wien. Every third weekend she have been driving from Wien to Poland to attend the teaching and it’s been very inspiring to to see her commitment.
We've just got back after another incredible trip to Juba, South Sudan with a small team consisting of Ronald Gabrielsen (Norway/Poland), Einar Mikkelsen (Denmark), Eimund and Cassie Skjæret (Norway/USA). We started the trip travelling from three different countries, met in Paris, then travelled together to Nairobi.
If there is one thing I have learned during my years as a missionary, it is that you need to stay flexible. Every time you think you have it all figured out, it seems like God already has something new going on. If you get to ridged, you will soon find yourself missing what God is doing.
Here in Poland the last months have certainly been this kind of times. Many things have been going simultaneously, but when you feel God is backing up what you are doing – well, then you’re too blessed to be stressed.
Humanitarian aid and Street Church
It has been twice the last months that we have had to arrange humanitarian aid on a short notice. The first time it was a friend of ours from Lyngdal that was originally going to Ukraine, but then they got in trouble on the border from Poland to Ukraine and had to turn back. Lublin is only a few hours away from the border and when they realised that they needed to turn back, they decided to call me and ask if I knew someone to whom some gifts from Norway could be useful.
Some time ago I had a discussion on Facebook in which I happened to say something that quickly ended the debate. What I said was that I didn’t think the Word of God was so difficult to understand and this was clearly a very provoking statement - so provoking that the person I was talking to did not want to continue.
I am not trying to claim that there is nothing in the Word of God that don’t understand, but I do think we often make things more complicated than necessary.
The majority of the people that have not yet heard the message of eternal salvation and peace with God through Jesus, live within what we call the 10-40 window. These are the countries from the west coast of Africa to the east coast of Asia and approximately from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the Equator. Here live millions of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others, who have never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus.
East Africa is a turbulent area in desperate need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it’s also an area where it’s hard for missionaries from the west to enter. Though it’s possible for missionaries to travel to some of the countries (like South Sudan), other countries are totally closed for western missionaries.
There are, however, many fervent followers of Jesus in those areas and many of them are also more than willing to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to their own regions and beyond. What they need is someone to send them out and give them the proper training they need. Mission1040.com already has several active evangelists in places like Darfur, Chad, South Sudan, Kenya and Egypt, but we need to see a new generation of pioneers willing to reach the unreached.
One of the countries that we are focusing on now is South Sudan, which borders with Sudan, where out of the 164 people groups living there, 128 are considered unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is according to the latest updates from Joshua Projects 2000. This means that 78% of all the people groups in the country is considered unreached.
Today there are some Christians who put a lot of emphasis on the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD as the fulfillment of the Bible's end-time prophecies, or the end of this age - and by that they mean the end of the old covenant. Now, I agree that the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple was a major turning point for Jews, because that meant they could no longer do their offerings, the holy and the holy of holies (as parts of the temple) were destroyed, which was a big shift for Jews.
However, I think you have to twist a whole lot of scriptures if you would like to push all end-time prophecies on the destruction of Jerusalem, claim that the new covenant did not fully start until 70 AD and that the destruction of Jerusalem was "the end of the age" - meaning the end of the Old Testament age/time period....
One of the most amazing truths in the Bible is the fact that God has made us to be NEW CREATIONS. Some might say that salvation is the greatest truth, and that is right because becoming a new creation is what happens in salvation.
Salvation is more than just getting your sins forgiven. It is becoming a new creation, no longer guilty of sin condemnation. In becoming a new creation you were declared righteous. Understanding this gives us a whole new boldness and freedom.
Most people look at themselves as guilty, but forgiven because of the cross. However, you cannot be righteous and guilty at the same time. The Bible says that we HAVE BECOME righteous, which means we are no longer GUILTY.
I recently saw a friend shared a link about a prophecy from a Norwegian lady that was given in 1968, and in this context I would like to share some thoughts regarding end-time prophecies and how we should relate to them.
First of all, end-time prophecies are not something new - there are actually quite a few of them in the Bible itself. Throughout the ages there have also been several different prophecies about coming disasters and the end of time. This should not surprise us if we are Bible-believing Christians for God makes it very clear in His word that He knows the beginning from the end - nothing that happens surprises Him (Isaiah 46:10)
We should not be surprised, either, that God reveals future events, because the Bible tells us that “…the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
But are all end-time prophecies from God?
Does this mean that all prophecies of coming disasters and the end of the world are from God?...