Sunday, August 22, 2010

Letting Go (and Holding On)

During last Saturday night’s worship service, the head missionary here in Poznan (Rev. Ev Tustin) spoke about the importance of surrender in living a life of freedom in Christ. In doing so, he explained the concept of surrender in a way that was really intriguing to me (Aaron).

“What does surrender mean?” he asked. “Letting go of...” At this point, of course, the Sunday School answer is “me.” The more we talked about it, however, the more I really began to understand that the answer isn’t just an amorphous, abstract “me.” It’s also “my” and “mine.” As in...“my ideas, dreams, and desires” and things that are “mine”...possessions, goals, etc.

In many ways, this is a big part of what I’ve been learning the past few weeks: how to let go of things that are only important to me because they’re mine...while also clinging to the things and ideas that are important to me because they’re a part of something bigger than me.

It’s a process...please pray that we are able to learn (and teach) patiently! :)


Friday, August 13, 2010

Major Prophets, Major Promises

Literally the last thing we dd before leaving Oklahoma to get on a plane for the East Coast (and eventually Poland) was spend an evening of food, fellowship, and prayer with our combined families at Brit's parents' house. All kinds of people from all over OKC were there...Aaron's grandparents, aunt and uncle, little brother, and his adopted brother, Josh; Brit's grandmas, parents, aunt and uncle, sisters and brother-in-law, her adopted brother, Nik, and his family, too.

Just before our family prayer time, Brit's dad, Rex, read the following promise from the book of Isaiah:

"This is what God the Lord says - he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: I, the Lord, have calle dyou in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will mak you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." -Isaiah 42:5-7 (NIV)

It reminds me (Aaron) of another powerful promise, this time from the book of I first heard referenced as a child listening to my Papa Els's cassette tapes of missionary sermons (in this case, Elmer Schmelzenbach's recollections of life of service spent in Swaziland, South Africa):

"Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." -Jeremiah 33:2-3 (KJV)

These promises remind us of our only real purpose here in call out to God for sustenance and guidance, to trust his will for our lives, and to carry out the work that he has called us into here. We pray every day that it will be so!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thursdays with Katie!

Every week we spend our Thursday mornings (the coffeehouse opens at 1 PM right now) exploring Poznan with a fellow American volunteer, Katie from California.

Previous trips have taken us to the Katreda Poznanska, the city's Old Town Square, and St. Stanislaus's Parish Church. Last week's destination, however, was something completely different: a trip to Stary Browar Mall.

Enjoy the pictures!

-Aaron & Brit