Tag Archives: Poland

WHY IS PRAYER IMPORTANT? – Poland Thoughts – Part 1

Why Is Prayer Important? – Poland Thoughts –  Part 1

by Jan Cox

All the prayers of our team pray-ers.

I went to Poland much calmer and in better health this summer than last. Because of my allergies – airborne and food – I tried hard to work within my limits.

I took an small pillow which I had made from a foam insert with a sewn pillow case over it. They have feather pillows where I stay and each year my allergies had been bothering me.

A Homemade Foam Pillow – even Snowball likes it.

I took an antihistamine each day.

I watched what I ate.

I came home much healthier – thank You, Lord.

This year I was not given responsibility for the children’s programme. That was an energy saver for sure. I stayed up later and had time to socialize with the Polish adults and my team members.

Being in charge of a daily Bible study not only enlightened and encouraged the nationals but also God’s Word spoke to me. I loved my group’s enthusiasm and openness when answering the questions.

Bible Study Class in Poland

Our early morning team time blessed us all. With most of the time given to prayer we prayed for everything that the Holy Spirit brought to our minds and laid on our hearts. I could feel a strong web in our circle as we prayed – pulling us closer together and to God.

I continue to pray back here in Canada. Using a gifted picture frame, I can now look at my Bible study group and pray specifically for each member. Even as I walk by the frame – it is a reminder to lift them to God.

Much thanks to my special prayer team back home. Being UNDER THE COVER OF PRAYER made all the difference to each one of us. Each team member had their own personal team of pray-ers. Multiply that by our member and we could sense the power of God as we moved through our days. Strength, peace, comfort, healing, compassion, love … just a few of the marvellous gifts we received from your prayers. Thank you so much.

great memories – check out my Gratitude List from last week

Returning Home: Gratitude List – counting to 2000

      • My IM Bible Study helps me smooth out my rough edges and the homecoming
      • Jet lag is improving
      • I fell – but no major hurts – just ached and scraped my knee (like a kid!)
      • Boat ride and swim to relax
      • It rained!!
      • Great joint church “sizzling service in the park” but held in the church because of the rain
      • stirring sermon by Pastor Doug (Gospel Lighthouse)
      • awesome music by a joint band
      • excitement about family gathering at a cottage
      • pictures in my mind of my Polish friends
      • learning to text on my IPOD
      • time to think, study and read
      • awesome summer weather
      • talented actors from our town played “Steel Magnolias”
      • cooler nights – fall is just around the corner

Jan Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator
Janis Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

And I am off to Poland

Yes I am off to Poland again this summer. Please read about my experiences in the past few years.

 

Family English Camp in Poland

Being His

The summer of 2010 placed me in new hurdle. I had to fly the first leg of the journey alone – no one else was coming from Eastern Canada … read more.

And the Gypsy Mama is on holidays so there is no Five Minute Friday this week.

I won’t be back until the beginning of August.

Don’t forget to check out Under the Cover of Prayer and subscribe to receive an email when we post. This is a group blog on prayer.

Blessings,

Jan

GOODBYE – Five Minute Fridays

Goodbye

Arizona Desert

Canadian Lakes

This is an opportune time for the word “goodbye” as we leave for Canada next Wednesday. When I say goodbye it is always in hopes that, God willing, I will see everyone in Arizona next year. Then of course, in the fall, it is the reverse – saying goodbye to my home town friends.

Thanks to the Internet the goodbyes are never permanent. We keep in touch throughout the year.

One group that I have the most trouble saying goodbye to is my Polish friends from my mission trip. They have made a special mark on my life. Three times I have visited Poland for 2 weeks on a mission trip, to teach English at an Evangelical Family Camp. These people have claimed my heart and my soul. Once again this summer I will be returning. I am so excited. When I say goodbye after the 2 weeks, I cry – from happiness at what they are learning, for their passion for Christ and for their hard work at bringing others to know Him.

Family English Camp in Poland

And the other goodbye is saying goodbye to loved ones – as I said goodbye to my Mom this winter. That goodbye isn’t permanent either because I know we will meet again in Heaven. In my heart I am sure that Jesus is looking after my parents – and they are waiting in anticipation of seeing me, too.

Doris Read - 1917-2012

Goodbyes – heart-felt feelings of caring for each other.

Time’s up.

My five minutes are up. What do you think of when you hear the word – GOODBYE?

If you want to join The Gypsy Mama in her Five Minute Fridays read below.

Here are the rules:

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to run when we were kids.

On Fridays we write like we believe we can fly. Won’t you join us? (<—Tweet this!)

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.


THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER

The Importance of Prayer

by Jan Cox

I returned a few weeks ago from a mission trip to Poland with International Messengers. Our team consisted of five men and seven women. Two of the men were teens. What a fabulous experience we had! Two of the members have offered a few comments about their feelings:

Deb says: “From the chorus of “Beautiful One” I remember:

“You opened my eyes to Your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You.”

For the last two years I have gone to Poland on a short-term mission trip.  God has opened my eyes in amazing ways and the Polish people have captured my heart.  They are eager to hear God’s word, willing learners and teachers, and show God’s love in many ways.  They are beautiful people and yet God is even more beautiful.  I am humbled by what God has done in my life – all because I obeyed Him.  When God asks something of you – obey Him – your eyes will be opened to wonders anew!!!”

Elli says: “Although I was willing to go to the IM Polish camp, I felt inadequate. We were told that God could use us even though we felt this way. God gave the joy and the wisdom that I needed – even in the English teaching. I was impressed by the strong emphasis on prayer both by the team as well as the local believers. God works in response to our prayers.”

Jan says: “We were under the cover of prayer. Each team member was asked to find 10 people to support them in prayer – before, during and after the trip. Thanks to those people who were praying for us.

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for this opportunity to talk to You. We realize we could do better, but we are learning. Help us to learn and make prayer a moment by moment experience. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week: up to 264.

  • that I had the opportunity to go on this year’s mission trip to Poland
  • a fabulous mission team to be with for 2 weeks
  • great flights (even the delays were okay)
  • wonderful children in Poland
  • exciting and meaningful worship times
  • listening and singing (yes singing) in Polish
  • an interesting and delightful spiritual talk with a fellow passenger on the flight home
  • a hug from my hubby and kisses from my dog (or was it the other way around?)

———————————————————————————————————

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.

MY MISSIONARY MUSINGS

My Missionary Musings

by Jan Cox

Almost one week has gone by since I flew home from Poland (via Berlin and London). I had a fabulous two weeks of discovery, connections and faith building. We had lots of prayer times.

Here are some thoughts that I jotted down in my journal about what I learned about God:

  • God works in people’s lives
  • God helps them (and us) to gain a better perspective on their situations
  • God uses us (missionaries) to show His love and to teach His word
  • God’s Word is POWERFUL
  • God helps me stay calm in situations where I could lose control
  • God gives me words when I know I could not have thought of them myself
  • God gave us all strength when were we at the end of our own physical stamina
  • God builds relationships of trust
  • God is the same – in Poland, here and everywhere

As I try to regroup I find that He is teaching me new things. In my week of adjustment I took a sabbatical  – a rest to reenergize, refocus and renew. So I am learning:

  • To wait on Him
  • That He has a plan and I don’t need to rush ahead of Him
  • He will put things in place
  • That although I may be a part of His plan it is not about ME
  • Relationship building is as important here in my little village as it is in Poland
  • My morning time with Him is even more important than before
  • Memorizing scripture is important (and I will try to catch up to my Colossians Scripture Memorizing group)

As I readjust to living in Haliburton and listen to Him I urge all of you to take time for a “Sabbath” rest and be still before Him.

Prayer:

Lord I pray a blessing for those I left behind in Poland, the campers, and the pastors and their families. I pray for my mission team as they readjust to their lives. I ask for Your peace to settle over everyone; for Your inspiration so we can carry out Your plan. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

My Gratitude List book was left at home while I travelled. I will continue to count God’s gifts. But here are some of the things I had written before I left home. (up to 256)

  • Discipline to keep regular blog posts
  • Hubby barbecuing between rain showers
  • God-incident meeting with a friend to clean up a misunderstanding
  • A great VBS
  • Tired cranky children (reminds me to remember the HALT method of proactive parenting)
  • Loving daughters
  • Swimming in the lake
  • Seeing generosity in people’s hearts
  • Another fawn in the backyard
  • Blue blue cloudless skies
  • My prayer team for my mission trip to Poland

———————————————————————————————————-

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it sometime.


SIMPLY SATURDAY – New Adventures

New Adventures

After my mission trip to Poland I find myself in a period of reflection. What is it that God has in store for me? I found tremendous passion in Poland – a love for the people, the country and for God. I saw so much that my mind is scattered in every direction.

I realize that one thing that is missing in my life is strong relationships with others. (not online) So for that reason I am going to take an August sabbatical from this blog. You can still find me writing at Under the Cover of Prayer. I will still take comments on the post for the FREE DRAW for Grace Fox’s Bible Study with DVD based on her book From Fear to Freedom. Please check it out and leave a comment if you will use this valuable resource.

In the meantime I will be praying for wisdom on the next step of my journey. I will be visiting others. I will be building relationships.

I hope to write about my experience in Poland at Under the Cover of Prayer and if you are not a subscriber please visit me there.

Thanks for being a part of this journey and we will see what God has in store for me in September.

Blessings,

Jan

Love Them

Love Them

(reprinted from Under the Cover of Prayer, July 29, 2001)
I should be back in Canada today – a little jet-lagged but joyful and fulfilled. Thanks for your prayers.

The one thing that we are told over and over – LOVE THEM. Here are the way that I found to love them on my past two trips.

Hugs and Smiles

Certainly last year, since we had return campers – the camp started with hugs. We had two Mission Team returnees from summer 2009 and that opened the door to introductions and smiles. I recognized quite a few from 2008. But we also had new campers. They felt the warm atmosphere from the start and seemed very relaxed. The children came to us the first day while the campers were given a “test” to see where they scored on their English. Because we knew the routine and had something ready for the kids it was a fun time. We smiled constantly. Our joy was contagious.

Know their names

We know how much God loves us – And He knows each one of us. We are important to him. In this way, we need to do the same for others. We needed to try to learn their names.

Luke 12:7  “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

My Mom always seems to know names, but she works at it. At 94 Mom knows the servers, the nurses, the cleaning ladies, the people on the front desk and her friends at the retirement home.

On a mission trip our job is to know and love them – to get to know their names. First thing with the kids, we had name tags and during our group circle time we would say  –  “my name is …” and get to know who they are and something about them.

I have trouble with names… I am visual learner – I will remember your face but I’m terrible with names. I use the church directory to help me remember names. I am frequently asking people to tell me their names – again.

Remember the sitcom Cheers – it always started with “Everybody knows your name.” It was to make people feel welcome. How much does God knows us?  We are important to Him. So other people need to be important to us.

Love their children

Everyone can attest to the fact that you like other people to recognize and acknowledge your family. They are important to you. All the volunteers went out of their way to get to know the children. Whether at meal times or during our activities and worship – the kids were loved and accepted. It may have been a little noisy but no one complained. Sometimes other campers and even mission volunteers would end up with a child on their laps. That was good.

To Try to Know their Language

Also, to know the language of a country – even a few phrases is important to the people. They feel you care and  they are special.

In the first year I really wanted to learn their language. In the grocery store I learned to say proszę pronounced proshe …. “Please”- so that I could be polite walking past people. I learned that Polish is a very hard language to know. People have trouble pronouncing the sounds. So, then and there I decided to pray for the language to come to me.  After that prayer I started to pick up rules of letters, and sounds became easier. At the end of my first trip we visited Świnoujście (pronounced like Schwiniousitia), a seaside town on the Baltic… I practiced saying that word so many times until I think I finally got it.

This past year I learned a few more words, salt – sol, pepper – piepshe, and sugar – sukier.

I also learned a couple of songs in Polish for the children. One is called Miswatch Yezusa (my spelling) and the other was Jesus Loves me. Jezus koha mnie.

As I listened to the campers sing worship songs in Polish I would stand beside a Polish person and listen carefully to how they were singing. Then I tried to sing along. I got to the point of watching the screen and following the words and making them sound similar.

Perseverance is the key… Hebrews 12:1

“let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. That is the same in everything we do.

Then we interacted with them:

Show Them by being with them

  • Walks
  • Play together – we made rockets and launched them
  • Bead making – even with the boys
  • Card making
  • Eating Together every meal
  • Barbecue – Polish sausages and smores
  • Skit Night
  • Banquet Night
  • Dance – We had a couple of dances
  • Hiking – day together hiking up to a castle – a long walk up a mountain
  • We also had Talent Night and a Scavenger Hunt

Teach Them
Yes, we were there to ‘teach’ them but we always remembered: “They don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care for them.”

Bible Studies:

Here were people, some of whom had never held a Bible – willing going to Bible study every morning. They asked questions, they answered questions. God led them. He revealed Himself to them. Where in North America would we find MEN so passionate about Bible study even when it was something they were spiritually part of? God opened the doors – they opened their hearts.

English Classes:

Here in small groups the campers practised English at their levels. All sorts of methods were used.

Testimonies

Because I worked with the children at night I missed hearing most of the testimonies. Two years ago I was asked to give my testimony. It was a 5 minute talk with a translator. Very interesting. You say a sentence or two, wait and then continue. So many of the campers said how much they loved to hear how Jesus had worked in others’ lives. This year we had testimonies from the North American team and the Polish Team.

Workshops

Parenting:

The first time this workshop was held it was raining. They stuffed a couple of benches into a small bedroom and 14 people interacted in this workshop. It continued for another 3 sessions and no one dropped out. One woman said to me after a session: “I tried something they shared with us today on my child. It worked!”

Marriage:

Campers’ comments on the marriage workshops “Hearing these things gives me hope that I can some day be in a godly, happy marriage” Or “now I understand why we have trouble with communication. You have given us information that will help our marriage grow stronger.”

   Addiction:

Not much was shared about this workshop because of the difficult topic. But I know the woman that shared her testimony in this workshop and she did share that many others in the workshop shared their pain for the first time. Coming together with others that have similar trials certainly helped them not feel alone. Praying for each other is a way to connect God into the situation.

I hope you enjoyed my little outline of my version of our camp. If you want to know more please contact me or International Messengers. Please keep praying for me and the other missionaries as we return to life here in Canada.

Blessings,

Jan

Prayer:

I know that You love that we can love others. I thank You for this opportunity to do just that. May You continue to guide our footsteps as we try to be Your feet on earth. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

LOVE THEM

Love Them

by Jan Cox

I will have finished the English camp in Poland when you read this. I will be heading for a day of debriefing and a day of sight-seeing in Gorzow. Then I will be flying home to arrive on Monday, August 1.

The one thing that we are told over and over – LOVE THEM. Here are the way that I found to love them on my past two trips. 

Hugs and Smiles

Certainly last year, since we had return campers – the camp started with hugs. We had two Mission Team returnees from summer 2009 and that opened the door to introductions and smiles. I recognized quite a few from 2008. But we also had new campers. They felt the warm atmosphere from the start and seemed very relaxed. The children came to us the first day while the campers were given a “test” to see where they scored on their English. Because we knew the routine and had something ready for the kids it was a fun time. We smiled constantly. Our joy was contagious.

Know their names

We know how much God loves us – And He knows each one of us. We are important to him. In this way, we need to do the same for others. We needed to try to learn their names.

Luke 12:7  “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

 My Mom always seems to know names, but she works at it. At 94 Mom knows the servers, the nurses, the cleaning ladies, the people on the front desk and her friends at the retirement home.

On a mission trip our job is to know and love them – to get to know their names. First thing with the kids, we had name tags and during our group circle time we would say  –  “my name is …” and get to know who they are and something about them.

I have trouble with names… I am visual learner – I will remember your face but I’m terrible with names. I use the church directory to help me remember names. I am frequently asking people to tell me their names – again.

Remember the sitcom Cheers – it always started with “Everybody knows your name.” It was to make people feel welcome. How much does God knows us?  We are important to Him. So other people need to be important to us.

Love their children

Everyone can attest to the fact that you like other people to recognize and acknowledge your family. They are important to you. All the volunteers went out of their way to get to know the children. Whether at meal times or during our activities and worship – the kids were loved and accepted. It may have been a little noisy but no one complained. Sometimes other campers and even mission volunteers would end up with a child on their laps. That was good.

To Try to Know their Language

Also, to know the language of a country – even a few phrases is important to the people. They feel you care and  they are special.

In the first year I really wanted to learn their language. In the grocery store I learned to say proszę pronounced proshe …. “Please”- so that I could be polite walking past people. I learned that Polish is a very hard language to know. People have trouble pronouncing the sounds. So, then and there I decided to pray for the language to come to me.  After that prayer I started to pick up rules of letters, and sounds became easier. At the end of my first trip we visited Świnoujście (pronounced like Schwiniousitia), a seaside town on the Baltic… I practiced saying that word so many times until I think I finally got it.

This past year I learned a few more words, salt – sol, pepper – piepshe, and sugar – sukier.

I also learned a couple of songs in Polish for the children. One is called Miswatch Yezusa (my spelling) and the other was Jesus Loves me. Jezus koha mnie.

As I listened to the campers sing worship songs in Polish I would stand beside a Polish person and listen carefully to how they were singing. Then I tried to sing along. I got to the point of watching the screen and following the words and making them sound similar.

Perseverance is the key… Hebrews 12:1

“let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. That is the same in everything we do.

Then we interacted with them:

Show Them by being with them

  • Play together – we made rockets and launched them
  • Walks
  • Bead making – even with the boys
  • Card making
  • Eating Together every meal
  • Barbecue – Polish sausages and smores
  • Skit Night
  • Banquet Night
  • Dance – We had a couple of dances
  • Hiking – day together hiking up to a castle – a long walk up a mountain
  • We also had Talent Night and a Scavenger Hunt

Teach Them

Yes, we were there to ‘teach’ them but we always remembered: “They don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care for them.”

Bible Studies:

Here were people, some of whom had never held a Bible – willing going to Bible study every morning. They asked questions, they answered questions. God led them. He revealed Himself to them. Where in North America would we find MEN so passionate about Bible study even when it was something they were spiritually part of? God opened the doors – they opened their hearts.

English Classes:

Here in small groups the campers practised English at their levels. All sorts of methods were used.

Testimonies

Because I worked with the children at night I missed hearing most of the testimonies. Two years ago I was asked to give my testimony. It was a 5 minute talk with a translator. Very interesting. You say a sentence or two, wait and then continue. So many of the campers said how much they loved to hear how Jesus had worked in others’ lives. This year we had testimonies from the North American team and the Polish Team.

Workshops

Parenting:

The first time this workshop was held it was raining. They stuffed a couple of benches into a small bedroom and 14 people interacted in this workshop. It continued for another 3 sessions and no one dropped out. One woman said to me after a session: “I tried something they shared with us today on my child. It worked!”

Marriage:

Campers’ comments on the marriage workshops “Hearing these things gives me hope that I can some day be in a godly, happy marriage” Or “now I understand why we have trouble with communication. You have given us information that will help our marriage grow stronger.”

   Addiction:

Not much was shared about this workshop because of the difficult topic. But I know the woman that shared her testimony in this workshop and she did share that many others in the workshop shared their pain for the first time. Coming together with others that have similar trials certainly helped them not feel alone. Praying for each other is a way to connect God into the situation.

I hope you enjoyed my little outline of my version of our camp. If you want to know more please contact me or International Messengers. Please keep praying for me and the other missionaries as we return to life here in Canada.

Blessings,

Jan

Prayer:

I know that You love that we can love others. I thank You for this opportunity to do just that. May You continue to guide our footsteps as we try to be Your feet on earth. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

My Gratitude List continues:

  •  two fawns on the way home from dinner
  • middle of the night time with God
  • Oswald Chambers who pushes me to go deeper
  • writing the promises of God found in the Bible
  • a beautiful thank you card from my friends
  • energy to prepare the Sunday School room for Vacation Bible Camp
  • a wonderful amazing friend to help me
  • a willing hubby that helps too
  • rainy days to get things done
  • new members of our writers’ prayer team
  • finding rocks for a craft
  • communications with new mission partner for my trip

Time is Flying By

When you read this I will be starting my journey to Poland. Please check out Under the Cover of Prayer to find out more about my other trips as I prepare for this one. It is called Time is Flying By. If the link doesn’t work (I am doing this ahead) please go to Under the Cover of Prayer for Friday, July 15, 2011.