James and Beth are our National Leaders in Poland, and they have some seriously exciting news to share, but before we get to that, it's worth sharing a little of their back-story. It's just wonderful to share how God prepares in advance the works He has for us to do, right?
So, James and Beth never dreamed that they would be living and working in Poland. But God clearly had different plans! The seeds were sown right back in 2000, when, whilst very ill with M.E., their UK Church invited them to join a summer missions trip. James was about to dismiss the idea out of hand:
"My first reaction was to bin it, for various reasons, including the fact that we had no connections whatsoever with Poland, nor any previous leading or calling to go there. But the Holy Spirit more or less audibly shouted, "No! Don't do that!" As a result I prayed about it, and felt that God was telling us to go. So we did, and had a wonderful time. I felt at home there from the outset. The sense of calling just grew from there."
Fastforward 20 odd years, and they now live and work with the same Church that organised that first Summer Missions Trip, in the beautiful Nowy Sącz area of southern Poland. And here's that seriously exciting news to share: after 6 long years of, he has completed a Polish translation of the Freedom In Christ course!
James realised that Freedom In Christ could really assist the spiritual journey of the congregation. So, after sharing it with a few people in their church, he approached his Pastor, Jacek, to ask if he could officially run a Course with the English speakers people in their church. Pastor Jacek agreed - but wanted it shared in Polish too so everyone could access it! And so began James' 6 year journey to not only learn Polish well enough to oversee a translation, but also navigate the mysterious world of publishers and publishing to create "Wolnosc w Chrystusie"!
So, now they've completed this, what are the next steps for Freedom In Christ Poland?
By the end of July, they should have the Freed to Lead Course professionally translated and then in the Autumn, he hopes to trial the Polish translation of the Grace Course, which is now nearing completion.
With those three courses under his belt, James will be able to run a TRANSFORM Programme - our flagship 9-month journey for Christian leaders - in Polish. In turn, this will help build up a team for Freedom In Christ Poland to help realise the long-term vision of seeing the Freedom In Christ message spread through all the denominations in Poland; to become part of the curriculum in Bible colleges; and to see a mighty revival in Poland, with the courses being used throughout to bring believers to maturity.
It would be amazing if you would join us in prayer for these aspirations and to see God move in Poland. James and his wife Beth have also asked for prayer for the ability to speak and understand the Polish language better and for God to give them health, strength, energy and wisdom for the road ahead.