More emails from my soon to be roommate in Poland!
Hi there a good couple of time zones away,
How are things going? How's the emotional struggle to leave Alexis, friends and family for Poland- any prayer there needed?
I am so excited Travis. I have just come back from a Foursquare camp in Croatia full of visions for youth leading and just overflowing with the Holy Spirit. It is going to be my first year of youth leadership so your experience and help will come in handy. It's going to be quite an experience for you culturally to be working in Poland but I am sure God will use this opportunity to help you grow and growth is always dramatic when you do something hard core for God so take courage and expect Him to work in you far beyond your imagination or expectations. Quite recently I have found a place for us (take a look at the other e-mail) and I am sure we will make some us of it for the glory of God. I also checked out your website and it was worthwhile as I got to know you pretty well it seems. How I wish I had been at Creation- I would have brought some extra yogurts :) Tell Alexis I say 'hi' and that I am really impressed she is letting you go-it just shows you Travis how much she loves and trusts the Lord. I should be there at the airport to pick you up but I don't want make any promises. Not that I don't want to be there. It's just some problems with my father that complicate my planning a bit. He's not Christian and he basically disowned me when he heard the news (he thinks I'm abandoning him for good because I have fallen into the hands of some sect). He is not speaking to me now and won't have any reasoning. He told me I wouldn't have any place to go back to if I went. Well, I am pretty sure of what God wants me to do and I am convinced that God can heal my father. I can understand him a bit as after my mother died in 1984 he was the only one to raise and there has always been only the two of us in the flat. I have a half-sister from my father's first marriage and although we have a wonderful relationship she is busy with her own life, husband and two kids and can't counterbalance the void of me when I go that well. I trust God however. He will bring healing and will cement my relationship with my father even if it hurts so much now.
Gotta go now, sorry.
God bless you and see you September 7th
your brother in Christ
This one is to me and the other missionaries (the Ladies)
I hope you're enjoying your time in Germany and look forward to spending fun time in Switzerland. I was exhausted when I got back to Poland and I have some serious respect for the elan vital you both seem to have : ) The Polish group took the bus drive relatively well although there were two serious conniption fits that I had to deal with and didn't win any acclaim: "you're not my dad and you're overdoing it" I learnt before the two people finally managed to fall asleep. Ania Kozlowska was a considerable backup at that time. We got back safe and sound and rather smooth. The minibus was waiting for us when we crossed the border and it was much roomier than the one on the departure day. Everyone seemed happy to be back, although it felt sad when all those young people were talking about going home where their parents were waiting for them and find myself in a different situation. I spent two nights in Szymek's place and I literally only slept there as there was no time to sip coffee and watch TV. Having a pre-arranged appointment with "Lektor" language school and acting on the Kozlowskys' cue Weronika and I went to Zakopane to check out two potential apartments for Travis and I. The first place was the "Lektor" one and it turned out to be a two room apartment block thing with almost no kitchen facility and no central heating with a rent of 860zl. I was rather disappointed. The other offer was an utter surprise. When I pulled over and went to say hello to Ola and Ania Kozlowski, I could see some sort of excitement in their eyes. They told me that the apartment on offer was in the same house and just below their own floor. It was after I went in to check it out that I understood what they ment. The apartment has a seperate entrance and two large rooms (they're monstrous) and an extra tiny but cozy sleeping/prayer room. It is mostly furnished though some extra furniture may be needed. The kitchen and the bathroom do not lack anything and somehow even seem luxurious in my eyes. Well, the bathroom is luxurious to tell you the truth. The central heating is not in place yet (it will be in August) and it's going to be a geothermic treat (efficient and not expensive). There is basement space available to store things. There is even a small fittnes room in the basement that Alek and his ten buddies put together (a chance to evangelize some young people - plus get fit :) In the backyard you'll find a place to organize a BBQ party or play volleyball. It's within a three-minute walk to College. The rent is 900. I was supposed to declare myself by Monday as there were some other people willing to rent it out basically on the spot. It was only thanks to Ola that I had a chance to make a decision - which I did. Feeling that it was from God and trusting in His provision I said yes. I trully felt peace about that decision and got the confirmation from Ola, Ania and Weronika. The landlady wants to sign the rental contract this Saturday. Fortunately, Ola is going to take care of it. According to the deal we are renting September through July. I hope you do not mind that I made this decision without you but I strongly felt God's touch upon that place and His blessing - without it I wouldn't have gone that independent. I hope you approve of it. This place has an incredible potential and I trully believe that God will use that location as His beacon in Zakopane. I am a happy guy who sees God's blessing in so many things in his life and those blessings are so palpable. God is good and He is the most awesome Provider.
Love you and looking forward to your response.
brother in Christ
I am so excited now... the apartment sounds great, and Chris sounds great too. His faith in the Lord sounds great, and I know i'm going to have some huge things happen in my life because of this whole trip to Poland. God is so good.
Thursday, July 31, 2003
More emails from my soon to be roommate in Poland!
Posted by TravisM @ 2:03 PM |
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
The following is all my own thoughts, of which you can agree or disagree, and please feel free to comment, I am open to what anyone has to say.
Now as some of you may have read I have dealt with homosexual lust, feelings, etc in my past, and to this day the temptation still arises. But these temptations are of a purely physical nature; I could never love or have a relationship with another male. I believe, in my case, that being sexually molested by a man caused my sex drive to be tweaked. But with the power of Christ, this is changing, as I realize that I am forgiven, for my past, and that it is not me doing the tempting, but Satan and his demons. I am a new creation, which desires to live in God's will, which is to honor and love him. Because of this decision I now have an amazing girl friend, who seeks to only honor and love God.
With all of that said, here are my thoughts on homosexuality, from my point of view, and with my experiences.
The definition of "Sin", by Travis � Any act which specifically does not honor God, or his greatest commandments, love him with all your heart, mind and soul, and love others as you love yourself (a little hard if you don't love yourself, and don't love God). IE � You put conditions on people for "loving" them, either physically or other. You put yourself before others. You put anything higher than God. With this definition, we are all sinners, we all fall short of the glory of God. We all need Jesus Christ. WE = All humans.
Homosexuality is simply two people of the same sex physically attracted to each other, and sometimes carrying that into a relationship. Heterosexuality is two people of opposite sexes physically attracted to each other, and sometimes carrying that into a relationship. In either case it is a physical attraction, which defines our "sexuality". I believe when we are born again, into the Christian life, which is loving, and follows the natural way God has made us, we will want to keep our selves holy (or become holy again through Christ). As far as I understand, animals of the same sex do not have sex with each other, this is what makes humans different than animals, because humans have a soul, which can only be fulfilled by God. When we are filled with the holy spirit, our Spirits come alive, and with that we begin to know right from wrong, even stronger than before. God created us to seek him, when we are filled with his holy spirit, we know his will, which is to: Honor and love him. Therefore, especially in my case, I could not stand it any longer, I was being burdened so heavily by this sin I was falling into, that I had to change my life, I had to get out of temptation. My burdened has since been removed, simply because I have not fallen to that sin, and I know God is honoring that, since all I want is to honor and love God.
We as Christians, must realize, that condemning, making "straight pride" shirts, banishing gays and lesbians, and living in our own little "ghetto" (more on that later), we are NOT honoring God as a body of Christ, we are infact dishonoring God. I am ashamed when I have to explain this to nonbelievers, or new believers, but the Body of Christ is only strong when we are united, not when we are split apart. The death of the church will be in loving or hating homosexuals, not homosexuality. We must love the people, and show them the freedom which comes through Christ, it may be hard, and it may be a burden to them once they receive the Holy Sprit, but it honors God. We can not honor God by what our reputation is right now, which is one of hating homosexuals, and hating others who do not follow some kind of "moral standard" sounds a lot like the Israelites law. God's law is love, and Jesus came to teach us the law of love and acceptance, so that all can have life with God forever.
In short, I believe Homosexuality is a sin, weather natural because of "original" sin, or not natural because of sexual molestation. We must live a life which honors God, and having sex with another person of the same sex, does not honor God because, it is not how God created us to populate the earth. Once we accept Christ and are filled with the Holy Spirit, we recognize the joy which comes from following Christ, although we still have a choice, that is why God rocks. He wants us to truly trust and follow him, nothing is easy. Sadly some will have his Spirit and still live in sin, and not live a free life.
I have a lot more to say, and I'll be slowly putting more together, with actual verses to back up what I am saying. Until then, thanks for reading, and if you want clarification, just let me know...
Posted by TravisM @ 6:20 PM |
Sunday, July 27, 2003
So� remember the yogurt I was looking to having so desperately, whilst at Creation? NO? Well here's the story� There was this great deal on yogurt at Top Foods last week when I was shopping for my Creation food. The deal was, 10 single yogurts for like 4 bucks or something, I forget exactly how much it was now, but that is beside the point. When we get to Creation I open my awesome REI soft sided cooler, and in utter horror I discover, I've left my yogurt at home. Very sad day, Thankfully, Miles, Carly's brother's friend, had some to share, but not the 10 great flavors I was looking forward too.
Well Creation is over, and I'm at home. I remember that I have this yogurt, so I go in search of it. Thy yogurt, where art thou? Not in thine refrigerator, I go searching, and I find 10 empty yogurt containers in the garbage, another sad day. My roommate, and/or others, taking advantage of our "everything is everyone's rule", ate all my yogurt while I was gone. Oh well� no yogurt for Travis. That's okay, I'm sure I've eaten enough of his yogurt in the past� besides nothing really is ours, is it?
Posted by TravisM @ 10:47 PM |
Pictures to follow. I had a blast at Creation Fest 2003 West. God is awesome, I had some prayers answered.
1. Am I going to be in full time ministry? � Yes, but probably not a pastor of a congregation, but as a teacher in a high school, and volunteering at Secular colleges and universities in the Seattle area � Eventually.
2. The next ten years? � Poland, then work a year while going to Seminary/bible college somewhere, then get my vocational teaching certificate so I can teach system engineering at a public high school, volunteer for Campus Crusade or some other college/young adults ministry in the Seattle area. Sometime after Poland (at least a year), get married, and after school have children.
So, with all that said. I encourage everyone to realize their own faith, don't live off of someone else's, like your parents or whoever else, fellowship with other Christians, and read your bible, and I know that's clich�, but since I've been having my "program" I have had the most amazing things revealed to me. Maybe your bored of reading your bible, get a new translation, maybe a different kind of study bible w/ footnotes which ask you questions, and is life applicable. God never stops working, so I will never stop working for him.
Posted by TravisM @ 5:20 PM |
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
I completely feel like Paul in 2nd Corinthians 11:16-33, I have been going through many different things; preparing for a missionary trip to Poland, balancing relationships with my friends and with Alexis, and most of all maintaining my relationship with Christ. All of these things have been a drain on me and on my relationships, but I know I must suffer for the greater cause of Christ, and for others. I have not suffered anything near what Paul had, because my own selfishness has caused me to hold onto some of this word. I pray and pray for God to continue his work in me and in the lives of all my friends and family. I am closing this chapter in my life and starting an entirely different one, one with new characters, new experiences, new places, and most of all a different attitude. But the one character who is there, and will be there forever, and will not be changing is God. I will work for the glory of God, and be a slave to Christ Jesus, and serve his creation. Nothing is more important in my life than serving God and others, my life is nothing unless I can serve Christ and others, whatever that may be, let it be.
Posted by TravisM @ 6:50 PM |
Friday, July 18, 2003
This time I'm off to Steamboat Rock state park, near the Grand Coulee Dam. I'll be with 21 other brothers and sisters in Christ from my church. It's going to be a lot of fun, it�s a smaller group that last year, although the actual group has grown, must just be a bad time for people to get time off or something. It should be great fun, hot, but fun. I'll be back on Sunday, and I might blog, or I might wait until Monday.
For all of those wanting to know Creation details, well my parents finally gave me an answer to using their truck/camper, and the answer was no, because they didn't want to be unfair to my brother, and they won't budge� so that's okay, we'll just have to rough it. So gather up your coolers, tents, flashlights, etc� because we gunna be camping out the old fashion way. Bring water, and lots of it, I'm going to see if Costco has those 5 gallon water deals, that would be cool. Okay, I'll be praying for ya'll, so have a good night, and a great weekend. God bless.
Posted by TravisM @ 12:24 AM |
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
That is what Paul told the Corinthians in 1st Corinthians chapter eight. He told them do not do anything which may lead another Christian to stumble, so if there is a Christian who was raised that alcohol is a sin to drink, then don't drink alcohol with that person, even if you personally don't think drinking is a sin. Do this because, drinking around that person may cause that person to lose their morals, and standards, or maybe he or she is more susceptible to getting drunk. There are many reasons, do not disturb someone for who they are, the only thing that matters is that he or she is honoring God. By not drinking, that person is not dishonoring God. By not eating meat, a person is not dishonoring God, by just allowing people to have certain standards, as long as they do not dishonor God, they are honoring God.
Posted by TravisM @ 4:11 PM |
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
I've updated some of the sidebar pictures, take a looky. You can click on them to get bigger ones too. I'll be adding pictures as I find ones worthy of permanently displaying, such as Poland pictures and such. God bless.
Posted by TravisM @ 2:12 PM |
Just for the record: this isn't a reaction to anything that thappened, just questions and thoughts, about nothing specific.
So here I am in my bedroom, with a thousand thoughts going through my mind. Who/What are these thoughts about well God and Alexis. I realize it is kind of late, and when its late weird thoughts go through my head, so I'll just list them and answer the questions�. And see if anyone has advice� which I'm sure a few of you will. :)
Do I tell her I love her? � I'm pretty sure she knows, but is this going to fast right now? I feel like this should be reserved for a special occasion, a special time when the meaning can be associated to God's love.
Is Alexis my future wife? � I would love to say yes, I know as of right now there isn't any thing keeping me from saying no, except that we both know we must continue to grow together and closer to Christ, and take things in God's timing. Right now, I have no doubt, but that in itself scares me, and is the only thing that scares me, this all seems to good to be true� must remain cautious.
Should I kiss her? � NO, I already know this, not until the time is right, for instance, when I propose to her, or maybe when I return from Poland, I'm not sure but I know this is more than a physical connection being made, it will be the beginning of us joining together.
When to listen, and when to give advice � My heart is to serve her, and I understand that a lot of times Woman just want to be listened to, while I want to help and make a plan to fix the problem, when really the best way to fix the problem is to just listen. But what about my need to want to give advice? When does that happen? This isn't much of an issue now, but I can see myself thinking "Why doesn't she just take my advice, at least give it a try?"
Our goal � The goal of our relationship is marriage, we are I guess technically "courting", but for the sake of our friends and questions we say "dating". We are choosing to take things slowly, and to keep God at the center at all times, we both have accountability partners, and we both want to keep life centered on Christ and serving others.
So, this is what is going through my head, isn't it exciting? All I want from our relationship is a relationship which honors God, keeps Christ in the Center and is made to serve others even more than we can separate. I ask for you to pray for God's wisdom and strength in our relationship with him, with others, and with each other. Thanks� advice very much welcomed.
Posted by TravisM @ 12:55 AM |
Monday, July 14, 2003
Creation here I come!
Although Alexis, Justin, Ryan P, Leah A, and many other friends I would love to spend this time with, won't be there. I will, and I'm excited!
Switchfoot, Newsboys, Michael W. Smith, Third Day, Audio Adrenaline, Sixpence, Mercy Me, Relient K, FFH, Paul Coleman Trio, Pax 217, Lincoln Brewster, Superchic[k], All Together Separate, Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, Kutless, The Elms, Tree 63, and Paul Baloche are all going to be there! Along w/ a lot of others, but those are all the ones I wana see. So, I'm ready� a little over a week and I'll be takin in the light of Creation 2003 at the Gorge Amphitheater!
Posted by TravisM @ 3:31 PM |
Saturday, July 12, 2003
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
As God's messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.
God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. When God's children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night.
If people persecute you because you are a Christian, don't curse them; pray that God will bless them. When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Live in harmony with each other. Don't try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all!
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
I couldn't say it better myself. So now i'm going to Matt's house.
Posted by TravisM @ 6:32 PM |
I'm bored and tired, and I'm not motivated to do what I should� I should go ride my bike, and I should read my bible (which I'm going to right now). Alexis is having a girl's night out with her friend, so I'm just kind of here. I'll see her tomorrow.
Posted by TravisM @ 6:23 PM |
Friday, July 11, 2003
So there we were (Matt and I) sitting in my living room, and Mouse (the black cat) gets up on top of his bag. We think "Oh that silly cat, she's always getting into bags"� then we think "Oh� hmm her ears are stuck back like she's using the litter box or something, that's weird"� "Umm� she just got off the bag and is turning around to sniff where she was just sitting"� Complete side-splitting laughter comes from our apartment, as Matt inspects his bag, and sure enough Mouse peed into his bag!! Mouse belongs to my roommate Eric... go figure.
So later on, after group and all that special stuff� Alexis, Eric (my roommate) and I are at her house, and her dad gets back from the airport. Apparently a friend of his had died, so the tickets he had for him and his girlfriend to the John Mayor/Counting Crows show tomorrow are now available, so he offers them to us. YEAH BABY! So� we will be driving to the gorge tomorrow, how fun is that! Awesome.
I've been reading a lot of Romans lately, I am loving it, and I've never read through Romans before. No wonder it's a lot of people's favorite books of the bible, its great! God is so good� So good.
Posted by TravisM @ 1:29 AM |
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
So since God's grace has set us free from the law, does this mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you. Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness.
We get to choose how we live our lives, we can choose to sin, which leads to unhappiness, and the death of our spirit. Or we can choose to please God, which leads to joy and fills our spirit.
I just have to say that I am loving my quiet times, this is the first time in my life I have actually gone longer than a week of study quiet times� it is great. The exercise (spiritually and physically) is feeling great. I highly recommend something similar.
Posted by TravisM @ 5:50 PM |
Monday, July 07, 2003
Hi there on the other side of the Big Pond Travis,
How are you doing? Are excited about spending a year in Poland? I bet you are.
Well, first let me introduce myself. My name's Krzysztof (you can call me Chris) and if everything goes well we will have a chance to get to know each other pretty well (inside out frankly). Why? I'll tell you in a sec.
Once upon a time, actually a year ago I decided to spend a year in the south of Poland in order to find out God's will for me. In Nowy Targ I met Carol and Denise and started working with them becoming more and more involved in projects, group meetings, Bible studies and so on. My spiritual side received a boost never seen before. God started working miracles with the circle of people grouped around Carol and Denise's seven-year-long missionary work. Suddenly, within a year, a pretty loose group started acting as one body commiting their time and effort to something bigger than just regular meetings to study and pray. I looked with awe at the hand of God working in the midst of us. Through intimate meetings with God, spiritual growth, my ministry, confirmation from leaders, circumstances I came to believe that God wanted me to stay and help Carol and Denise. I struggled with that for quite a while, because from the purely worldly perspective it would have been against logic. However, God did not give up on molding my character towards reaching the right decision. Two weeks ago I announced my final decision to everyone: "I'm going back to the mountains for as long as God wants me to stay". Right now I'm still in Bydgoszcz, which is roughly an eight-hour drive away from Nowy Targ. But in September I am moving into a place that God has for us because we're gonna live together. I think it's cool 'cos we're both gonna be missionaries working for the same church though we don't know each other. I'll do my best to save you the culture shock and to help you assimilate. I can cook a thing or two and I have an MA in English so you'll be able to speak your lingo though in Poland. I spent a year in the US so I know your culture a bit too. I think it's going to be an enriching experience I'm really looking forward to spending a year with you. By the way, I'm 62. I know you're 24 so we may have some age discrepancy there, I'm kidding I'm 26 and I know quite a crowd of Christian friends our age around so your mission is not going to be only sweat and tears :)
Okey dokey, gotta go now. Take care and courage. Everything's gonna be fine. We're so looking forward to meeting and working with you. I would appreciate if you could drop me a line about your story. So far I know you're Travis, 24, male, computer programmist, Christian, and cool-that's all I know. You can also ask me any question and I'll be more than happy to answer.
Ps. I have a car, Honda Civic (not a brand new one but with quite some character). It's a stick. If you bring your driver's licence I'll share it with you.
God bless you friend
I corrected him, that i'm 21 not 24 and that i'm a system (network) engineer not a programmer... small details, nothing big.
Posted by TravisM @ 2:36 PM |
CO DATE CITY-AIRPORT TIME FLIGHT NBR/CLASS ST SERV/AMNT
-- ---- ------------ ---- ---------------- -- ---------
A SA 06SEP LV SEATTLE 210P UNITED 938V OK LUNCH
AR CHICAGO-OHARE 754P 0STOP 767
ARRIVE TERMINAL 1
UA CONFO *X5RX6M
A SA 06SEP LV CHICAGO-OHARE 1000P LUFTHANSA 433V OK
07SEP AR FRANKFURT 125P 0STOP JET
DEPART TERMINAL 1
ARRIVE TERMINAL 1
LH CONFO *2RWD3F
A SU 07SEP LV FRANKFURT 620P LUFTHANSA 6968V OK BEVERAGE
AR KRAKOW 800P 0STOP 737
OPERATED BY LOT POLISH
DEPART TERMINAL 1
LH CONFO *2RWD3F
Basically I leave Seattle on the 6th of September, stop in Chicago at 7:54pm leave Chicago at 10pm arrive in Frankfurt, Germany at 1:25p on the 7th, then leave Frankfurt at 6:20pm, and finally arrive at Krakow, Poland at 8:00PM then drive an hour and a half to Nowytarg, Poland. My return flight is currently booked for March 24th, but I'll have to change that when the time comes around, because Airlines don't allow you to book a flight over 11months... so no biggy, it's $100 to change, so my total cost (including taxes) comes to $1050 which is not bad at all, compared to the $1200 I was quoted, and that was before the change fee and the taxes.
Posted by TravisM @ 1:13 PM |
Friday, July 04, 2003
I just read Hebrews eight and nine; and in my bible they are titled "The new covenant is greater than the old � Christ is our High Priest" and "Old rules about worship". Christ came to make the final sacrifice, so that in our hearts we could worship God instead of doing mindless sacrifices. Read it and know.
I believe it is so important to understand this, so that we can really show people who do not follow Christ, that we are called to live free lives, not lives full of religious rules, but lives which worship God because of his grace and mercy.
Posted by TravisM @ 1:10 PM |
Thursday, July 03, 2003
I would like to share with you something I've read recently�
She was sitting opposite me, head tipped back like mine. She had figured I wasn't Polish and so said across the room "hi". It was nice when my English bubble extended beyond myself, so I started talking with her - slowly and simply, as she struggled with her vocabulary.
I thought I was asking her a question with one of those girly answers: "So, what are you having done here today?" Her eyes welled up in tears; she wasn't at the hairdressers for the same reason as me. Her friend had been killed in a drink-driving car crash and she wanted to look her best as a pallbearer that afternoon. She wanted to have coffee with me the next day and talk some more.
We ended up having coffee, dessert and McDonald's lots of times together over the next few weeks. She enjoyed my company, and loved practicing her English. It seemed she had it all: young, tall, slim, gorgeous, deeply tanned, access to loads of money, beauty treatments, stacks of friends in fast cars... you name it. All along, I kept asking God what he was wanting me to do. I don't recall him saying much at all, which was quite frustrating.
Until one cool summer's day over lunch...
I happened to be wearing my favorite grey polar fleece vest, one of my two warm tops I had in Poland, and she remarked on how nice it was. We continued with small talk for a while, and I remember clearly God saying to me to give her the top. I sat there, squirming, mind racing -- I loved that top and she had plenty more nice clothes than me. But I knew I needed to do this, somehow God was in this and he knew more than I did.
So I asked her to try the top on and she fit it perfectly. Once she had it on, I said it was hers to keep. For a while she protested and I insisted. And then the tears began falling from her face, and I had no clue why.
We hugged goodbye later that day. She was desperate to go out and buy me something in return and meet up with me the next day to explain some things to me with the aid of a translator friend of mine.
When we met up again, she was obviously still deeply moved by the gift. And for the first time since we met, she wanted to talk about something of real substance. She wanted to share her inner sadness and pain, her story and her anger at God for allowing things to happen. An 18 year old girl who seemed to have lived through so much.
All this opening up because of one grey polar fleece vest?
She told me why she was so emotional, "you are the first person to give me something without first wanting something from me." She told me how her friends, lovers, everyone, used her for her money, or her body. She couldn't believe I wanted to be her friend and give her something; it was totally foreign to her. We talked about God and how much he cares for her, and my Polish friend shared her testimony in Polish, with obvious similarities. I got to pray with her and give her a bible, but most importantly, I know for sure that God was working in her life, and would continue to pursue her and get past her perfect image she portrayed. I think about her often, look at the photos of us together and remember that moment when God asked me to do something seemingly ridiculous.
I desperately need to keep listening for those moments.
[Source: cre8d Journal]
Stories like this one help me understand why God is calling me to Poland. The doors are opening, and anxiety grows stronger, but I will be leaving on September 6th to live in Poland for a year. During my time there I will be leading a young men's bible study, and helping with a young adults group for a newly starting church in Nowytarg, Poland. While I'm away I will be celebrating holidays for the first time away from Seattle, this is huge in my life. But I know it is where God wants me to be, it is going to be a time of growth, physically, emotionally, and spiritually where I can learn to depend on God, and learn to serve him and people. My heart is incredibly anxious to show, live, and tell about God's awesome plan for our lives, known as the good news of Jesus Christ.
For me to live there, it will cost roughly $750/month; which is pennies compared to how much I need to survive here at home. If you do the math, it comes out to just 75 people faithfully donating $10/month for a year, or 37.5 people donating $20/month for a year. That's like not going to Red Robin once or twice a month. Out of all ways of supporting though, your prayers are the most important. Thank you for your time, prayers, and support.
If you would like to donate on a monthly basis, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org w/ the subject of "Poland Missions" and in the message body please include the following information.
Monthly Contribution amount: $_______
Contribution start date: ____/______/______
Contribution end date: _____/_____/_______
Day of month contribution will be sent: _______
If you would like to make a one time contribution please send all contributions to:
C/O Mission Dispatch
654 5th Ave. S. Suite 300
Edmunds, WA 98020
Make checks payable to Mission Dispatch
Or donate online via the pay pal button to the right --->
Posted by TravisM @ 3:16 PM |
So, Leah pops up online, in a username I didn�t know was her�s, but that�s okay. She suggests I look at Travel Cuts, which is a travel agency for students and youth (under 26). Well I look it up, do a little research and call them, and I now have a ticket (pending my deposit into my Poland account) for Krakow, Poland for a mere $799 which is way better compared to the $1200 I was told a while back by an airline. So, praise God. Thank you Leah!
Posted by TravisM @ 1:49 PM |
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
First, I read Proverbs 31, which I've read many times before, but today I got something different out of it. Instead of just applying it to a Godly wife, it applies to anyone who wants to be Godly. A Godly person, shall be a hard worker, fear God, respect their spouse, be prepared, encourage others, care for others, concern for the poor, and have wisdom in handling money. All of these attributes lead to a life of enjoyment, success, honor and good work.
But, if you read Ecclesiastes it appears that Solomon says all of this wisdom is meaningless, but READ the whole thing, it is amazing! Don't live just to live for wisdom and wealth, live to fear and worship God almighty. I read the entire thing today, and I am soo happy I did.
Posted by TravisM @ 5:14 PM |
Just a quick update� I�ll have more later today. But I got my web cam to work at my desk at work now, so that�s kind of exciting. I�ve been talking to one of my old roommates, she (yes, I know, but things have changed, I won�t live w/ girls again) has been growing in the Lord so much, she�s not going to church that I know of� but she is really interested in going to mine when her grandparents are better. So I love how God is moving people. So far at work, things are okay, I don�t have much to do except coordinate our phone network people so they can get things working better. So, I hope everyone is good� Oh by the way, Alexis doesn�t have to work today, that�s a good thing! Yay. Have a great day.
Posted by TravisM @ 2:00 PM |
Today I had a good day at work, got all the little things done, and now I'm moving onto the larger projects, which is a good deal. The weather was a little bit like my mood today, sometimes it was the intense rain blowing in from the side, and other times the beautiful sun and big white puffy clouds causing rays of light to beam through the sky. Today during my short quiet time, I was reading from 2nd Thessalonians 3:2-5, and Christ gives us the endurance to live, to live through hard times, times of bad choices, and times of separation. If we practice what Jesus showed and told us we can have the deep understanding of God's love and endurance, we just have to focus on God, and God alone. I am learning how to interact with Alexis, what her boundaries are how to keep God in the center but also serve her needs, and to continue to keep that balance in both of our lives. Tonight was a blast, introducing Alexis to all my CRU friends, and really feeling comfortable when I thought I would be feeling awkward. We haven't had any "alone time" yet, not even before we were dating, I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I know it will come in God's timing, right now it's a lot of feeling like we are under the microscope from our friends, of which I am not ashamed or upset about. Thank you Lord.
I ask for you to continue to open my heart to your will, I praise you for who you are in my life, and I thank you for providing enough support for Poland so I can now purchase my plane tickets. Thank you lord, thank you! God I ask you for guidance, wisdom and simply to stay in love with you and not anything below you. I ask for you to hit me on the head, and to keep me in the narrow path which leads to you. Lord God, I ask for all of this in Jesus Christ's name.
So be it.
Posted by TravisM @ 12:35 AM |