But, at that time, Poland was a very different Poland. If anyone recalls that era, they will most likely agree.
It doesn’t mean bad. It simply means different. Everything required so much effort—even lighting our kitchen stove. Our first kitchen stove in Poland was as old as the Second World War, had bricks at the bottom, and they had to be removed, while the gas was turned on. Then we had to light a match, throw it down the hole, and somehow ignite the fire, cover the hole and put the bricks back on before we all either caught on fire or blew up 😉
Cooking was always an adventure. And, because I was still a very new bride (less than a year married), I wasn’t the best cook to start anyway.
We worked from sun up until sun down—and we worked all weekend.
We were teaching full time in multiple schools, businesses, and cities. On top of that, we were serving the homeless 5 days a week breakfast and dinner, and my husband quickly became the pastor of this amazing but itty bitty International Church called PIC!
Everything required our hands to get very dirty. Our brows to sweat. And our backs to hurt.
All of this is like church planting. And none of it is a bad thing. But it is the truth.
Often, in more affluent countries, church planting is fairly clean and pretty and you have t-shirts and water bottles and pretty signs displaying the church’s beautiful new property, clean school auditorium, stadium, or bar.
It doesn’t mean your backs have not broken planting the church—they have—but it’s a very different situation when you church plant in other places/countries around the world where there is not a dime to put into an effort and even less to fix it up.
Let’s take Kalisz’s church, for example. Over the last several years, we have had to work on getting heat in the church. Did you know the church did not have heat? For years, we used to meet with scarves, hats, and gloves on during services, our feet elevated off of the floor so they wouldn’t freeze to death. At times, in the winter, it can get to -20C outside (that’s -4F). Can you imagine a church on the inside? Nearly as cold.
The windows are half replaced. The other half still need to be finished.
The toilet was outside in a crumbling brick shack. It is as if you went through a portal in time before plumbing.
Running water is for the first time inside the church. Only for 3 months now. Running water. THREE MONTHS. That means a toilet and sink.
This is a cold country—COLD…So no heat in a freezing cold country, outside toilets, and no running water.
This is the reality of church planting and rebuilding in Kalisz.
The church’s last pastor, God bless its soul, left unexpectedly—and so a young man from PIC (Poznan International Church) came in and stepped up and said, “This neighborhood needs Jesus. This neighborhood needs this church. This neighborhood will not, also, be left behind.”
And Richard and I said, “We hear you. We are with you. PIC is behind you.”
And we have raised funds for heat to be put in, for windows to be exchanged, for water to be dug and piping to be placed, to the city for permission to have water and sewage, for a toilet. One beautiful, working, inside toilet. For a little church in a run-down neighborhood to slowly rebuild its very foundation. Its literal foundation. The bricks and mortar type of stuff. And also its spiritual foundation. The foundation of the hearts of the people. The Jesus Christ type of stuff.
In the neighborhood where this church stands there was once a building tagged (graffiti) that said “Welcome to Gangland” … It wasn’t a threat. It is the reality of the neighborhood.
But there is an entire neighborhood of people that need this church. They need Jesus. We see it every time we are in Kalisz. The youth flood the church eager to spend time in a warm and safe environment where they get to hear about the love of Jesus.
On Sundays, the church is sprinkled—not with masses (yet)—but with people that come and pray and worship together. They bake bread and share with one another. They invite their family members. And they hold on to the great hope that God is going to do great things in this little chapel, in this little neighborhood, in this great city…
And we, at PIC, will walk with them through this entire journey as partners in crime and Christ!
Okay, not really the crime.
But for sure as partners in Christ, building the foundation on the Rock of Jesus.
24 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. Matthew 7:24-25
Written by: Brooke HJ Nungesser
You can find Brooke making a crazy mess at home with Littles, running around a foreign country in her sweats and messy hair, helping Rescue the Forgotten, or serving through the amazing ministries of PIC/KIC. She blogs at And 2 Makes Crazy and Allergy to the Max. She was also recently a guest speaker on a hilarious and make you cry Mommy Podcast heard around the world. Listen here as Brooke shares on Mom Struggling Well!
We also invite you to participate and partner with us in helping build KIC through your person and your talents and your finances. You can join us monthly as we travel to Kalisz and help build up the church and youth with the love of Jesus! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to do mission work and church planting in Kalisz.
Financially you can give through Poland or the United States. Here is how:
Poland: (Mark Cel as Kalisz International Church)
Bank Millennium S.A.
ul. Grunwaldzka 55/6
95 1160 2202 0000 0000 7548 8568
United States: (Mark Memo as PIC/KIC)
Poznan International Church/Kalisz International Church partner with ITMI in the States and you can receive tax-deductible donations giving through this link:
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!