Written/Interview by Renee Bauwens; Interview: Monika Bacik
1. Who are you (tell me a little about yourself) and where are you from?
The first thing I want people to know about me is that I (Monika) am a Christian. Secondly, I am a mother. I am a person constantly searching for God daily with my ups and downs, knowing that God is still at work within me. As for my profession, I was a tour guide and dream of being a tour guide again, some day.
(Monika says with a big smile)
And I am Polish. I grew up in Poznan, but I spent some years traveling and working abroad.
2. Where have you traveled? Do you have a favorite place you’ve been to?
I have been to many places but I stayed longest in USA, France, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Mexico, and Egypt. Every place I’ve been to I appreciate for different reasons. Every place has something special. For example, in the US I appreciated the diversity – in one country you can see different landscapes and cultures. I’ve had humbling social experiences with the kind locals of Mexico and Egypt. Wherever I go I like to see locals and blend with them. Greece was full of the friendliest and happiest people. Diving in the Red Sea is the most beautiful thing to see – the fish were so funny I was trying not to laugh my diving mask off.
Overall, I loved places for natural beauty and for the people I met and had great experiences with.
3. Describe an ideal day.
I believe my best day is yet unknown. It would be a better day than I can imagine by myself, beyond my expectations! I love positive surprises and staying active. I love to be filled with excitement, surrounded by loved ones and to love others. Most of all, I love to experience the beauty and presence of God and being in harmony with him. If I knew what is my ideal day, I would live it daily…
4. What are 2 or 3 places that you would recommend travelers visit while they are in Poznan?
To see nature, it is nice to visit the lakes around Poznan – they remind me of my childhood. To meet people, visit Sweet Surrender (coffee shop). The people who organize events, the customers, and people who work there are amazing. To know the city – first, they should visit myself so I can show them these spots – Old Town, Ostrów Tumski and Malta with their treasures.
5. Why do you choose to attend PIC?
I was a believer all my life. Growing up I attended a traditional Catholic church but during my travels met people from other denominations and religions and I started to search for the truth. I didn’t call myself Catholic anymore, but still attended church to worship God. Accidentally I heard about PIC and eventually I decided to check it out. This is not a church where I blindly follow traditions and rituals, but I agree with the message, purposes and ideas. Growing up I felt like a no name, unknown member of the church. Here [at PIC], I am known. People know each other and spend time together. You know that people see you for who you are and fully accept you. Here, I receive a sense of being useful and important to others. I realized it’s a piece of paradise.
6. How do you feel PIC has encouraged you to live LIFE (living intentionally for eternity) here in Poznan?
So many people want to go to places in other corners of the world to witness and so do I, but I realized that around us here there are so many people who don`t know and need Jesus. I still don’t know how effective I am at sharing God’s love with people, but I pray that God uses me for that. And PIC is my base filled with people who encourage me with their lives, words, and actions. When I feel down, people lift me up. When I feel useless, they find for me service. When abounded, they come and help me.
I want to do the same to others so even more people can feel this way and join in and share, practicing what it’s all about: that we serve God first place no matter what we do or who we meet. All thanks and glory belongs to him. I encourage everyone to try serving God. It feels so much better than serving people alone or ourselves.
7. What is your favorite scripture and how would you like to encourage others?
I do not have one favorite, since my favorite scripture depends on the situation. But Jeremiah 29:11 is so special for whenever I feel down, it lifts me up. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is a verse full of hope because it’s God’s promise to us. Isaiah 41:10 is also very special to me.
8. What is something fun about you that others may not know – or be surprised by?
Something people probably do not know: when I was a kid in elementary school I was always the “prankster” and rebellious fighter. My friend and I were called by our main teacher a two person gang. My parents were always being called to school because I would fight with other kids, even older boys who scared the other kids. I was usually making silly pranks, but it also happen that we would physically fight. My mother would be so mad at me. This only lasted until the end of elementary school.
Thank you, Monika, for living a LIFE that impacts others. You are truly a treasure! (Living Intentionally for Eternity)