By Memory Herman with translation of interview by Monika Bacik
Photo: Bartosz Baran
Last month we had Bartek Baran visit PIC; a Christian, self-made rapper & songwriter in his own right. Before the captivating performance of his song, Bartek was all too kind to share with the congregation his testimony which included a profound account of the background & character that led him to Christ.
As pastor Kent McKinnon preached in the month of September, the sharing of testimonies is a powerful tool, which we can all use to encourage & bring people to Christ, I singled out Bartek as an individual worth profiling because I found his story to be as unique as his talent.
Besides Christian music & songwriting, Bartek is, by profession, a construction technician; whose efforts in these different fields are highly motivated by his desire to imitate Christ.
Recalling his faded childhood memories, Bartek spoke of a time period spent in foster care after being abandoned in the hospital by his biological mother with a case of pneumonia at just 2 weeks old. He also spoke of how his relationship with his mother had been non-existent, up until his recovery & conversion to Christianity in adulthood.
After being asked why it was important for him to forgive his mother, this was what he had to say: “To me, forgiving my mother was a difficult task. But I believe that God demanded it from me. I was strongly touched by a verse from the Word of God which I memorized, thanks to which God put into my heart to forgive my mother, it is from the Gospel of Matthew 6,14-15:For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Inspired by circumstances into rap & breakdancing in the yards, he started rapping in his younger years alongside his colleagues who had then introduced him to drugs and alcohol.
He recorded some of his first songs at the age of 16 in his hometown Tarnow, where, years later, events surrounding social activities & lifestyle pressures then had him admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of mental disorders.
Following these events, he quit smoking marijuana out of fear and redirected his addictions towards gambling & game machines for money.
Upon reflection on this, this is what Bartek had to say, “Jesus freed me from these things. I think that only He can take any addiction away. Man by himself cannot break up with addictions. I think the crucial moment in my life was the moment I took up the fight for my life in the NLC rehabilitation center, that’s where my life gained real purpose.”
It was in the same rehabilitation center where he fought for his life, that he met Pastor Richard Nungesser who then ministered to him about Christ. Bartek indicated that God’s interference was the only reason he finally remained in this institution up to a year, to seek help toward recovery.
So, when an invitation was extended by Pastor Richard for Bartek to share his work & testimony at PIC, he gladly took it upon himself to do so in hopes of strengthening the faith of others, by testifying to how God used his challenges in life to draw him back to Him. Bartek’s hope is to build God centered relationships with people at PIC, just as he has done with the Pastor.
Having asked about how his music draws him closer to God; Bartek responded, “In such a way that whenever I write texts about Jesus, before my eyes I have all that he did in my life, all that he changed in my life, and above all, he died for me on the cross for my sins and was resurrected, giving me grace and a new life in Him.”
His dedication in using his talent to honor God began after his conversion to Christianity, which was when his rap lyrics started becoming completely different. His lyrics no longer reflected the dirty things of this world, but rather reflected the way in which God redeemed him from his old ways & touched his heart in a manner that now enables him to write words of praise that honor God, as well as uplift others towards His truth.
If you wish to see Bartek in action, you can find him at the Street Church in Poznan where he volunteers every week, serving God with both his testimony & music. On the progressive development side, Bartek is currently working on new sets of lyrics in which he wishes to integrate verses from the Bible. He also aspires to rap some of the Psalms.
Bartek hopes that his music will have a positive impact on people who find themselves in situations similar to his past; drugs, alcohol, addiction, rehabilitation & absence of God in lives. He wants only to share his truth, the changes that Jesus accomplished in his life & to remain authentic in hopes of inspiring those who need it.
He aspires to attend missions with PIC members with the aim of preaching the Gospel to people who are lost & without knowledge about Christ. For those aspiring to attend PIC, he wishes only to inform you that the door is open to everyone & you will meet believers from all around the world.
Let us be servants to one another, just as Jesus was for us. Joy & abundance in life can only be found with Jesus who leads us to eternal life, with Him, life gains meaning & color.
(Bartek) I would like to add two things from myself:
- I am looking for a wife who loves Jesus deeply and I pray for it, I’m also asking people from PIC for prayer in this intention.
- I would like to present one of my poems for the Glory of Jesus, it goes like this:
It is good…
It is good to immerse yourself in the sun’s rays
Rock the sunflowers on a windy momentum
And sit in a delight, set a poem under a linden tree
At one moment, to catch small happiness
Hugging a jay`s smile under a cloudless sky
Capture the whisper of the wind in silent mouth
Then sit back, find yourself in the silence
To build up words so that the page is not empty
It’s good to see the reflection in the water
To see as rough shadows pass
Listen to the heartbeat in patient eyes
Kiss the earth with a simple poem
See the butterfly fly unexpectedly
In silence, to hide the treasures in your hands
To touch with the apostrophe a sunny morning
And warm up your temples with a warm gesture
It is good to see the fullness of the star in the darkness
Look straight at the moon’s eyes
Find the rays spilled in the sky
Feel as a lilac dream is rolling
Looking straight into the rose landscape
See how longing flits under the rain
As the word enriches mountains and glades
In all the thoughts, there is the thought of gold
It’s good to immerse yourself in the sun’s rays
Admire as the eternal treasures of spring ripen
Find the meaning of the road when inspiration comes
And all this to give my all to You Christ
One thing that echoes across many people’s experiences with Christianity is the struggle in discipline, to stay faithful to the teachings of the bible. For many, the struggle in discipline is often aggravated by challenges encountered in life. I think Bartek’s story reminds us to not despair through trials & tribulations, and that with sufficient, applied effort, support & a non-relenting attitude in pursuit of God, you’re bound to find your footing towards progressively strengthening your anchor & relationship to Christ.
So be encouraged in your trials throughout life, for everything is meant to lead you back to Him.