By Ray Madrigal
Although there has been a great interest in recent years to bring the gospel to Eastern Europe, one country has been overlooked: Poland! Christian men and their families have moved to spread the borders of the kingdom in Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and even in Russia. Yet right in the middle of all this evangelistic enthusiasm lies Poland, a remarkable land just South of the Baltic Sea and West of the former Soviet Union. Even more important, this country is inhabited by close to 40 million people, many who are eager to learn the gospel.
Let Me Tell You About Kate
Last spring I had the fortune to meet Kasia Bania, a 17-year-old foreign exchange student from Katowice, a city in the southern region of Poland. The population of this town is over 400,000. Kasia was nicknamed “Kate” by her friends in the United States. As a guest of the Smallman family in Metropolis, IL, Kasia attended all of our Bible classes and worship services at 32nd Street in Paducah. She immediately showed great interest in learning more about the Word of God and how it could make a difference in her life.
Although Kasia at first entertained many liberal beliefs in organic evolution, abortion, and homosexuality, she was open to investigate these “Western” ideas in light of the Bible. We steadily studied the evidences supporting the inspiration of the Bible as the Word of God, creationism, the plan of salvation and God’s plan for the family. In May, Kasia obeyed the gospel and immediately made plans to teach her family and friends in Poland. But this proposition will not be easy in a country where no conservative church exists.
Who Will Go? Who Will Help?
A few short weeks after her baptism, and after some concentrated “new convert” studies, Kasia returned home to her native Poland, eager to live and share her faith with others. In her most recent letter, she writes:
“After having burnt midnight oil for several days, I had to go to the hospital to have my appendix out. Before the operation I prayed to the Lord so that everything was O.K. with me because I have so many things to do in my life. I would like so much to serve the Lord and people. After the operation when I was still in the hospital I got a lot of letters from my friends from the USA. They made me happy. I read each of them several times. I also got a letter from Mr. Rick Liggin and Mr. David Diestelkamp from Slovakia. I do not feel alone here. When it is hard for me, I take the Bible, read it and think about what I have read.”
Not a bad philosophy at all. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of us would apply that same formula to our times of trouble and loneliness? Pray, read the Bible, and think about it (Phil. 4:6-8)!
Kasia has also discussed the possibility of conducting Bible studies in her high school with the teachers and the principal. At this moment in time, almost all educators in Eastern Europe are more open to conducting Bible studies on campus than their colleagues in America. Several of her friends who study English as a second language would also be interested in studying the Bible. The only question remaining is: who will go? And who will help send preachers to Poland?
Kasia is eager to study and learn more about God and his will. Her parents and other family members also are interested in learning more about the Bible. Who will go to preach the gospel in Poland? Who will help me to go for an extended preaching trip, perhaps 4-6 weeks? God has opened an evangelistic door through this intelligent exchange student. Who will walk through this door of opportunity (2 Tim. 2:2)? Who will have fellowship in these evangelistic efforts (Phil. 4:15)?
As you can tell from the excerpt of Kasia’s letter above, the Liggin and Diestelkamp families have already made contact with her through the mail. Charlie and Maria Brackett, who are serving the Lord in Prague, will also communicate with Kasia when possible. Al Wanous and his wife, faithful Christians who live and work in Warsaw, will encourage Kasia whenever they travel through Southern Poland. Al-though these efforts are certain to encourage and admonish Kasia, a concentrated preaching program needs to focus in Katowice. Let’s bring the gospel to Poland and establish a faithful congregation in the land of Frederic Chopin, Marie Curie, and Lech Walesa.
In the meantime, let us encourage our young sister in Christ. If you or others (especially young Christians) are interested in writing to Kasia, here is her address:
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 20, p. 6
October 21, 1993