We have arrived!


We made it to our destination as of 7:30 pm Poland time Tuesday, the 30th. That would be 1:30 pm, Tuesday, EST, back home. (About 27 hours of travel time.) It was a wonderful start with an issue free day of traveling. Besides some motion sickness and eventual tiredness, all faired pretty well.

I was personally very thankful that we flew overnight which made it much easier to sleep on the flight and prepare for the next long day of travel and the time change. The process of getting to this small, somewhat rural, lake town of Ilawa (pronounced ee-wa-va) required a long van ride up to Dulles International Airport, (thanks Wayne and Dan!) two plane rides, a bus, a train, and, finally, a short van ride from a local Ilawa Christian man, who helped start the church here in this city- the one our friends Chuck and Vikki also attend and help with. He was a cheerful and welcoming man who has been one of the highlights for me, personally. He was so thankful to have the opportunity to meet us and serve us and I pray we show the same fervor and joy as we meet his family and many others today! He is working on his English, but also speaks Russian, along with his primary language of Polish.

It is harder than I anticipated to be among an entire people who you are largely unable to communicate with. Even simple things such as hello and thank you are hard to remember in the moment you need it. It has impressed upon me even more the beauty of languages and the intricacies with which the human mind was created. Thankfully, the language of kindness and compassion can be displayed and communicated without words and that is another beautiful aspect of how God wisely created us.

I am hopeful we can have meaningful interactions as we meet the couples at this marriage retreat so as to communicate our care to them, our enjoyment of meeting them, and our love for them amidst their own personal struggles and challenges. Pain and suffering is also a universal human reality and we have a God who comes and rescues us in the midst of those realities to care, to guide, to help us and we hope to be able to communicate that hope and that truth through our time here. We do know one couple is dealing with a rare genetic disorder in their young child and another one that the husband is fighting cancer. Pain and hardship does not fail to meet any of us regardless of our location or status in life. My heart grieves for these families and the trials they are having to bear. While we are delighted by the many aspects of our trip, I am so reminded that we are not here for ourselves-we came with an intention that is far more important than simply our enjoyment and that is to truly communicate truth, encouragement, and hope into these lives with the simple reminder that we do have a Rescuer who will aid us in all of our struggles. We don’t come bringing something special in and of ourselves, we came because we want to communicate and remind our friends here of the message of the Gospel that is the only way to make peace in our lives. He dealt with our sin and gives us a path to freedom through knowing Him! Christ had mercy on us and as we have been plentiful beneficiaries of that mercy, I pray we honor Him as we live that out to others.

I have been studying 1 Peter and chose to memorize 1 Peter 3:8-12 while we are on our trip. You’re welcome to memorize that alongside me!

It is hard to sufficiently communicate how thankful we are of the support and prayers of everyone back home. Please know we thank God for you upon every remembrance of you and hope you know that your prayers for us are not in vain.

Until tomorrow,


Jancy (and the Poland team)