We recently sent £600 to Kev and Em Reilly who are planting a church in Gdansk, Poland. Here’s a reprint of their story so far, to stir your prayers…
The Story so FarIn August 2008, Kev and Emma Reilly and their four daughters moved to Gdansk, Poland in order to plant a church under the apostolic oversight of Mike Betts and his team. With no language, no contacts and not much of anything else, Grace Church (them and their good friend Tom who spent a year with them) began to pray and worship, and learn how on earth to do family, school, work and church in Poland.
Through a series of divine appointments, God began to connect us with students and teachers in the local university. Creative ideas and approaches to outreach began to flow and the Holy Spirit led us to start an English writing group, regularly gathering people into our home on a Sunday night. We began to fill our home at every opportunity – 30 friends and neighbours for Christmas parties, 20 or so for birthdays, BBQ’s and other gatherings. Any and every opportunity was taken to connect broadly and meaningfully with people.
In May 2009, a young Russian student turned up to Kev’s work for a teaching practice. She’d been praying for a church that she could be a part of and we happened to be starting one! She became our first church member. Things began to gather momentum. A month later, an English guy moved to Gdansk for work and found us on the website. Our Polish neighbour began to ask significant questions about Jesus and the kind of church we were starting. And so it continued…a Swedish girl we met at the university started to come. Guys from Nigeria, Lesotho and Ghana soon followed. A Polish girl started to come following a divine appointment on a plane and then a Montenegrin girl. It’s been twenty months since we first landed here and at the point of writing we have just had our highest attendance at our weekly church meeting – 13 adults!
In July 2009, Kev visited Kaliningrad – a small enclave of Russia, 120 km up the road – and made meaningful connections with a church and a charity ministering to Russian orphans there. We’re going back again this July, but this time with a team of nine – over half of whom are from Grace Church Gdansk – to serve in an orphanage.
We have twenty or so with us in June for NewEurope Weekend and, very excitingly, we have a church birthday weekend this May when we will have our first baptisms. We’ll have 20 or so staying with us for the weekend in a house with its own lake, and there will be friends and family joining us for baptisms and a BBQ on the Saturday.
Things go up and down here, people come and go and as a church, we’ve got more holes than a Polish road! However, the simple truth is this: Jesus calls and uses ordinary people to join Him in building His church and so we have stories like these to tell.