Reaching the Unreachable

For many years I’ve been told that Poland, my beloved country, is tough ground for the gospel. The cultural and religious context of our nation is incredibly complex. Therefore, when I first started my ministry, I had an extremely strong bias towards believing that we were reaching for something truly unreachable.

My first experiences of being in ministry in Poland were not very promising. I faced rejection many times, not because of the gospel, but because I was a non-Catholic in a Catholic country. My parents’ generation had it even worse, with stories of being thrown out of their homes, and being mocked and rejected by their families, just because they accepted Jesus in a non-Catholic denomination and became part of life-giving groups and churches. In this context, my friends and I grew up in an environment that was full of doubts about reaching the community.

However, I was fortunate, and later I met some amazing people who showed me that there’s no tough ground that the gospel can’t break through. There was nothing more transforming for me than having that opportunity to serve with people who were passionate about Jesus, listening to their testimonies, and seeing for myself how people reacted to them as they preached the good news.

Now, after three years of facilitating and developing Advance in Poland, I can see that the same power of sharing testimonies about the goodness of Jesus, and the same discipleship approach of support and encouragement, is the key to stirring the church. There’s something incredible about seeing people who have never shared the gospel before, having breakthroughs in this area thanks to the encouragement they received from others in their group.  

I have heard many great sermons on the Great Commission,  but they’ve never made me any more committed to sharing the gospel. However, I’ve found for myself, as have many others, that the thing that has made the difference has been the stories of Jesus and his work in people’s lives. These stories make us realise that we can reach the unreachable.

Our Advance Groups have become a place of inspiration and encouragement – and not just because of the content of the guide, hearing from experienced leaders, or enjoying some great coffee; the key thing that many group members give as feedback is how impacted they are by the encouraging stories that they regularly hear from other members who are just like them. These aren’t “professional evangelists”, but normal people, who have their own struggles, anxieties and hardships, but who’ve decided to reject the ‘hard ground’ mentality and, often for the first time, share the gospel!

One of my favourite testimonies is from my mum, Joanna, who’s been a psychiatrist for over 40 years and who’d never shared Jesus with anyone who came to see her. At the end of her first year in an Advance Group, for the first time she had a breakthrough with her fears and stepped out from being only a professional at work, to being a witness of Jesus. Praise God!

Another one is from Karol. He’s a very good and talented entrepreneur, specialised in real estate. Karol is a busy guy with a great heart for people who don’t know Jesus. A couple of months ago his construction team finished the renovation work in a building that he’d bought as apartments to rent. In this building, there was one huge premises on the ground floor that he wanted to rent for some offices or shops. However, at that time he received a strong conviction from God to share it for God’s people. He followed the prompting from the Holy Spirit and found some people from that town who work for Teen Challenge and who at that time were looking for a venue.

Now there’s a Teen Challenge facility running from that large space, and Karol is strongly involved in any evangelism programmes they run there. There have now been many people who have come to Jesus through that facility, which was made possible through Karol’s obedience. A wonderful example of how God can use us in all circumstances and contexts.

Today our challenge is to use all of those examples, and more, as evidence that we live in a country that can be reached with the gospel. Our focus for the next few months is to visit many churches and run Exploring Advance events, where we can share some of the testimonies from our Advance Groups and inspire others to launch their own. It’s as simple as that.

More recently, we’ve seen new opportunities and challenges as Poland has become the home for over 2 million refugees that have escaped Ukraine because of war. Dozens of our people and Advance Group members are involved in day-to-day support. Today we are looking forward to seeing what God has in store for our country over the coming few months. Poland has never been as ready for the gospel as it is today, and we are here to be used by God to make that gospel known.

Written by Kuba Marciniak.
Kuba’s been our Advance Ambassador in Poland since September 2019. Married to Daria, together they’re leaders in Charisma Church in Krotoszyn. For over 10 years they’ve been involved in Youth Alive! ministry in Poland, reaching the young generation with the gospel and serving the local church to help them in building and growing their youth ministries. Kuba is passionate about stirring the Church to reach the local community whilst also being a big Die-hard fan and a lover of good coffee, trail running and memes.