April is our last month in Poland as a family. May will see Amber and Daxon in BC while Matthew wraps up life in Poland. It's a busy season we want to share about it with you.
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Hi there <<First Name>>,

we're so tired as we write this to you and even though it's late evening, there's still much to do. The second half of April has been loaded as Amber was in Spain for the EMERGE conference and as we pack, plan and organize for our return to Canada.

With an exit in-sight, we're determined not to coast. God has absolutely floored us with relational opportunities these past few weeks. For example, in just one day Matthew had a fellow teacher reveal that their dad died months ago of cancer and they've kept it a secret, Matthew was able to pray with a teacher who does not believe in God for the restoration of their marriage (which is doing better), and Matthew had a student confide in him about his drug use and his brother's smuggling business. It's been a huge reminder for us that God will open a door, we just have to be faithful to walk through it promptly, honestly and as best we can.

All of this makes it harder to say goodbye. The journey to the decision to leave Poland was a hard one and on some level we expected a rest once we had made it. Realistically, making the decision in some ways is easier because now there is the work of putting it into action. It's a monumental season for us (we say that knowing the gravity of the word) and we suspect it's far from over.

The renovation is almost done in Chełmno!

Thanks for all of the support for the church in Chełmno. Matthew spoke about unity on the last Sunday of April. We were able to see the great renovations. There's still work to be done on the adjoining room, but the meeting room is complete. We believe in these folks. On Sunday they blessed us with some mementos, encouraging words and prayers, but they've done so much more for us.

Thank you for praying for the EMERGE conference in Spain!

There is something about finishing well that is very satisfying. This EMERGE conference in Alicante, Spain was my last, and I have to say that it was the best one yet.

Click HERE to continue reading Amber's thoughts on the conference and her years serving with EMERGE. We still believe that God has a plan for the women of Europe.

It's the People and their Stories

If you had all day, we'd tell you about everyone.

With larger groups, you'll often here people talk only about vision and strategy, but in smaller groups, successes and struggles are measured with people's stories. We started with no connections here and now our lives are full of people and full of their stories.

The discussion / Bible study group that we've been a part of starting continues to gel and at Amber's last meeting (pictured here, minus 3 people), the level of connectivity and genuine excitement at spending time together left us energized. We were humbled as they encouraged us, prayed for us and gave Amber a gift. There is a great depth to relationship here that God has formed in a short time. Please pray for this group as on May 18 we're hosting a meeting at the language school where Matthew teaches and a Christian painter has been invited to come and share about faith through art. Some of the teachers from the school should be attending.

It's not just the stories of the main people in our lives, but the stories of all the connections from around town. It's the neighbour we talk to in the hallway, the corner shop owner who likes to practice all 7 of his English words on us, the taxi driver we always call, the owner of the only sushi restaurant in town who sets aside ingredients especially for Amber, and the building super who likes to regal Matthew with drinking tales. It's Amber going to the supermarket in the evening on the weekend and waiting in line to say farewell to her cashier of choice (who strongly resembles Mimi from the Drew Carey Show). We won't even touch on the bigger issue of leaving our European family.

This is how we view our time in Poland. We measure it in stories and the lives they represent.

Homeward Bound

With the arrival of May we will begin to make Canada our home again...for a season.

May 29: our last night as a family in the apartment we've called home for 3 years.
May 30: though hoteling it, it's our last night in Poland as a family.

On May 1 we are flying to Toronto. We'll spend a few days there setting ourselves up for our return in September. Then on May 5, Amber and Daxon will continue on to Vancouver while Matthew returns to Poland to complete his teaching contract and wrap-up life. We're trying to process this major life shift while doing all of this, but we suspect it won't hit us until things slow down.

This is huge for us and we're not fully sure what to expect from this next season of life. We're so thankful for God who is looking out for us.

On Our Prayer List

Join us in talking to God about these things.

  • We're so thankful and excited by the success of the EMERGE conference in Spain. Pray the change started at the conference will continue into everyday lives.
  • Energy and wisdom as we say "see you later" to the friendships and connections we've formed here in Poland.
  • The seemingly never-shrinking To Do List.
  • Smooth and safe journeys as we travel between May 1 and 6.
  • That the Holy Spirit would continue the things we've started or dropped in people's heads and reassurance for us that He'll see these things through without us. We know He will, it's just hard to move away without seeing people through on the next step of their journey.
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