The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand

Postcard From Poland: Day 5

I have often said that one of the greatest joys and privileges for a believer is to worship in a cross-cultural setting, and I experienced that again on Sunday. It’s a while since I had this experience and it was as much a blessing as ever.

In the morning, I ministered at the Evangelical Church in Siedlce, where Adam serves as Assistant Pastor. This is the church he was converted in some 14 years ago, and which was planted by Ben Layer, an American who still serves as Pastor. I have preached here before and it was good to renew fellowship with some and also see many new faces. The cross-cultural composition of the church was striking. As we shared a fellowship lunch after the service, I met people from Ukraine, Armenia, USA, Philippines and Nigeria, as well, of course, as Poland, and there may have been other nations represented, and all of that in a congregation of, probably, around 40-45. I preached on a verse that has become hugely encouraging to me in recent days – 1 John 3:20 – and Adam, as ever, ably translated for me, even when I unintentionally threw him a few linguistic curved balls.

After a short break back at the house, we headed for the town of Łuków where, several years ago, the Siedlce congregation planted a small church. The has been a long and slow work, but they have seen some fruit in recent months with, I believe, 3 baptisms and they now have a membership of 8, all but one of whom were present when I had the joy of bringing God’s Word to them on this occasion.

I trust and pray that God’s Word was a blessing and encouragement to all these dear folk at Siedlce and Łuków, but I was especially blessed as well. More than on any individual Sunday that I can remember for a long time, more folk spoke with me on this Lord’s Day, not just appreciating the ministry but testifying how it had spoken directly to them and been of great help. Most remarkable for me personally was the dear elderly brother at Łuków who said, and I quote as closely as I can – “The preaching taught my mind, touched my heart and warmed my soul”.

The reason that is so remarkable and of such an encouragement to me is that my definition of preaching – which I shared at the 3 day conference in Warsaw – is that expository preaching is “The careful and faithful preparation, proclamation, explanation and application of God’s written Word so as to teach the mind, touch the heart and target the will.” At least by God’s grace, on this occasion, I was practicing what I was preaching!

It’s now Tuesday morning and after a quiet day yesterday I plan to do some study and work this morning before Adam deposits me at Modlin airport for my flight home this evening. I am physically very tired but spiritually refreshed and reinvigorated as is always the case on these occasions, and immensely grateful to the Lord for the privilege of serving his Church in this small way.

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