In the next week I am writing letters to a church VBS(Vacation Bible School) class in Texas that I thought might be of interest to others. Check back each day for a new letter.
Greetings from the country of Poland. That is where Brother Jeff and I are right now. Poland is west and north of Ukraine. One of the of the aspects of missionary life is that sometimes you have to have official permission to continue living in that country. That is why we are here. Bro. Jeff has to renew his visa. For that we go to the Ukrainian embassy in Cracow, Poland. Every missionary who lives outside the United States must have a passport (identification). A visa is a stamp in that passport that says you have permission to live in that country. Ukrainian laws do not allow us to do this from within Ukraine. Unfortunately, this is time away from our ministry, but it is part of what most missionaries have to do.
When we are in another country as we are today, we have the opportunity to look and see how the people there live and the cultural influences that affect them. In Poland we see that this is a very strong Catholic country and there are many Catholic churches, at least one in every village.
We cannot speak the Polish language, but there are many here who speak English, especially younger people. In the past Poland was under the control of the former Soviet Union. This was the government of Russia that dominated over many countries. Therefore, some people in Poland do not like Russia or the Russians. So when we are here we speak English first to see if they understand that. If they do not, then we try Russian which is what we speak in Ukraine. That way they know we are not Russian and are more friendly to us. Many of the older people still remember Russian and sadly remember being ruled and dominated by the Soviet Union.
So, that is why we are in Poland this week. Would you please pray for us that God would bless us and all would go well in getting our documents done so that we would not be delayed in returning to Ukraine.
Joyful in serving,
Sister Coleen and Brother Jeff