After our adventures the previous evening, where we had to change hotels after flooding the room below us, you would hope that things would be a little more sensible today. For most of the time it was and then something happens to remind us, why we were named the ,”Crazy brothers”, on our previous Polish trip.
It is All saints Day today, in Poland this is a public holiday when people go to the cemetery to place flowers on loved one’s graves. We met many people, making the most of the opportunity to share our hope of eternal life.
When we left Gliwice early this morning the streets were almost deserted, but as we passed through mainly built up areas, more people emerged as the sun shone brightly.
However, at one point, Google maps, which is usually our friend, let us down badly. We had a short cut through a park which gradually became more and more overgrown. Eventually we came to a stream where the bridge had been destroyed.
We now had a dilemma, do we continue or turn back. Not one’s to dodge a challenge we did our best to cross the stream, with the cross, in true chuckle brothers style. Both Mike and Al had near misses to falling in, but apart from a few bramble scratches, there was no harm done.
Later in the afternoon we were put in touch with Mikolaj Rykoski who owns a fish and chip shop in a park in Chorzow. We gave him a call and invited us over for dinner. We were to meet a quite remarkable man.
Mikolaj has an amazing ministry called Wolne Miejsce. In Poland there is a tradition of preparing an extra place at the table on Christmas Eve for a guest, usually this place is never taken. One year after he got saved, Mikolaj and his wife decided to invite someone who is lonely to eat with them.
That was 19 years ago. The first few years it grew slowly till they had 30 people in their home, and decided to rent a hall. Last Christmas in Katowice they fed 3000 people on Christmas Eve. Across Poland others had joined in to make it 15000 in 11 cities. It has even gone to the Polish diaspora around the world as far as Canada. The people are fed, the gospel is preached, and in Katowice, people in local government have come to faith as a result. How inspiring!!
It’s always our privilege to meet and encourage ministry “on the ground’! It wasn’t long before he asked us for counsel….. great guy!