Challenges in Poland, and a huge pile of books!

Last month, we asked you to pray for our tour in Poland, which took up most of my month of May between rehearsals, travel and performing. The tour was a continuation of our partnership with Next Generation Mission (NGM), and we were excited to have several concerts on campuses where Cru has staff to further develop the partnership.

We WERE excited… until we got to Poland and found out that many of those concerts had to be cancelled due to a teacher’s strike in the school system. That set the school calendar back, and our concerts simply couldn’t be accommodated.

It had nothing to do with Cru or NGM, but it was pretty discouraging nonetheless. We still got to do outreaches and share the gospel in a handful of schools and at some city music festivals (like the Daisy Days festival in the city of Pszczyna, shown above). And, we got to connect the NGM folks with more of Cru’s staff on campuses in Poland, so some great connections were made. That means that NGM and Cru’s Polish staff can work together even on tours that we don’t go on.

We made the best of the changes to the schedule by playing some shows in places that helped NGM build momentum in Poland, which included a show at a bar on the town square of the city of Poznan. We had some great conversations there, too!

The whole time we were there, I was trying to balance our outreach work with a very large pile of textbooks, podcasts, and research articles. That’s because just a few days after we got home, I started the first of 3 seminary- level classes I’m taking this summer, and those were the prep work. They’re part of our ongoing theological education with Cru – I’m not working on a degree or anything, but it’s still a ton of work.

I think I completed reading a 500-page textbook on the Old Testament by reading it in hotel lobbies across southern Poland while the rest of the team was eating or sightseeing in our off-hours. I’ve really enjoyed digging in to the coursework, including topics like church history, Old Testament history and structure, and that kind of stuff. I’ll finish that up right before I head to Colorado in July for Cru’s U.S. Staff Conference, which happens every two years. More on that next month!

Even when there are challenges, and there’s a mountain of studying to do, it’s truly a great privilege to get to be part of what God is doing around the world. You’re part of it too, because of the sacrifices you make, and we’re grateful.

Please pray…
…for me as I study. I haven’t had to plow through this much reading and studying since I was in college! And, unlike when I was in college, I don’t want to take the classes just to get them done (and hopefully try to keep my GPA up as a side benefit) – this is material that I actually want to learn, retain and apply!