Thursday, November 29, 2007

This Sunday

As you get the chance, pray for the churchplant here in Siedlce, Poland. This is an exciting weekend for our coworkers as well as those faithful Christians who attend. Lord willing, I will be able to post pictures and video of the church covenant signing early next week. For right now I'll paste an email from our coworker Ben Layer.

"This is the big week we have been looking forward to for many months now. We will be signing the church covenant this Sunday morning, and then we will have an official church membership. There are 19 saved and baptized believers that could join the church, but of course, there will be the temptation for some of them not to commit. Please join us in prayer over these next few days that the Holy Spirit would work in the lives of each individual and convince each person that should join as a member to commit to this body of believers. Pray that the Lord would bless our service on Sunday, that it would be a wonderful and memorable time of beginning."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Getting Medicated

My apologies for not updating our blog. For the last week and a half our family has been sick, all except for dad (incidentally, I think its because I'm the only one in the family who consistently eats Polish doughnuts--but Ginger disagrees). Ginger and the kids just haven't been getting better so today we bit the bullet and did something about it. I think this is a great time to give you a little insight into the Polish healthcare system. At the outset let me say, that anyone who is for an all inclusive government healthcare plan ought to visit Poland before they make any final decisions. Though government run healthcare is certainly better in some countries than others, there are always huge drawbacks. For an example that hits close to home just think about how much fun it is to visit the DMV each year to renew your license or get new plates, or think about the friendly and efficient customer service the U.S. postal system offers. Now think of that same government running the healthcare system. Yeah---you get my point. In Poland it is not uncommon for someone to come to the hospital with a less than life threatening condition only to be told to return after the new year when the hospital has more money. Once in the hospital it can sometimes be a struggle to get quick effective care because doctors have no incentive for expedience. All in all the healthcare system isn't terrible, but it could certainly be much better.

Missionaries and other foreigners are outside the system, which is a good thing for the most part. When we need to see the doctor or go to the hospital, we immediately pay for the services rendered, which usually aids in receiving timely and effective care. Some friends of ours were in Poland this summer, when the wife suddenly had severe pain from gall stones. Fortunately, since they were able to pay she had the gall stones removed via laprascopic surgery and she was diagnosed, under the knife, and finished with her hospital stay in four days. The bill totaled something like $600. Not bad at all. The way our international insurance works is that we pay upfront and then are reimbursed once the receipts have been turned into the Insurance Co. Today we called and had a Dr. visit our house. That's right, Doctors still make house calls here, though it usually costs a little more. After checking Ginger and the kids the damage was one infection of the ear, nose and throat, one case of bronchitis, one case of bronchial pneumonia, and one severe cold. The picture is of the boys standing in front of all the medication we bought tonight, even more medication than what is on my grandma's nightstand on any given night. We were suprised because the kids don't appear to be that sick, but I guess their lungs sounded a little rough. After the doctor prescribed the different medications I asked if any of it would make the kids drowsy and she said no. I told her I was bummed out about that and she got a good laugh.

Please don't mistake this blog entry for some type of cryptic statement about how we are suffering for Jesus over here or about how we are great examples of faith. The truth is, medical care on foreign fields is lightyears better than what it was for missionaries a hundred years ago and yet it is still one of the main fears for most people when they consider missions. I'd be lying if I said we didn't think about this while we were considering the move to Poland, and Poland's healthcare is better than most. If this fear has hindered you from going on a missions trip or from encouraging your child into missions, or hindered you from full time missions work---the question you must answer is "Is God any less capable of providing for, caring for, or protecting his servants in a country outside the U.S. ?" Your health and safety isn't a result of where you live, its a result of the God who made you, and His sovereignty doesn't change from country to country.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

UNO Night----Again

A few posts ago we told you about the teen girls who have been coming to our house on Monday nights to play UNO with Ginger. This past Monday she was able to get them on video, we thought this would be a great way to introduce them to you--that way you have a better idea of who to pray for. We have been so thankful that they continue to come to youth activities---it is very rare for Polish parents to allow their children to attend any church related activity unless sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church.