Graduation in Poland

The campsite and church facilities at Ruptawa are set in a beautiful area of south Poland, with good roads, rich open agricultural land, and always the warmest of welcomes from the Karzalek and Chylka families. On this visit it was encouraging to see progress in the renovation and refurbishment of the camp accommodation block, much of it financed by SGA[UK]. Many of the bedrooms and sitting rooms have been upgraded, but other work remains to be completed, as resources become available.

Tomasz
Pastor Andrzei Karzelek

Enthusiasm and excitement have been hallmarks of SGA Mission School visits to Ruptawa, but there was an understandable heightened sense of anticipation as eighteen students of the second group gathered last June for their final teaching session and then – GRADUATION! For them this was the culmination of almost three years of study which had made many demands upon them. All are engaged in some form of ministry or leadership in their local churches. Many of the students are married with families, and it was fitting that arrangements were made by Pastors Tomasz Chylka and Andrjez Karzalek to accommodate these for the Graduation weekend. The married students are aware that their studies had made demands upon precious family time, so to be able to have family members come and share their sense of fulfilment and success in their studies was much appreciated.

Eight hours were available for teaching a ‘sandwich’ course of Apologetics and Cults. Students participated and interacted well in class, appreciating that their studies would be of practical help in meeting and challenging the erroneous beliefs of a variety of cults, but particularly Jehovah’s Witnesses who are very active in Poland and many other Eastern European countries. It was interesting to note that though the students came from a variety of situations, some of them travelling in excess of 500 km to attend school sessions, all encountered intense efforts by various cults to win converts to their erroneous views.

Pile Books

When teaching finished on Saturday afternoon, the room was prepared for the Graduation Service, and filled to capacity as family and friends joined the students for a time of praise to God, a song from the student choir, a message from God’s Word, and then the awards ceremony. Diplomas were presented by Pastor Cezary Komisarz, the current President of the Polish Evangelical Church Association and a long-standing friend of SGA. It was particularly encouraging to see with him, another seven pastors of the churches from which students had come to attend the school. This was a gratifying indication of the esteem in which SGA’s teaching ministry is held, and of its effectiveness in training leaders for local churches.

Graduates were given a ‘mini library’ of Christian books to assist in the development and sustaining of their ministries, financed through SGA’s literature fund. These were deeply appreciated. Pastors Thomas and Andrjez, with Cezary Komisarz, spoke publicly and privately of the invaluable support of the Mission, and the impact this was making in many local churches in different areas of Poland. Graduates, their families and friends, pastors and SGA representatives then enjoyed fellowship over an excellent supper before ‘Farewells’ were said and students set off for home. Ruptawa Mission School number two is concluded, but already a new group is being gathered ready to commence studies next January God willing.

Praise God for His blessing upon this Mission School. Pray that God will use it for the salvation of many Polish people, for the growth of the Gospel churches there, and for the glory of Christ.