Friday, March 06, 2009

He alone who owns the youth, gains the future

I'll come back later to who said this. For now, just ponder it with me as I share about my friend Andrzej. ("Ahn-zhay" more or less; "Andrew" is the gringo version).

Andrzej is a friend of mine from Poland. He was a college professor in the 80s & early 90s. (Math & Computer Science)

But an interesting thing happened. He encountered the claims of Christ for the 1st time, despite having been a church member all of his life. They revolutionized his life, as he trusted Christ fully & completely.

Andrzej eventually joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. Same group I was on staff with for 7 years. He became national director of the campus ministry, and another interesting thing happened. They invited some American professors to Poland. Another huge life change.

Andrzej now directs the faculty ministry of Poland. Let me be clear: his area of ministry responsibility is every university in the country. I've been in Poland three times on mission trips, and worked alongside Andrzej every time. God has given me a love of the country and a particular love for the people. (Aside: the old jokes utterly fail when one meets some actual Polish people and realizes, for example, the literacy rate in Poland is FAR higher than that of the U.S. Know who Copernicus was? Sure you do. Know where he lived? That'd be...Poland. [Andrzej was a professor at the university where Copernicus studied and taught, by the way] Like Chopin's music? Know where he lived & wrote? Poland. Aside from being offensive because they're terribly racist, I find the old jokes *highly* offensive because of friends I've made in Poland. *All* of whom are conversational in at least two languages; most, in three. End of rant)

How I wish you all could've been sitting @ my kitchen table a week & a half ago when Lisa & I were treated to a ministry update of what God is doing in & through Andrzej's ministry to & with professors there! My professor heart soared such that I wound up inviting myself back to Poland for one of their professor conferences in August 2010...(And Andrzej, well, pretty much accepted my self-invitation...) *smile*

Andrzej is really capturing a big vision and putting feet to it. And God is blessing. The work is *crucial* in impacting the country for Christ.

Why? That goes back to the originator of the quote I started with. Adolf Hitler.

Yep. That same Adolf Hitler, who attempted to enslave a nation and the nations in his hemisphere. And came frighteningly close to achieving that. And who created factories of death & destruction the magnitude of which--60 years later--are too horrible to contemplate. I know...I've visited them. Place in the beautiful mountains of south Poland known as Oswiciem, or Auschwitz in German. This is where Hitler started implementing his awful vision.

Now ask yourself: who really does own the youth? And thus the future? In Poland...and in America...the answer is the parents 1st, but during the hugely formative years between 18 & 24, it's college professors, at least in terms of helping shape their thinking and their values.

Join me, won't you, in praying for Andrzej. On behalf of a generation of university students too young to remember the madmen who perfected his lightning war and his death camps on/in their country. Who desperately need to know that there is truth that is real & knowable & worth pursuing & integrating into their life & their studies. And on behalf of professors throughout the country who are brilliant, successful, productive...and empty. Who wonder if another publication or promotion or presentation is really all there is.

May we never see another generation of youth lost to false, Nitschean superman/will to power/morality-free teaching in universities. Both here and in Poland.

The wisest man who ever lived once said the following. The latter part is emblazoned all over university libraries & admin buildings in this country. The first part, of course, is not seen on those same buildings. Here's the entire quote: "“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Andrzej is all about demonstrating that. And introducing professors and students to the One Who said it. Join me in praying for him and his ministry, won't you?


p.s. - Some of you should perhaps become part of Andrzej & Ella's financial support team. Want to know more about that? Hit me w/ an email; I'd be delighted to pass along how that works.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mike- I have always had a special place in my heart for the people of Germany and Poland. I read Anne Frank and another book written by the lady who helped them after I had surgery in middle school sometime...and since then God has always given me a heart for them. Thank you for sharing this with me. Recently, I read another piece. It is called 'No News From Aushwitz'. It was published in the newspaper about 15 yrs after the last of the concentration camps were liberated. It is chilling...maybe written by Rosencranz or something like that? You can Google it and read it in the entirety. Read it. The best use of irony in real life. I will be praying for your friend.
Christy G.