In December 2018, Jeroen (from our Kingdom Family at home) and I went to a group of brothers in the south of Poland. Some brothers had reached out to me through Facebook with a lot of questions about discipleship, and after some video calls, we decided to go visit them and help them out.
It is not so far away from home, but it turned out to take a long time to get there. Two and a half hours to get to the airport by train, then check in and security controls, flying for a couple of hours, and then 4 hours driving with them. In total, about 10 hours. On the way back it took even longer, because our flight got delayed. Funny enough, had we gone by car it would have been less than ten hours! We had fun anyway.
We spent 3 days with them, and I must be honest with you: it hurts to see the hunger and confusion that comes when disciples are trying to set up a spiritual family, while they have never been part of one themselves. These loving brothers and sisters received us warmly, and took very good care of us. We slept in their living room, and spent hours talking to them about the Kingdom of God, sowing a healthy vision for their group, and explaining to them what they could change.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Once we left, the teachings and vision we shared brought sword instead of peace (Mat 10:34). Character building (the Fruit of the Spirit, as explained in the letter to the Galatians, chapter 5) is something that not any teaching can achieve. It has to be imparted through discipleship, through sharing life together. Our brothers there had unfortunately issues and quarrels, and lack of shepherding when trying to solve their differences.
After we left, the group separated. Some might see it as a failure, but I don’t. Paul and Barnabas’ separation was necessary, and it is necessary that those who are like-minded stay together and those who have other desires have the freedom to carry them out.
We keep contact with two of the families there who remained together, and are trying to coach them. One of them came and spent a week with Jeroen here, and we could minister and shepherd them a bit more. Many needs were met, and they could see who we are and what we do. The other part of the group has opened a traditional church, while the guys we keep contact with will try to set up a healthy Kingdom Family, with hopefully a future apostolic work, but that will be a long road without disciple-makers around them.
Doing this is not easy, and the enemy is actively invading Godly territory. We need fathers, we need mature disciples that have the time to work with spiritual orphans like them, who are trying to set up a safe place for new disciples. All they had were some seminars and traditional church experience, but no disciple-maker taking the responsibility to shape them.
Let’s keep praying for workers to be sent! Or actually, shouldn’t you and me better keep going? The Kingdom needs us all!