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Dear <<First Name>>,

Coming out of June, I was so excited for what I would get to share with you in July. I had meetings set with my church's youth leader to start planning for the fall. I was prepping to start meeting and investing in our youth group's team of student leaders. I was in the middle of a big focus on incarnational (in-the-flesh) ministry together with my JV Poland team. But, (in hindsight probably unsurprisingly) plans change a lot nowadays.

The night before Gabi and I left for our vacation at the end of June, my church hosted an evening of worship and prayer. I was asked to join the worship team for this event. I felt unsettled for a whole host of reasons, so I decided to say no to serving, and we decided not to attend. In hindsight, praise God for His timing.

As we were on vacation, my phone began to blow up with group messages from church. As it turns out, a few people infected with COVID - though asymptomatic at the time - attended and were involved in leading this worship night. After that evening and service the following day, over a dozen people from my church ended up in quarantine for multiple weeks, with a handful of positive cases. Naturally, everything surrounding church needed to be shut down for a few weeks.

Here at the end of the month, I'm freshly reminded of God's sovereignty over all - both in the good, that Gabi and I are healthy and narrowly avoided quarantine, and that everyone involved in those church events has returned to full health - and the difficult, that even though my ministry seems to have to change practically over and over, I know God is using these changes in ways I do not yet see.

To end on a positive note, one incredibly encouraging sphere in my life this month has been worship. I know that might sound odd - how can my involvement worship be the best part of a month where I did not set foot inside my local church building? I'll write more on this below, but God appears to be giving me more and more opportunities to partner with a group called CSM. Even in a month that felt very dry in regards to ministry, God is still dropping me encouraging little visions of the future and how He is moving in Poland!

PS - if the first line of this section says something weird like "Dear FNAME," that means I made a mistake in the code when trying to do something fancy with this email 😉

What Happened
  • I GOT ENGAGED!
    • Just in case you missed my email from a few weeks ago, Gabi and I got engaged! We are incredibly excited for what God has for us in the future together both in marriage and in ministry as a family. If you'd like more details, click here to read the original email or feel free to just ask!
  • LOCAL DISCIPLESHIP
    • As I mentioned, the impact of that worship night made anything resembling local ministry logistically very difficult this month. By the grace of God, one of my youth group guys and his family were out of town that weekend! I was able to meet a handful of times with him for FIFA, coffee and conversation, and time writing music together. He's entering his final year of high school, and I'm praying this year he really steps up and begins to mentor some of our younger students as I mentor him.
  • REST
    • Gabi and I had a fantastic vacation, driving all over Poland visiting friends, her family, and overall just relaxing together. Healthy spiritual and physical rest is always important, but I'm seeing the value of developing more consistent rhythms of resting - particularly now during a season where I often tire more quickly by doing work that produces fewer tangible effects (Zoom calls, much more time in front of my computer, planning how to do EXIT ministry in a pandemic, etc.)
Worship in Poland

Over my nearly year-and-a-half of serving in Poland, God has given me amazing opportunities to connect with worship leaders and musicians from nearly every corner of the country. As it turns out, one of them - Adam Kosewski - lives just a short drive from my place in Bielsko-Biała. Adam is a national Polish missionary and leads an equipping movement called CSM - Centrum Szkolenia Muzyków i Liderów Uwielbienia (Center for Training Worship Musicians and Leaders).

Nearly a year after we first met, Adam and I were finally able to connect over dinner to learn more about each other's lives and callings from God - amen for the positive things to come out of the pandemic and how it affects our schedules! 

CSM has been on a mission for the last 12 years to equip Polish worship leaders and musicians to serve their local churches, both musically and spiritually. This meets a huge need both of local churches and these leaders all across Poland, and is something very near and dear to my heart. Later with Gabi I broke down and cried as I was sharing how I see God using this movement, and how He might be opening up little spaces for me to be involved.

Right now, CSM is coming out of a period of incredible growth, yet further growth is capped by their financial and resource capacity. Adam and his team are in the process of building a physical home for CSM, where they will be able to equip and minister to more worship leaders, and serve more effectively as an organization. God has lead me to support this project financially, and I would like to ask you to consider doing so as well. You can find more information at this page here, translated into English - one of the first ways I was able to help serve Adam and CSM.

God is using CSM to develop a heart and posture of worship in dozens of churches across Poland. If you feel led to invest in that movement, the site I linked to above contains a link to support them through PayPal. I cannot wait to share more in the future about how God is using Adam, his family, and this incredible ministry! 

What's Next

What's coming around the corner:

- Back to church! Everybody affected by the worship night appears to be off of quarantine, and just in general students and their families are returning from various vacations. I wasn't able to meet with my guys small group all July - we're planning a big celebratory reunion for the six of us full of pizza and games! I'm also planning a one-day retreat with them. Please pray for a safe return to in-person meetings for all of us, as well as for wisdom and eyes to see how God is working in each of these guys. 

- EXIT Tour Season! Normally August is the time when we as a team begin to train local churches for the fall season of EXIT Tours, as well as meet with schools and begin setting various logistics in stone with our British bands. Soon, our team is planning a conference call together with these churches to discuss the fall. Even if we're not able to organize a normal season of tours, we want to carry out our calling to equip local churches to disciple and share the Gospel with youth to the best of our ability! 

- Youth group! Our main youth leader in my local church will be going on maternity leave this fall. That, combined with a realistic chance that my fall EXIT Tour schedule won't be nearly as intense as normal, means that I will be able to step into a larger role in our youth group through the end of 2020. Please pray for God to show both me and our youth leader wisdom as we listen to the Holy Spirit and figure out what that will look like.

Thank you as always for your continued prayer and support. Stay safe and healthy, and know that I'm praying for you and yours.

In Christ,

Elliott

PS! Fun Mail Info
A handful of you have asked about sending care packages, which have been HUGE blessings to me. Even if it ruins the surprise, please email me when you send something. My ministry and work schedule means I'm often out of my apartment for long stretches of time and I need to keep an eye out for incoming packages 😉
My home address in Poland:

Timothy Elliott Phillips
ul. Szkolna 25/2
43-300 Bielsko-Biała
Poland
AIR MAIL

If you write it just like that, I should get your letter or package probably within 2 weeks of you sending it! Or it would, except now with the virus it's kind of a giant question mark. Reminders of home like Wisconsin/Dallas/Texas-themed things, Mexican or BBQ spices, handwritten letters, and fun Stance-brand socks are always appreciated 😀
Prayer Requests
Here are some current prayer requests for the ministry and for me personally:
  1. Please pray for my investment in my group of five young guys from my youth group as we come off of a month with no opportunities to meet together. I'm praying that we'll be able to pick right up where we left off and build good momentum heading into the fall!
  2. Please be praying for my youth group in Bielsko-Biała as we prepare for at least a semester without our main youth leader (or with her in a very reduced/sporadic role) as she's having a child this Fall. I'm praying to equip some of our students to step up and take leadership roles this summer. I can't wait to see how God works in their lives!
  3. Please pray for Gabi and I as we walk through this season of engagement together. We specifically want to be good witnesses of the Gospel to her parents as we show the love and hope we have in Christ through our words and actions.
Don't forget to sign up for a one-hour time slot on Josiah Venture's prayer room website. This is a great way to play an even greater role in this movement of God in Poland.
 
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What I'm Hooked On


Client Liaison - Wild Life (Panama Remix)

Sweet easy-going beats for a windows-down summer drive 😎






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EP in PL · Ul. Przemiarki 15/331 · Krakow 30-384 · Poland

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