Dear <<First Name>>,
I am so grateful for community and discipleship.
Reading both the Old and New Testaments, I don't believe that God ever intended our life and faith to be something carried out on our own or in isolation. That's why this month I'm incredibly thankful for Tymek.
Tymek and I are going through JV Poland's Plan A discipleship program together, though I'll leave that for Gabi to share about below.
Together Tymek and I lead a small group for the young men in our church and youth group. We've been working our way through a Bible study called Gro through the last six months, and are desperate to invest in heart-level change in their lives.
Reading through Scripture, we see many practices and important aspects of faith that are missing from our youth group - such as bringing our sin to light and confessing together (James 5:16), sharing our sorrows and bearing each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2), and being authentic about our lives (i.e. not putting on a mask and saying all is good when it isn't).
We are trying to implement these changes from the ground up by taking initiative to share with brutal honesty and living open lives in our little community with these young men. It took me until roughly 26 to realize how important emotional health is in my relationship with God and others, and that emotional openness with Him and the people around me is something that brings peace to my soul, healthily resolves conflict, and allows for greater depth of relationship.
Please pray for our small group. Emotional health and communicating emotions healthily is at best something glossed over and not taught to young men in Polish culture (to be fair America really isn't great at this either) and at worst, it's something young men are discouraged from (Poland also has its version of the saying „boys don't cry"). It's hard to be that triple-braided cord from Ecclesiastes 4:12 if we're not openly relying on each other, bearing each other's burdens, and sharing in the joys and trials we each face in life. As Gabi likes to joke sometimes by quoting Disney's High School Musical - "we're all in this together." That's my prayer for our community in this season!