In This Together
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!

What Happened
  • We had time at home!
    • After a very busy September, we were away from home only 3 nights in total throughout all of October. That might seem like something insignificant to feature in a ministry update, but it's something truly crucial for Gabi and me. I'm thankful for the following aspects:
      • I was able to lead worship at our church as well as teach at youth group
      • The guys from my small group were able to come over on multiple occasions
      • Gabi and I got some healthy time together to invest in our communication and how we rest together in our marriage
      • We were able to spend time with Gabi's family for the first time since July
      • I was able to spend time studying for my upcoming Polish drivers license exam
      • We had time to focus on our hobbies and in general enjoy the goodness of God and the way He created the both of us
      • On three separate Sunday evenings we had time to sit down together and watch the Cowboys play (praise God for early kickoffs!)
      • I was able to get some repairs done on our car that I'd been putting off for a few months
      • We've been able to host various people from our local church for meals, games, and watch parties
Gabi's Corner

Together with Elliott this year we are participating in “Plan A." Basically it’s a discipleship program that lasts all school year run by our JV Poland team. Because this year I went back to school, I was given a choice of doing it or not. If I’m being honest, I kinda didn’t want to do it. I felt that I’m not skilled enough to lead someone, and I never did it before so for sure I will fail. On the other hand, I knew that this would be a perfect and safe space to try it.

I was praying about it and I had one girl in mind. Her name is Amelka, and she is Tymek’s fiancée. I decided that if she says yes, I will do Plan A and if not, I’m wouldn't. She said yes. Now we already had our first little conference (see the first picture from the update) and I’m so so happy that I can be part of it. I can see how God led me to this place and how I am able to do it just because He is making me able.

Lately God is teaching me that I don’t need to be perfect and know everything, and that actually I shouldn’t, because then I can depend on Him for wisdom and strength. This has been a good lesson, and honestly really freeing. I’m really grateful for this opportunity and I’m glad I was faithful even when I didn’t want to be. I don’t know how it will go but even now I can see little fruits. You can pray for me and Amelka that God will show us what He wants to teach us and how we can support each other.

What's Next

Here's what's coming up for us next month:

- I'm trying to get my Polish drivers license! While this might also seem small and insignificant, this is a huge step of progress for me, as I've been battling Polish bureaucracy for years now to get them to let me exchange my US drivers license for a Polish one (something I am legally required to do). I finally got an ID number a few weeks ago that allows me to take the theoretical exam. I'm signed up to try for the first time on November 9th. Once I've passed that exam, I can finally exchange licenses and be done with this long, tiring process!

- First CSM worship training weekend! Our theme for the first weekend in Warsaw is Christ in us, the hope of glory from Colossians 1:27. Beyond simply equipping worship leaders with new music and ministry tools, our desire as a team is to get our students to reflect on their own hearts, faith, and identity in Christ as worshippers in spirit and truth. Please pray for the 60 worship leaders and musicians I get to work with this year!

- EXIT Tour Głogów! We've got our second and final EXIT Tour of the fall semester November 28th-December 3rd in the western Polish city of Głogów. This is the first time we're utilizing a Polish Christian band (normally we bring over bands from the UK), and is also our first time working with the local church there. Pray for changed lives and decisions to follow Christ as we share the Gospel with young people across the city!

Thank you as always for your continued prayer and support.

In Christ,

Gabi and Elliott

Prayer Requests
Here are some current prayer requests for the ministry and for me personally:
  1. Please pray for Tymek and Amelka as we disciple them through Plan A. We want to invite them honestly and without reservation into both the beauty and ugliness present in our daily lives, faith, ministry, and marriage relationship. May each of us grow to be more like Christ through this experience! 
  2. Please pray for Gabi as she's in a specialist dermatological hospital as doctors run some long-awaited tests to try and find the root allergens that cause her eczema flare-ups. She's been in the hospital since November 2nd, and will likely be released on November 8th or 9th. Pray for helpful results from these tests that would result in an effective treatment plan, as well as for Gabi as she spends nearly a week in the hospital alone. Praise God I'm able to visit her on most days!
  3. Please pray for Gabi as she returns to school! She's returning to university in Katowice to finish her final year of studies after a gap year. While she's excited to be finally taking classes in-person (again praise God for post-covid life!) to finish her degree, it will also be a challenge to return and balance studies with ministry and our life on the mission field. At the same time, she's excited for the Gospel conversations that will come from the naturally culturally-confronting reality of being a Polish missionary in Poland.
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.
Care Packages
Please address any and all packages/letters in the following way so that they arrive quickly and without issue ❤️

Elliott and Gabi Phillips
ul. Katowicka 59/21
41-400 Mysłowice
Air Mail

We love receiving gifts from you - whatever you send is a huge blessing and always so sweet, though here are some suggestions if you don't know what we need:
  1. American spices! We particularly love Fiesta brand texmex and bbq spices, as well as Nestle semisweet chocolate chips and dark brown sugar.
  2. American sports apparel! We're both huge fans of all the Dallas sports teams, as well as Texas A&M (yes, even Gabi!). Gabi likes a loose M, and Elliott wears an XXL.
  3. Stance brand socks! There's nothing particularly special about these, we just think they're fun 😀
  4. Special requests! Every once in a while there's something random or a bit of technology that you can only get in the USA. Let us know if you have some extra space, there just might be something small and helpful we can ship alongside your package!
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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Elliott's Instagram
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Elliott and Gabi in Poland · ul Szkolna 25/2 · Bielsko-Biała 43-300 · Poland

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