Dear <<First Name>>,

What a wild year.

Normally, throughout the Christmas season we hear cries of "good tidings" and "great cheer" and "goodwill towards men." You'd be forgiven for asking where these all are amidst the cries of "deep loss" and "great fraud" and "growing tension" during the 2020 holidays. It's almost easy to miss out on the classic warm feelings that are supposed to come with the Christmas season. I've even heard some joke - is it even Christmas at all?

If we simply turn to scripture, the answer to that question is a resounding yes! Look at what is going on in Judea around the birth of Jesus. Rome conquered the Jews some 60 years earlier and now runs the land as a client-state. Herod the Great, ruling as the puppet king of Rome, is a madman who literally murders an entire generation of newborns at the whisper of a threat to his rule. 

Not just Mary and Joseph are suffering during the time of the birth of Jesus, but the entirety of God's chosen people. Therefore, when the angel appears to the shepherds in Luke 2 and brings "good news that will bring great joy to all people," this is something shocking and truly awe-inspiring.

This is not joy in the midst of family and fireplaces and Frank Sinatra. This is joy in the midst of pain and suffering and occupation, brought to a people waiting to throw off the shackles of Roman oppression and the tyranny of Herod.

This is Gospel joy! Not rebellion, release from earthly rulers, or a return to a land of blessing that the Jews were hoping for, but true joy - joy in the hope of salvation from sin brought about by God Himself made flesh. 

This is what my heart ponders in the midst of a painful end to a tough year. I pray it is of some encouragement to you and yours as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, who loves us unfailingly and alone is our hope.  

But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.

Psalm 33:18-22

End-of-year Giving

If you're searching for places to direct your end-of-year giving, here are two great ways to further invest in how God is moving in Poland.

JV Poland "Next M" Fund: Our Josiah Venture Poland team has been growing like crazy over the past few years. God has specifically been calling young Polish leaders to serve with us as missionaries in their own context. Unfortunately, financial support is one of the biggest barriers to full-time ministry for Poles. This fund exists to cover 30% of the costs of a new Polish missionary's first year of service. This is a huge accelerant for our growth as an organization, and allows us to serve more churches and equip more leaders across Poland.

Because of the blessing of recent growth, this fund is currently at max use - meaning we are unable to offer this support to additional new Polish staff. We are praying for funds to cover these costs for three new Polish missionaries next year - approximately $544 monthly per new staff member. Your donation will mean that we can help support local churches with their youth ministry more quickly and more efficiently than at present.

Click here to support JV Poland's "Next M" Fund


Video and creative equipment: As you may have seen on social media, Gabi and I have been serving more and more on the technical side of ministry as we record videos for various JV Poland ministries and missionaries. Up to this point, we've been scraping together gear from what JV Poland has, what we already own personally, and using small bits of surplus here and there to purchase small, but essential things like an audio recorder and an additional hard drive.

Gabi and I have a new project from JV Poland for 2021. We will be traveling around the country to each of our Polish missionaries to record two videos to assist them as they raise support in Poland and abroad - with priority going to the newest staff most in need of such resources.

To increase the capacity and quality of our work, we are in need of some additional basic equipment, such as lights, additional microphones, and stands to the tune of $1000. A one-time gift towards our gear needs enables us to better serve our fellow missionaries as we help to see them hit 100% support, freeing them up to focus fully on their ministry.

Click here to support our equipment needs
What's Next

What's coming around the corner:

- Time with Gabi's family! We'll be doing Polish Christmas with Gabi's parents. This is a really great time for she, I, and her brother to continue witnessing our faith to her family as Gabi and I live and serve on mission.

Ministry refocus! Just today, we had an online team meeting with all of Josiah Venture Poland to discuss some adjustments the board made as we move forward into 2021. I'll have some more details in next month's update, but what I can share now - I am incredibly excited and blessed to serve in an organization that is willing to look at itself and constantly question if we are serving this region as best as possible, and if our organization could serve our missionary staff better. The pandemic was a weird time to serve as a missionary, and I'm grateful that JV Poland is working to adjust how we operate, and how they invest in our staff and our ministries in new ways as we navigate these strange times.

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

Merry Christmas,

Elliott and Gabi

Prayer Requests
Here are some current prayer requests for the ministry and for me personally:
  1. Please pray for my youth group - after the holidays I hand leadership back over to Klaudia as she returns from maternity leave. Pray for a smooth transition and for great new ideas as our leadership team grows with her return!
  2. Please be praying for our Josiah Venture Poland team as we step into alternative ways of serving churches and reaching Polish youth with the Gospel during the pandemic. May God's kingdom come and will be done in Poland!
  3. Please pray for Gabi and I as we wait for the end of the bureaucratic process so we can get married. May this continue to be a time of soul-level growth in us, as well as a time full of opportunities to witness to others as we seek to be faithful servants of the Gospel while we wait.
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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Planetshakers - It's Christmas

It's that time of year y'all 😉🎄🔥

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

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