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TIME OUT
Dear <<First Name>>,

What a wild month.

October 7th, our region of JV Poland had a staff meeting. As it turns out, a few people who had already been infected with COVID-19, but who were asymptomatic at the time, were at that meeting.

October 11th, I started getting very sick. I immediately went into self-quarantine, and a couple of days later was able to get a telephone appointment with my Polish doctor, who gave me the referral to take a test, which came back positive.

Cases in Poland have quite simply exploded this month. At the start of October, we were averaging around 2,000 new cases each day. As of now, that number is 19,000 per day and rising. Pray for Poland and the medical system here.

Not to be dramatic, but the coronavirus and solo quarantine experience was hands down the most difficult experience I've ever gone through in life. I had a high fever for 10 days, loss of taste and smell, muscle aches, cough, inability to sleep, and labored breathing. On top of that, I needed to care for myself, cook, and clean amidst police-enforced isolation. I barely had enough energy to get myself out of bed a few times each day.

Thankfully, God was by my side through the entire experience! While I shed more than my fair share of tears and spent weeks wrapped up in blankets just trying to stay warm, God never let me give up and lose hope. People from my church regularly checked in and brought groceries and medicine. Friends called often to ask how I was doing. Gabi and I talked daily on FaceTime. And after 16 days, my health has more or less fully returned and I am free of my mandated quarantine!

I'm still a little bit on the mend. My lungs haven't returned to full capacity yet. Honestly neither has my energy or "get-up-and-go," though they are slowly returning. At the same time, God is daily showing me favor and care. Walking, driving, feeling the sun, talking to another person face-to-face - after weeks of laying inside alone, these things are incredibly sweet blessings from the Lord and I cherish them dearly.

My challenge for you this month - take the virus seriously, but also do not live in fear. Our God is in control, and prayer has incredible power! Also, if you know someone currently sick and on quarantine - especially a single person - offer to bring them food. Call them and ask how they're doing. Pray for them. Now, more than ever, our churches need to be the true community of believers that they're meant to be.

What Happened
  • YOUTH GROUP
    • It at least happened a couple times! I was a little discouraged after a rough first week of youth group, but then one of my students reached out to me and said he wanted to help me as I build a student leadership team. This is nothing short of a pure blessing from God, as it means one student has caught the vision for how our youth group can grow. He already helped get two other students involved in volunteer roles that suit their gifting - praise God!
  • PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING
    • JV takes wonderful care of their married staff, with in-house marriage conferences, as well as on-staff marriage coaches serving in each country. Just this month, Gabi and I finished up JV's pre-marital curriculum, having been coached by our good friends and teammates Jacob and Becca Hash. God used their experience and the program materials to deepen our communication skills and bring us closer to Him as we emphasize our holiness over our happiness in our relationship.
  • GABI AND JV POLAND
    • This month Gabi was able to take her first concrete steps towards joining JV Poland and serving alongside me! So far, she has been helping our Operations staff with some project management - particularly in how we care for our missionaries and track their work trends and hours. It's a blast to see her have opportunities to engage, serve, and make a positive impact on JV Poland even now as we prepare for our marriage and life as a missionary family!
Marriage Update

Thank you so much for your prayers as Gabi and I move forward in the process of getting married as a mixed-nationality couple here in Poland!

Sadly, there is no great miraculous progress to report - yet! Our case is still in the process of moving between the two courts, however we were able to find a lawyer among mutual friends who is helping us to grease the wheels and get things moving as fast as possible. Praise God!

Please keep praying for a miracle as far as the timing of paperwork and this process is concerned. At the same time, we are praising God for the ways He has met the both of us as we wait and pray. We've done much prayer and processing, and have given up the date and details of our wedding into God's hands as we trust His lead. May God's will be done and kingdom come in our relationship and ministry together!

What's Next

What's coming around the corner:

- EXIT Tour online! Naturally, with a handful of our team being infected along with the nationwide rise in cases, the EXIT Tour planned for October was cancelled. For the foreseeable future, all Polish middle and high schools are completely online, therefore this month we're pulling together a group of our lecturers and professionally recording their workshops. We will be able to send these to schools to continue to reach into the lives of students around the country!

In addition, we're starting to work on more online content for our social media. Between Instagram and Facebook, we have a reach into the lives of a few thousand Polish students. Our team is working on fun and inspirational video content to inspire them with the Gospel message of hope amidst confusing and ever-changing times.

- Youth group online too! Our church has cancelled all non-Sunday-service meetings indefinitely to fall in line with new government restrictions. This means we need to shift our youth group meetings online. Please pray for me and for our students as we make this transition - many of us are spending more and more time in front of screens, and I want this to be something of true value for our students, not just another hour or two on Zoom 😀

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 4-6 weeks of you sending it. 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 youth group as we transition online. Pray that our meetings would be valuable, worthwhile, and deepen and strengthen the faith of the students.
  2. Please be praying for my EXIT Tour team as we step into alternative ways of serving churches and reaching Polish youth with the Gospel this season. May God's kingdom come and will be done in Poland!
  3. Please pray for Gabi and I as we fight with the Polish courts for a supernaturally quick end to the bureaucratic process we need to get married. Many people in the Polish system don't understand why we're rushing, or even doing this the right way - even in our pain we have opportunities to share what we believe.
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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JV Instagram
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What I'm Hooked On


One Sonic Society - The Greatness Of Our God

I had a truly sweet time in quarantine returning to old worship albums that I used to constantly listen to years ago. This one is a personal favorite. 






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

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