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Poland & Berlin & The End

The last few days of this trip were none stop. Friday night Marek's had a leadership meeting for not only his own church but several area leaders. Marek really has a Kingdom mentality. Below is a picture of John and Andrezj speaking to them.

The next morning Andrezj came with his two sons to meet us. The weather could be described as unseasonably warm or as I called it God's answer to my prayers. We took some pictures form the balcony of the mission's facility we stayed at. It was a beautiful facility and 4 star all the way!

We went to Jelenia Gora about a half hour into the mountains and took Andrezj's boys shopping for a treat. His oldest son wanted the C.S. Lewis book series and his youngest wanted some Legos which I have to say it was interesting to see how universal and global a company Lego really is. After this we went to the square for some authentic Polish Pizza at Pizza Hut, NOT!

Andrezj shared with us something really funny. His two boys said I looked like a cartoon character from a Polish Cartoon Show on TV. They called me Rokita this cartoon character with a really long goatee. It turns out Rokita is the Devil. So, Andrezj said that John was such a powerful man of God that he traveled with his own personal Devil. We all got a big laugh out of it.

From there we had back to the mission's facility for the men's conference. The facility has a conference room that is great with lights, sound and a projection screen. It started with about 20 minutes of praise and worship and then John started with another 20 minutes of teaching. The men took a dinner break ate and had coffee for about a half an hour. It was then turned over to me and I spoke for about an hour though I was only suppose to speak for 45 minutes. I found that if you are speaking through an interpreter it takes twice as long. My interpreter Pitor was a great guy and his English was better than mine! He was an English teacher and also running for Office in the City Council. I really pray he gets it he is a great man and is blessed with an amazing family.

After the meeting I met a Pastor name Yonik from another Church in a town close by. He came up and shared with me that his wife's maiden name is Maciaszek. He also shared that her father's name is Stanislow Maciaszek the same as my grandfather. It was very cool here is picture with Yonik and John teaching.

The next morning we went to Marek's Church. John dedicated Andrezj's three month old daughter. Then I was able to share a short message then speak about Reimage Church. I finished with sharing a little about my family and showing them a picture. I have done this twice now and it I always get the same thing which is pretty cool, that I am not old enough to have children as old as I do. John really enjoyed playing this up!

Here is John and there young church the building is only 400 years old or as they say in Poland "New Construction" Ha!

After the service we went to the basement for cake to celebrate an anniversary of one of the members. We then went to lunch with Marek's family and some of the church staff. We then went to pack up and leave for the drive to Berlin. Our drive to Berlin was about 4 hours with a few stops. We went to dinner and then crashed to get to the airport in the morning. Things really couldn't have gone better we checked in, got a Starbucks then boarded the plane. Unfortunately the flight back is into the Jet Stream so it is almost ten hours to NY. With our flight getting into Raleigh at 5p we should be home by 8a. I really curious to see how work goes in the am.

I have to say I really forgot how much I enjoyed traveling. Experiencing different cultures is a real learning experience. I would not be opposed to doing this again that is for sure.

Well I will be posting a few videos soon, after I get a chance to edit them.

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posted by One Man's Struggle To Take It Easy @ 1:20 PM, , links to this post

My day starts at 1AM

I struggle to grasp the fact that while it is 7a in my present world, it is 1am at my home. The days are short when you relate them to daylight, due mainly to the fact that come 3:30p here the sun starts to set and by 4p it is pretty much dusk and completely dark by 4;30-5p. I have been blessed to meet some amazing people who have endured oppression some of us would be unable to comprehend. If anyone is to glorify communism come to a country affected by it and you will see not only how it ravages the ascetics of the cities, but more importantly how it ravages the minds of its inhabitants. The strength of God's Word and Spirit is the only thing to overcome such strongholds.

Today we started off here in Gryfów with a breakfast with Andrezj the Administrator for the local Church here and John's spiritual son. We then left for Wrocław Poland. There we met with a local pastor for coffee and reminiscing with John it is quite a special time for us all. The city is amazing here are some pictures from our visit.

This evening we met with the leaders at this church and John really brought a message that was inspiring and challenging. He really has left me in amazement with his ability not only preach but preach through an interpreter.

The day has been another whirlwind and it is hard to believe it is already 11p at night. Driving here is exhausting alone not to mention the affects of traveling. I received some not so good news today at home and it too has caused me to struggle with my emotions. I will continue to press in to the things of God as it is the only thing I know to do. Until tomorrow...

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posted by One Man's Struggle To Take It Easy @ 4:20 PM, , links to this post

Getting Caught Up and Krakow

Well I have to say keeping up with a 60+ year old man should sound easy but if that man is the "The Pope" John Daigle it is not! He has the energy of a teenager and I hope to be that robust at his age.

Above are some photos from the square which was recently redone and is beautiful. Below is the performance hall where plays and musical performances as done, Oskar plays here tomorrow.

We left yesterday morning for Krakow and stopped at Auschwitz and Birkenau and to say it was sobering is an understatement. I learned a great deal and saw things that will be etched in my brain forever. Below are pictures from our visit. When we went in the Poland building we actually found two Maciaszek's my unlce was actually named Boleslaw so it was very erie to see his name.

Seeing the train entrance to Birkenau was surreal as I remember it so vividly from Schindler's List.

When we arrived at Krakow it was night were able to see the square which is massive and beautiful. Here are some pictures of the square at night.

The next morning we woke up and went to the Castle which was beyond belief the architecture was amazing here are a few shots of the outside and in.

After this we met up with Wojeich a local pastor and historian who gave as a tour and it was great he really shared some insights we would not have got otherwise. Below is a few pics from our insiders tour.

Finally, we ended the tour with a trip on a high note when Wojeich surprised me with a little taste of home! Very Cool.


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posted by One Man's Struggle To Take It Easy @ 4:17 PM, , links to this post

dzień drugi Poland Day Two

Well today I feel much better minus a severe migraine this morning from not having my prescription when they lost my luggage. I started the service today in Church and was well received. It was hard to speak through an interpreter and just when I got comfortable I ended, I wanted to finish on a high note! John spoke for over an hour but with interpreter it is like a half hour. Here is a picture of him with Beata she is a University Professor who teaches English.

I recorded the entire sermon on Video they both did an amazing job. Today was again very productive we went from Church to a lunch meeting then took a short nap we then met with the Elders from the Church and really had some purposeful conversation John was very challenging and again the response was very positive. We have been welcomed into Zbyszek's home just like family I really enjoy his company and his entire family is such a blessing to be around. His heart is so for God's will it is encouraging to speak with him. This is me with his family.

A crazy story Zbyszek was showing a polish ancestry site where he traced his family tree on it he had a cousin from another area of Poland he found on this site. As he was showing me pictures we came to a photo at a wedding reception with his cousin and a man posing very friendly. We noticed the mans name was Jzork Maciaszek. So, now the standing joke is that Zbyszek and I are cousins. It is a small world. I was asked if I was still on the Paleo diet by someone and for the most part I am. I am tasting some things but I am trying to stay true to it as much as I can to avoid the Acid Reflux issues I am plagued with and it seems to be working still. I would not travel 5000 miles and not try a taste of a real Polish cake, RIGHT? We continue to see God move here in the people I am really amazed at how he is moving through us and allowing us to help. The worst part of all of this is just missing my amazing and supportive wife, then of course my children and friends. Your prayers are felt and greatly appreciated. God Bless and Keep you al! Thanks!

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posted by One Man's Struggle To Take It Easy @ 4:32 PM, , links to this post

Poland part jeden i dwa

It has been an amazing 24+ hours I had a whirlwind flight and due to delays in Raleigh the airline failed to get my luggage to me. I had to got to Auchan(Polish Walmart) and buy essentials to get me through. My experience with Germans left a little to be desired as the lost baggage guy would only speak English when I asked him too which was difficult after each sentence. Fortunately Rheney is from Austria and is fluent in German he called and figured out my luggage would see more of Europe than me as it went from NY to UK to Munich then to Wroclaw Poland where we drove over an hour from Legnica to pick up. We had a great time with Reini and his wife making them American Breakfast with Bacon and Eggs this is a picture with John.

We had a great time teaching at the mens meeting tonight. Everyone has been so amazing here I really have seen that the heart is what is important and man do they have heart here. You can really see they have come from a lot of oppression yet they persevere it is encouraging. It is now 12:30a and John is making me speak so I need to get some rest. I will close with a picture of him giving me some of his divine tutoring.


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posted by One Man's Struggle To Take It Easy @ 6:36 PM, , links to this post

Learning to live

Today was a great day and a great weekend. I was able to go to Raleigh and spend the night in an 5 star hotel at a 1 star price, I looked at cars I would want to buy just couldn't bear to part with the money to buy and I sucked it up and had afternoon tea with my wife in a Tea Room in downtown Wake Forest. I also had a conversation with someone who showed me that while nice things are nice, they are no replacement for real living. Real living to me is about healthy relationships, doing healthy things and enjoying them both to the fullest.

I haven't always been the best friend, best son, best father or best husband and I don't think I am there yet either. But if I have learned one thing that I am working toward it is being there. Rudy Juliani said to me last week that he could miss a wedding, but he would never miss a funeral because it is important to be there in times of need. While I agree with the later I disagree with the former. You should be there for both and the in between.

Never will we say we wished we finished a TPS report or earned an extra bonus, we always will say I wish I could talk to him or her one last time. I lost a young Uncle this year in a very tragic and heart breaking way. I called him after his death and left him a message not knowing he had already passed, I really wished I could have actually talked to him one last time. The only gratification I have is that I did call. The point is don't wait another minute to make a relationship right or check up on someone you love cause in the end you are not going to care if you are right or wrong or who's fault it was, you are only going to cherish the time you spent together as friends or family. Control you to make life the best it can be and it will be the best it should.

posted by One Man's Struggle To Take It Easy @ 9:29 PM, , links to this post

Now I have four days?

Isn't funny that even though we only have four days to work due to Labor day the week still goes on? I mean what would happen if every week was a three day weekend? Or for that matter a four or five day weekend? Would it cause efficiency to go down or productivity to go up? I read about Best Buy's Corp. Office removing restrictions to when and where people work to getting the job down in a specific amount of time and there productivity going up 20%. So the real question is do we work from 9 to 5 or 8 to 4 or 7 to 7 to be productive or to produce an image of being productive? The older I get the more I see it as the later, especially in an office environment. We have to be open from 8 to 5 because people expect us too?

posted by One Man's Struggle To Take It Easy @ 7:42 PM, , links to this post