I was right in my place. My work was to love full time. Imperfectly, but always looking at Jesus. However, I quickly noticed a desire in my heart for something more. It’s hard to describe it. I just came to Lodz, turning my life upside down. Only because of Him. But what was burning inside me was about loving. About something else new to me. At that time, thoughts about missions used to come back more often.
And in the middle of them, a new one. I wrote it down for the first time on February 14, 2016. “Later this year I will go on a mission trip to Mozambique. What is it?”
I didn’t want to go there. When I thought about traveling alone to Africa, there was an overwhelming feeling of stress localized in my stomach. I kept telling myself that I didn’t have to do anything. That if I feel bad about this thought, I can leave it. But that’s not how I made my arrangements to live with God. I wanted to be all His, no matter what the cost. So I looked at this thought from time to time, but every time I found the same thing – God is calling me there, and I am afraid. I remember well the darkness of my apartment and my eyes wide open. Nights in which I suddenly woke up feeling that I was falling. With no ground under my feet and the question: am I already in Mozambique and is it forever? I remember very well that I was terrified. With the feeling that I am not in control of my life.
One of those nights I had a dream. It was night in a dream as well. I was sleeping in a room somewhere in Mozambique. Suddenly several children ran in and started to pull me out of bed and tell me to go pray for someone with them. They failed to convince me, so they ran out of the room, and I was left with the thought that I was very tired and that I would not be able to get up. And then I heard God’s voice: “You have the right to rest, sleep at night. After all, the night is made for sleeping and you are tired. You may not go with them, but then you will not see how I am moving.”
When I woke up in the morning it was clear to me that I was flying to Mozambique. Not because I have to. Because I want to see Him at work. Courage also came with this decision – completely by grace, from Him. The circumstances did not change one night. I didn’t get into my long, lonely travels to another continent, and the several thousand Polish zlotys I needed for my trip were not credited to my account. And yet the restless nights are over. That thought written on the calendar became my conviction.
I am always surprised by God’s ways of moving. At that moment, I already knew I was flying. I hadn’t thought about the fact that I had yet to send a request to the Pemba base where God was calling me. And that no one has given permission for me to be there yet. I wasn’t thinking about the visa or the money I didn’t have. I didn’t think about getting three weeks off at the foundation where I worked. In my heart I knew – I’m flying. And I was still scared. But knowing that God was taking me there, I was able to take the next steps, believing that He would do it by Himself. Despite my difficult emotions.
And in this place of my helplessness, God was teaching me about a promise He gives. When we receive the promise, we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus only. Let us not hold onto that promise any more than Him. Because perversely, in waiting for fulfillment, the promise should not be our focus, but He should be. It is on our way to Him that each promise comes true.
A few months later, I landed in Mozambique. It’s been almost three weeks of loving and reaching out my limits. Again, just like in India, when my strength and possibilities were no longer sufficient, I came to Him confident that His strength and possibilities were enough. That there is enough grace.
A few days before I returned to Poland, God told me to stop doing things and just start being with Him. I felt uncomfortable with it because I had the feeling that I had come to do things. As if I had to pay with my hands for the place given me to stay in the mission base. As if I had to perform measurable tasks that are easy to talk about later. As if I had to prove to Him that I did enough. All of this was not true.
It was hot and stuffy that day. I protected myself from the sun under a wooden shelter with a roof covered with grass – a gazebo. And I watched the birds. This is how I used to spend time with Jesus. It was one moment between us that God made Mozambique a home within me. As if He changed the settings of my heart. Undeniable change. I was sitting there, in the country God called me to. A country that I knew nothing about. Which language I didn’t know. In which I had been for a little over two weeks and the only relationships I had there lasted that long too, mostly with white missionaries. And this inexplicable feeling that I am at home. And at the thought of Poland that I only go back there for a while.
I thought it was going to be years. After returning to Poland, its reality was no longer mine, although I knew it so well. The sense of mismatch was back. This time, however, I knew exactly where I belonged. In early 2017, I began to pray and fast to know more clearly what God had planned for me. I completed this time with Him with conviction to go to Harvest School of Missions in Mozambique. And also to quit my job at the foundation before leaving, because I will stay there. Both things I heard about were impossible.
First, I counted how much money I need to have. Almost $8,000 that time. School, airline tickets, visas, own expenses, etc. On my account – as much as I needed to live in a given month. Then I looked at the recruiting process and emailed them that I would like to be a missionary with Iris Global in Pemba. Let me explain. About 250 people graduated from this mission school at that time twice a year. My school was 27th. Many of these people wanted to be missionaries in Pemba. And I wrote an email about what God had told me. The answer was nice. That I have to finish school first. And to serve in Pemba, I need a college degree in the area in which I will serve. And that there are very few open places due to visa restrictions.
I started preparations. I told people that I was going to Mozambique and that I would stay there. To Daniela, who was the president of the foundation, I said that I was leaving. I terminated the contract for the rental of an apartment in Lodz. All this without the money needed to go, without the certainty that there would be any possibility for me to stay in Pemba, even without a decision that I was accepted to the mission school.
Again sometimes I felt like I was falling. I remember moments when suddenly a feeling of being overwhelmed came in the middle of ordinary activities. And panic immediately behind it. I was most afraid of my stable reputation, as I called it at the time. What will people think when what I tell them doesn’t happen? Then I focused on Him every time, and He calmed me down. And He persuaded me to talk about what He was doing from the very beginning. Even if nobody can see anything yet. I used to tell Him then that it was not my idea. I used to remind Him that it is He who has to pay for the trip and pave the way for me. That I could go to this school in a few years, when I earn money for it. And that it was He who chose a different time that I am not able to respond to with my own resources. I sounded like God didn’t know. But I spoke to myself, really.
One time, while spending time with Jesus, I saw Him sitting on a field. One leg was straightened and the other bent. He rested an arm on His knee. He held a blade of grass in His mouth. He smiled at me and said, “So, are we going to Mozambique?”
I was crying. I knew everything was taken care of. That He is taking me there. A few days later, I received over $4,000 from a person to whom I did not say anything about my lack. Later she explained that God asked her to give all her savings to me. Anyway, it was her savings for the mission school, the same school to which I planned my trip. But God also provided for her. A few months later, we met in Mozambique.
I remember that as soon as I arrived in Mozambique, my thoughts were busy thinking how God could fulfill His promise and how I could help Him in that. He said a place for me is ready. And just to be with Him. I also remember how at the first meeting of our little house (we lived several people in one) I shared how God said that I would stay here. And the silence with which it was received.
A few days later, we were to choose where we wanted to serve during the school. I’ve been thinking about being with a person. About to love personally. As I read the list with options, my eyes fell on the financial office opportunities. First reaction: “oh no! I didn’t come to another continent because God told me so, to spend time in the office now!” I read on. But the heart without sense, as I thought then, was just going back to finances. After a dozen or so minutes, I gave up. What was the point of not listening to God who brought me all the way here?
Twice a week, with one more person in the room, one and a half meters by two, without air conditioning, fans and sometimes light, we were organizing several hundred dusty envelopes from the last few years. I don’t know how many times during that time I thought about what I was doing here. Sure it’s good to be able to help. But that’s not how I imagined loving another human being in Africa. “It doesn’t matter anything that I’m here,” I thought. Until the COO of Iris Pemba asked me for an interview. He said he heard that I would like to stay in Pemba as a long-term missionary. He asked about my education. He told me who they needed in the finance office. The day before, God gave me a dream about beautiful leather sandals, which I bought at a very good price, but after a while of wearing them, they chafed at me. But I knew it was not important. The leather will soften as I walk. And so a day later someone opens to me the possibility that God spoke about from the beginning. To stay in Mozambique. Again, not as comfortable as I would have liked. I left mathematics behind me right after my university, during which I discovered that I was interested in people more than numbers. But it was a possibility to stay there at that time. (Remember that you had to have education in the field you serve? I have a master’s degree in mathematics.)
When I was leaving Mozambique a few weeks later, I already had my ticket back. I left some of my belongings in the room where I was supposed to live when I got back. In just over a month I was again in Pemba. It was January 2018. I have lived in Mozambique ever since.