Hey there! My name is Theresa Ducksworth. I have had the privilege of visiting Poland twice on short-term missions since the summer of 2016 and those experiences are what instilled a desire for me to take things up a notch (or two). I had been a Christian for about 11 years before I embarked on my first overseas mission and God set me on this new path.
I will admit that Poland was not on my radar at first. I applied to a different mission trip to go to Haiti, and didn’t make the cut. But the trip leader told me of a newly added trip going to Poland that was for an arts camp. As I’m an art school graduate and member of the worship team, it was right up my alley. The Poland trip leader even sought me out to apply and sign-up! It seemed like God really wanted me to go.
And so, I went with a team of 10 other volunteers to serve and experience what Fishart camp in Zakosciele had to offer. Over the course of five days, my team worked really hard, shared tearful stories and laughed at inside jokes. I saw how God was moving and softening hearts among the kids around us toward Jesus. I experienced how uncertainty and changes in our plans are really part of God’s ultimate plan. I fell in love with the passion I saw in Proem staff and volunteers for loving on the kids who may not ever experience an inviting and welcoming environment like this again. My heart was sold and I knew I would come back.
Fast forward to February 2017, my church announces the upcoming global missions trips and I jump on the applications. I signed up for several trips to Poland and was accepted to all, but I had to make a decision to go on one. The last trip would have been easy and safe; there was plenty of time to raise money by December. The first Poland trip was going to leave in 3 months. I prayed and felt that if I was going to grow in my faith by going on a mission, I needed to take a risk. I committed to the first trip.
Well, not only did we get extra time for raising money, but the entire team was fully funded within a month and a half. Again, God was telling me to go.
Volunteering at Kontakt Piotrków was so amazing. I met so many new people and reconnected with some familiar ones, learned more of Poland’s history and culture, loved up on kids from all walks of life, and got to see further into the vision Proem Ministries has for Poland. I met other missionaries from the US who took the leap of uprooting their comfortable lives in the States to be a part of what Proem was doing there. I felt like I had found a new home. I spent a whole day at the school in Tomaszów, playing with the children and shadowing another intern. I loved it all. I had found my place.
And in my spirit, I felt God nudging me, saying, “I need you here.”
Here am I, send me. In obedience, I am going. I started this blog to document the journey, to connect others to my experience, to invite you to be a partner and friend with me in this mission of bringing the message of new life through the Son. And to inspire anyone on the fence that the risk is so worth it.