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2023 In Mack's life

What a year it was! Here is a little bit about my 2023 :)

Ordination and Revitalizing Churches: 2023 marked the year of my ordination! After four intense years at Bible College, diving into Mission, Ministry and Theology degree, I am now Revd. Mack. I've landed in Exeter, where I'm working on breathing new life into a church on the brink of closure and collaborating with another church that's seen some fantastic growth in recent years.

Navigating Through the Storms: At the beginning of the year, I was grappling with the second-largest episode of depression in my life. It felt like a storm fueled by the chaos of 2022 – the war in Ukraine, uncertainties about my next place of ministry, and the challenging process of studying. The entire study ordeal was more demanding than migrating to the to UK without knowing English and a near-empty wallet!

Degree Accomplishment Against All Odds: I cannot believe I finished that degree! I would love to be in touch with my primary school teacher, who said that I would never speak English. Here you go, Mrs. SomeoneICan'tRemember!Degree studied in English. In England. Despite the cost and challenges, the sense of accomplishment is unparalleled. Here's to overcoming obstacles and achieving what seemed impossible!

Blessings from Church Communities: I can't help but count my blessings when it comes to the incredible churches I've been a part of. In the first half of 2023, St Barnabas in North London stole a piece of my heart. Amidst the ongoing adjustments post-Covid, our team was a powerhouse for the mission. The friendships formed with Andy, Rowina, Julie, Sim, Mike, Lydia, Matt, Eliot, Kirstin, Ayako, Lois, Joyce, Nathan, Anna, Beth, Simon, Alex, Mark, Sian, Essam, Jianbee, Ros, Ben, Lucy, Charles, Rob, Naomi, Dan, and so many more were nothing short of impactful. In the latter half of the year, St Matts and St Andrews in Exeter warmly embraced Alison and me, making us feel at home from the get-go.

The Challenge of Moving Cities: Moving to lead a church in a new city is hard! Saying goodbye to familiar faces, established friendships, and everything you've known is a challenge. I recall my move from Poland, where I stayed connected with people left behind for months. However, from London to Exeter was a different ballgame. On the one hand, I jumped into forming new connections and becoming deeply rooted in the new community, leaving me with limited capacity to maintain many past relationships. On the flip side, for those I left behind, it felt like I had vanished, leading to lonely days and evenings wondering, "Where are my friends?" Thankfully, those moments are becoming rarer.

Unexpected Faith and Friendship: Talk about surprises! The faith and trust in God shown by three friends who joined the Church planting journey in St Andrews, Exeter, utterly humbled me. Ayako, Louis, and Joyce, my friends from London, turned family, took a leap of faith when I asked, "Would you like to join me?" Their resounding "Yes!" was followed by swift changes – new locations, new jobs. While I was being provided by the church in the move, they fully trusted in God's provision without guarantees! Witnessing their unwavering faith and trust has been a profoundly humbling experience for me.

Worship and Spiritual Battles: Amidst the rollercoaster of ups and downs, God's blessings and care have been my constants. Learning to play the guitar turned out to be a divine gift, a new tool for spiritual battles. There were moments when praying or diving into scripture felt challenging, but worshipping with the guitar became my uplifting solace.

Legacy in London and Growth in Exeter: London holds a special place in my heart as I bid farewell to the incredible Men's Group. What started with two guys evolved into a deep, disciplined community of 12-15 men at each meeting. Lives were transformed – some embraced Christ, others were baptised, and a few felt called into ministry themselves. Each of these guys has become a shining light in the world, and it warms my heart to know that the group, now led by Matt, is entering its third year.

In Exeter, my focus has been on St Andrews, where I'm building a community for the new congregation. Since my arrival, the congregation and the team have grown. We're gearing up to start new services and make a lasting impact in the neighbourhood.

Church Family: With our relatives far away, the family from the churches and friends played a monumental role in our journey this year. The encouragement poured in from all directions – prayers, financial blessings, time, and gifts. At every step, we felt the support, and we couldn't be more grateful to God for placing so many amazing friends in our path.

Future Aspirations: Looking ahead, our vision for the coming year is to make the St Andrews church community a focal point in the community. A place where intentional discipleship thrives, leaders and missionaries are trained and sent out, and transformation is a constant. Personally, I want to be a better husband to my wife and a great friend to all my friends.


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