A Passion for Ministry: Lukasz’s Story
Amy Nickerson | July 2014
When Lukasz Kropisz first heard about God in a protestant church as a twelve year old, he had no idea God would give him a passion for junior high students or lead him into full-time ministry. He and his wife Jola, and their daughter Pola, live in Zory where they serve on JV Poland’s team
Q: When did you first encounter God?
A: I was 12 at the time. My family started going to a protestant church in my town, Zory. Gord Jackson, a Josiah Venture missionary, visited my youth group when I was 14. He was the first guy from Josiah Venture that I met. But I didn’t really become a Christian until I was 22.
Q: So, what made you decide to give your life to Christ?
A: I was serving for a year in the military at the time. I realized I was so lonely. It was a couple days after I almost died from an overdose. I was laying in bed thinking about what could bring joy in my life. That night while I was thinking, I heard God. Really. I heard His voice. He said, “Lukasz, you will have a better life if you have me.” That was the day that I received Christ in my life. Half a year later I went back home and everything started.
After Gord Jackson moved back to Canada, Greg Carlson, another JV missionary, showed up in Zory. He saw something in me and invested one year of his life. When I was 22-23 he had a huge influence on me. God was doing something through him and the missionaries JV brought to Poland. I remember we would read the Bible together. It was my first time. That was amazing to have that kind of person in my life. He encouraged me to start serving in my church.
Q: What is the most significant thing God’s taught you since?
A: If God is sending somebody to do His work He will always take care of them. I think this is the biggest thing I’ve learned. When we pray within JV about the harvest and God sending workers, He is always going to hear and answer those prayers. He is taking care of His kids and servants.
I’ve been working with Josiah Venture for almost 11 years now and He has always been protecting me. Of course, we’ve had problems in our lives, but my wife and I still know that God is taking care of us.
Q: When did you start working with JV? And what do you do on JV Poland’s team?
A: I started working with JV in 2004 when I did an English Camp internship. After this internship I was invited to be a part of an intensive program of discipleship for one year. During this year I started working with Josiah Venture Poland and my church. After that, I began a new ministry in Poland amongst junior highers. I’ve been working full-time with JV since 2005 doing that and HR work. Right now I’m helping to give people vision and ideas of how to be successful in ministry, answering their questions and motivating them. I’m also on a creative team working on vision, mission, branding, and marketing for Josiah Venture Poland.
Q: What made you want to get involved? What gets you excited about JV?
A: I think it was the possibility to work full time in ministry. That was not normal in Poland at that time. Most protestant churches did not have full-time workers. JV gave me the opportunity to work full time having a positive influence on people and opening doors for their ideas and passions.
I’m excited about the vision to reach people, the young generation. JV has these major highways we are using, English, music and Exit tours, that are opening doors to different schools and churches in Poland. I’m excited that after so many years, people are seeing that we want to help them to have more influence on their cities and in their regions. More and more churches are wanting to work with us and young people are wanting to serve with us.
The culture of serving in Poland is changing right now. When I was starting, it was hard to ask people to partner with you, whether through financial or prayer support. But right now people know this is hard but they want to try it. They are ready to go and ask friends and churches to help them serve full-time. This is exciting.
Q: What is happening with your junior high ministry right now?
A: We are thinking we need to invest more in those who want to do something. Sometimes they are 13, sometimes 16-17, but you can see in them that they have a passion for Christ and for serving. So, last year we started a growth academy for junior highers. It’s a week long program and last year we had 60 junior highers attend. This year we will use material from SonLife about how Jesus was serving. There will be a lot of team building stuff. We will serve outside of the camp we’ll be staying in. There will be a mix of teaching, serving, building relationships and teams, and encouraging confidence in people. They will be the future of the Church in Poland. We want to give them the vision that God is preparing them for something bigger.
Q: Anything else?
A: I’m really happy that Michal Skiba, a Polish guy, is the president of Josiah Venture Poland. This is amazing, that people from North America came and did a lot of work and are now passing everything onto Poles. JV is helping them grow in a lot of stages; in every area of their lives. Around half the staff in Poland is made up of nationals and we are waiting for two more Polish girls to join us in 2015.
Please join with Josiah Venture, and Lukasz, as we pray for continued vision and growth in the next 20 years of ministry in Poland.