1500 square feet of newly renovated office space is now the new home of a church plant in Alytus, Lithuania - a former Russian satellite state in the Baltics. This is the second home for the church body, which has already had a high attendance over 60.
Orphaned at 18 with the sole responsibility of caring for his kid sixteen year old sister, Marian Kozak was adrift and alone. At 19 years of age he would be adopted ... into the family of God, because a missionary had been commissioned and sent.
"Looking back I now realize how God was shaping my life through life experience. Life is difficult for Lithuanian families and my early years became a backdrop which gives me perspective to understand the plight of the less fortunate, plus it gives credibility to those I desire to reach", says the 43 year-old pastor.
The relational impact in evangelism in Europe cannot be overstated. It is in the context of daily life that curiosity is created in the heart of those that have overtly rejected the relevance of the bible. Acceptance - the love of Christ - are the resources that the Kozaks have at their disposal to break down walls of resistance.
Having already spent ten years in Lithuania, Marian and Maria have already become one of the senior missionary families in the country. They have carved out a home in a culture where many find it difficult to cope with the realities of a confused society - one that seeks its future, having been shaped by their Soviet history.
"It was my church which encouraged and made it financially possible to attend Bible School. It is this same church that sent us, prays for us, encourages us in practical ways, and financially makes ministry possible," states Marian.
Aschaffenburg Baptist Church is the richer for having sent this family to the field. It is one of the greatest delights we enjoy when we raise funding for special project. Within minutes the congregation is able to raise thousands of dollars for the Kozak's ministry. It is their faithful sacrifice and exuberant personal humility that makes their vision a worthwhile investment.
Exporting spiritual DNA across cultural boundaries is being accomplished. Missional churches - those committed to the great commission - plant missional churches. Churches working through the BBFI sent a missionary to Germany, and now Germans send Germans to plant churches outside their immediate borders. Investing in Europe is paying dividends.