32. Finding a Church
Finding a Church
Finding a Church is the continuation in a series of hubs in which I discuss my life of rebellion, dabbling in the Occult, drugs, crime and prison to life-changing conversion through Jesus Christ. Click here to read it from the beginning. In this hub, I will discuss how I found a Protestant church to worship at, after my deportation to Poland.
Do you think it is important to be a part of a church if you are a Christian?
Searching for a Church
If you have already read through my series, you know that I became a Seventh-day Adventist Christian in federal prison. I never went to an Adventist church before my incarceration; so I didn't know what to expect from it after I got released. My experience of church consisted of a small group of prison inmates getting together every Saturday to honer the Bible Sabbath for about two hours in the prison chapel. We would pray, sing a few songs from the church hymnal, share testimonies about experiences we had with God and watch a pre-recorded sermon or biblical video on TV. If we were really lucky, a volunteer from the local church would come and preach a sermon to us. I was excited to see what my church had in store for me after getting released.
When I began my search for an Adventist church in Poland, it didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. First of all, I was in Poland, Europe, which is predominately Catholic. The last statistic I read estimated that 96 percent of people in Poland are Catholic; so I wasn't even sure if I would even find a church in my area. Second of all, I didn't have an easy time finding locations for Adventist churches in Poland on the Internet. My limited use of the Polish language was a factor. By the time I finally had it all figured it out, it was well over a month before I found an Adventist church to attend. The good thing is, it wasn't very far away from the location at which I was staying; and the location where I would end up living.
I remember my first time there. The people were very welcoming; and after Sabbath worship, I was invited back to someone's home for lunch. This went on for a few weeks, with different people and families from the church, until I got to know most of the members of the church on more of a personal level. I have since then developed a close friendship with some of them; and they have been instrumental in helping me adapt to Poland as well.
Divulging My Criminal Past
Getting to know members of my church on more of a personal level was nice; but they had a lot of questions about my life in America and reasons why I returned to Poland. I was advised by some family and friends to be careful in terms of divulging my criminal past to others. The population of the city in which I now reside numbers about 30,000 people. That means that new news spreads fast; and people like to gossip.
I did not immediately tell anyone about my criminal past. When I arrived in Poland, my father was actually doing a job here; so I was able to say that I came to help my father. This is not entirely untrue, because I did work with my father. I then told people, after my father finished his job here, that he went back to the United States but I decided to stay in Poland. Another thing I tell people who I just get to know, when they ask me about my reasons for living in Poland instead of the U.S., is that Poland is a calm country, it has good food, and lovely ladies. They typically laugh and say, "Fair enough."
Gradually, I let a few close friends (mostly from church) know the true nature of my stay in Poland. I figured, I would let people get to know me before revealing my criminal past to them. That way, I was hoping, they would be less judgemental of me. I was surprised in that they weren't judgemental of me at all. As a matter of fact, they seemed to feel for me. Their typical response has been in saying, "How could America imprison someone on a drug trafficking and gun possession charge for eight years, and then deport them after living there for so long?" That kind of punishment seems rather excessive to them.
I had a lot to adjust to after my release from federal prison and deportation to Poland. Not only did I have a language barrier to overcome (which I am still working on), I had to adjust to a different culture. There are many differences between the Polish culture and American culture; but by God's grace, somehow, I am managing.
I am also still involved in sharing the hope that Jesus has given me of better things to come. Of spending eternal life, with Him, in paradise restored! A lot of it consists of Internet evangelism. I know that sounds kind of cheap; but my Polish is not really good enough to conduct Bbile studies with people, so I do what I can. I hope you have enjoyed my testimony of how Jesus delivered from a life of dabbling in the Occult, drugs crime and prison. If so, please share it with a friend! God bless you!
More Hubs by X-Con and Other Resources
These classic Bible lessons have helped tens of thousands to understand their Bibles and prophecy better! Each Study Guide covers an important Bible topic step by step, with revealing Scripture and easy-to-understand lessons. Learn what it means to be a Christian and discover the real Jesus, the Bible, and the gospel through this popular series!
The eight most important rules for surviving in prison. Based on the advice of a career criminal I received at the beginning of a nine year prison sentence I completed, and my personal experience. This could make the difference between the life and death for you or anyone you know facing imprisonment!
My YouTube channel dealing with Occultims in popular music. Please visit and subscribe.
This is an illustrated, step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a free CorrLinks e-mail account and use it to e-mail federal prisoners.