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Richard, USA

Me and my wife come from Arizona.

Arizona is very diverse. The place where I live is almost a desert. It's nothing like Poznan. We probably have about 300 days with sunshine in a year. The sun is there even when it's raining. We also have enormous mountains. Do you know Grand Canyon? It's in Arizona. So in the winter you can go skiing and water-skiing the same day.

We came to Poland in 2001 to teach English in Poznan and in Gniezno. We liked Poland so much that we stayed! We later worked for the foundation Bread Of Live. Soon after that I started pastoring in the International Church.

Where we came from, there are single family homes, so living in a block of flats is something new for us. Here, seven years ago those buildings ware all grey, so it was a little bit scary .

My wife and I, we are very friendly people. When we learned how to say “dzień dobry”, we just said “dzień dobry” to people passing us in the street. Polish people are not used to that. They would just look at us like we were crazy and pass us by. First we thought that it is really quite rude. But then, once we got to know the differences in culture here and people got to know us, it was a totally different situation. We made real friendships and our neighbours became so nice that they invited us to their houses for meals. We got to know the Polish guest feeding tradition: “eat until you blow!”

What does it mean to be a pastor? The job is to love people. The world is full of hurt, pain and suffering. But it's also full of joy. To be a pastor is to love people, to encourage them and to help them grow closer to God.

International Church is not a religious institution, at least not the kind based on traditions. It's rather based on what the Bible says, on how it applies to our life today and how do we apply it in our life, in our culture.

We have a meeting place on Grunwaldzka Street, but the services are at 10 am in Kino Dąbrówka. We have singing, preaching, testimonies. The atmosphere is very informal. I don't wear a tie or any special suit. We have people from all over the world. From every continent except Antarctica! So we have different cultures, we sing in different languages. Once the service is over, we drink tea, coffee. We talk to each other. That’s a really unique place! Come over and see for yourself!

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