Hello Friends, Family and Coworkers!
It?s an opportunity made for me. My plan is to move to Poland in September 2003! Why? For how long? Please read on to see how this came about in my life.
What you are about to read is a story about a changed life, and I have to share my experience with others. I know many of you I do not talk to on a regular basis, and for some, this is not a welcomed letter, but you have been put on my heart, and I need to respond to that. Over the last few years I have grown in many different ways, but the deepest has been spiritual. I have come to have a relationship with God.
Throughout elementary school, middle school, and half of high school, I wasn?t ?popular?, but I wasn?t really picked on or laughed at (except for a bad 7th grade year). I was just a wallflower who kept out of harms way. My story isn?t one of drugs and sex, but rather of loneliness and emptiness. I always wanted to have the attention that comes from something, whether it is smart, rude, cocky or ?popular?. Through most of my school years I was a negative and cynical person, and never did much to change that. Then one day I noticed a huge change in one of my friend?s who I?ve known since preschool.
Of course it should be known that I had a crush on this friend, a girl, so I would listen to her and be with her as much as possible. This all happened in the beginning of my junior year at Cedarcrest High. Making a long story short, she had met the best person in her life ? Jesus. I didn?t know this for a long while, but I did notice the new excitement and life in her, which is part of the reason I was attracted to her. We hung out a lot, got to talking, and she invited me to go to church. About 6 months later, I finally went. I heard some awesome stuff about life and God, but I wasn?t quite sure what it was all about. I had claimed to be “Christian” my whole life, but I had never really followed Christ, deciding to do my own thing instead.
Sometime near spring of my junior year, I was invited to go on a missions trip with her church. I still wasn?t quite sure of all this, but I decided to go since she was going. Well she ended up not going, but I had already paid the non-refundable portion, so I went with nearly complete strangers! The missions trip was to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, and I learned the people I went with were different, they had life that I didn?t. They befriended me and showed me a life I had never seen before, one filled with hope.
After returning from the trip, I gave this whole new life a good look, and within a few weeks I personally accepted Jesus into my life. Of course not everything was perfect right away; it was a long road to understanding how God has designed our lives to work in certain ways, and the consequences for not following those ways. But the most important part is that I truly felt God in my life for the first time.
Much more has happened in these last few years, and I have grown in Christ more than I thought imaginable. I still make stupid mistakes, but I have a consistent love and hope that is real. My mission in life now is to show that love to everyone I come in contact with. I have to admit, less than five years ago, I would have thought I was crazy for even thinking this way. Most importantly, since I believe I am being called to “spread the love” of Christ, I need a good training ground. That training ground the last few years has been at work and school, but now I know that God is preparing me for something new.
This past fall, I was presented with an opportunity to travel to Poland. I’ve been invited to help bring this same hope and life to others which I received my junior year. I?m not going to force anything down anyone?s throat; I?m going to form relationships with people who have lost their hope. I want to show them that my relationship with Jesus is real and invite them into my life with him. Granted we are all human and make mistakes, but this is what makes God so much better than I ever thought possible. So I have decided to take this step of faith.
I will be joining two missionaries who have been in Nowy Targ Poland for seven years. There is a college/career Bible study group which is requiring more help. The people attending the group need more individual time to develop their walk with Jesus. Even Christians in Poland have a difficult time understanding the hope that is theirs now. Plus, these missionaries desire to set up a web page for this age group, which is evangelistic in nature. This is a perfect job for me, along with training others on how to keep it going. I?m sure I?ll be learning from these people too. I trust God to make it a growing period, where I must trust him.
I invite any of you who are reading this to also search for a relationship with Jesus; it is one decision you will not regret!
As you have probably already guessed, this will of course take funds. I plan on staying there a year; God may laugh at that plan and change it, but it?s a goal nonetheless I will seek. It will cost me about $750/month to live there, which includes health insurance, plus airfare of about $2000 (that is $1000 one way). Before I start living there, I will be going to a conference, which will educate me on Eastern Europe. I will tour Auschwitz, and other historical sites, as well as learn what Communism did to the people of Eastern Europe and why they feel no hope. In short, I only want to provide an opportunity for these people to have the hope and love that I have.
Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, love, and encouragement. I will very much appreciate all of that and any tax deductible contributions you can send. Your support may be in the form of monthly payments or a one-time gift. Please send checks made payable to Mission Dispatch to the following address:
C/O Mission Dispatch
654 5th AVE. S. Suite 300
Edmunds, WA 98020
You may also make a non-tax-deductible donation through this site using PayPal:
All money donated through PayPal goes directly to my missions account, but is not tax deductable because it does not go through a non-profit organization.
Travis J. Mielonen