The Fellowship Expands
"Enlarge thy tent...stretch forth the curtains of thine habitation: lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes" --Isaiah 54:2
 
how God has used them

Poland

In 1988, when Poland was dominated by the Soviet Union, Rev. Nolan B. Peschke received an invitation from a Polish pastor, and so the Fellowship commenced its work in that country. He preached in churches in Opole, Gorzow, Sobotka, and a Bible School in Wroclaw. Pastors and believers alike were encouraged and strengthened by his visit. Someone from the free world cared enough to risk prison and/or deportation by the Communist authorities to come and minister to them.!np!

A Second Visit

In June and July 1990, Nolan returned to Poland to minister in the churches again. This time he ministered in Koszalin in Northern Poland and Gdansk (the home of the Solidarity movement) in one of Poland's largest non-Roman Catholic churches.

At the time of Rev. Peschke's visit, Poland was economically impoverished. Alcoholism was rampant, causing major family disruptions. Rev. Peschke addressed this issue in his messages. On one occasion, he was informed that the Communist authorities had sent a secret agent to the service. Undisturbed, he boldly preached Christ as Savior and Lord, and His ability not only to save and change lives but also nations. Despite the danger of giving social commentary with the Communists still in power, Peschke declared, "By saving and transforming one drunken father the family will be changed. When the family is changed the neighborhood will change. When the neighborhood is changed, ultimately the country will be changed." So he proclaimed the power of the risen Christ to change a nation beginning with one person.

The Communist authorities were impressed. A short time later Polish ministers of various backgrounds were allowed to unite for Evangelistic outreach services. They were permitted to conduct the city-wide meetings in the Communist Party's meeting hall and use the Government's billboards for advertising. The Government-controlled radio even announced these meetings! A Swedish evangelist later wrote Rev. Peschke that his ministry in Poland made an important contribution to the fall of Communism in that country.!np!

And A Third...

In July of 1991, Pastor Peschke returned to Poland to minister in various churches. Based on his earlier rapport with high school and college students, he was invited to teach sixty-seven Christian youths and their unevangelized friends for ten days at a mountain youth camp near the Czech border. This group comprised of Evangelical college students as well as graduate students of the leading Charismatic Roman Catholic theologian in Poland. By ministering to these two different Christian groups, Pastor Peschke built bridges across denominational lines. He was also able to sponsor Bible students from local churches aid pastors and their families.!np!

The Fourth Visit

In October of 1991, Rev. Peschke was accompanied by Rev. Arthur Defenderfer, who at this time was his Associate Pastor and Secretary/Treasurer of the Fellowship. During this visit they traveled with Brigadier General Charles Duke, U.S. Air Force, who walked on the moon as an Apollo 16 astronaut. Together they met with government, educational, and military leaders. General Duke testified to hundreds of people in schools and universities that he was now, "Walking with the Son of God."

Together with astronaut Duke, Rev. Peschke and Rev. Defenderfer joined an international coalition to sponsor a Warsaw banquet honoring the first Israeli Ambassador to Poland. The banquetss purpose was to awaken the new Polish Government to the necessity of granting Jewish, Protestant, and Evangelical religious communities the same rights of religious expression as the Roman Catholic majority. Governmental and religious leaders attended, including the head of the evangelical churches in Poland. The Ambassadors from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Finland were also present. Once again General Charles Duke shared his faith in Christ, sparking great interest. It is possible that this banquet contributed to the religious freedom enjoyed in Poland today.

 
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