From the Field | Poland
Letters from Lee about Ministry in Zamosc, Poland
On Wednesday, June 24, Pastor Jacek Duda, Rich Frazer and I traveled to Zamosc, Poland. Zamosc is in the southeastern part of Poland and nearby to the Ukrainian border. Purportedly, Zamosc has the cleanest air quality on the European Continent, making it a resident and retiree-friendly place.
At its height this Renaissance-style city once enjoyed a population of around 70,000 people, however since WWII the city has seen its population dwindle to around 48,000. Founded in 1580 the city boasts a beautiful and colorful 2.5-acre town square, surrounded by a fortress wall. We toured the city and visited the site of the Rotunda, a circular structure just outside the city wall. During WWII, Hitler’s armies overtook the Rotunda and used it as an interrogation facility. Between 1940-1944 more than 8,000 members of the Polish Resistance were burned to death at this site. It was a grim reminder of the German and Russian atrocities committed against the Polish people.
After touring the city, Jacek and his daughter, Alicija, took us to a local eatery. When in Poland you do as the Polish do—eat pierogi. This dumpling-style dish is quite tasty!
Then we were off to the Free Evangelical Church of Zamosc. Pastor Piotr has been the pastor of this church for 25 years. Situated just adjacent from large apartment complex this small church has a large heart. They sponsor an enormous feeding program for the poor. They also minister to local youth through regular Saturday outreaches, as well as hosts a summer summer soccer camp.
Pastor Piotr invited me to teach at their Wednesday evening service—an informal gathering of both young and old. I spoke on the Parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37.