Prayer Needs for Mission Partners

2/11/2024: Please pray for Leon and Mandy Poplawski. They are on staff with Cru City and work with individuals and churches in Lake County helping local churches equip “Mon-Fri Workers” for ministry through their callings. This includes leading "Work and Faith" groups and workshops in Lake County. Leon continues to be involved with the Lake County Jail ministry and Mandy works with a local MOP's group. Leon and Mandy also coach a group of staff nationally who are innovators in their cities. A note from Leon and Mandy describes some current ministry updates and their current prayer requests:

  • We want to thank you for the warm coats, socks, gloves, and hats that were donated to help Lake County Jail inmates when they are released during the winter season. These acts of kindness made a great impression on not only the inmates, but the administration as well that we try to influence for Christ.
  • Leon is training a Spanish speaking Chaplain and it is going well. Alex is learning how to share the gospel, build disciples, and guide inmates on the straight and narrow. Leon is learning more about gangs and gang life from Alex which helps him communicate with lives that are in bondage.
  • A recent inmate came to faith in Christ after a Pod Bible study. Pray Deshawn would be transformed into the image of Christ.
  • Leon is tracking metrics for 170 CRU staff who last year we saw 1250 people put faith in Christ, through in person conversations.
  • Mandy continues her work with young moms, equipping them to be Jesus, not only in their families, but also in their communities.
  • She is also leading the team planning and designing our virtual conference to be held on April 10 and attended by 250 staff. Please pray for her.
  • Our biggest need, now, is increased donors to partner with us in all God is doing.

1/28/2024: Please pray for Francesco and Manuela Grassi. Francesco and Manuela are missionaries with United World Mission and are serving at the Italian Evangelical Bible Institute in Rome. As a missional scholar for the Theological Education Initiative (a branch of the UWM), Francesco is involved in the ministry of theological education, both residentially as well as in the various decentralized schools around Italy. Together with Manuela, they serve as mentors, providing counseling, and hospitality to students living away from home. Their passion and prayer are for Italian believers to recover the importance of a sound and holistic biblical formation for the life and witness of the church in Italy. IBEI (Rome) is intentionally and concretely invested in this regard. With its focus on two critical needs of the Italian churches – the theological/spiritual/practical formation of believers and the education of the many bi-vocational church leaders around Italy – the school maintains the clear goal of helping the whole church grow to maturity in Christ. Here is an update and prayer requests from the Grassis:

  • Perhaps, the most immediate prayer request is the life of a dear friend who is battling cancer right now and just had surgery. Her name is Eveline. She came to visit us a few times while we were at CrossLife. She is family to us, and a “third” nonna for our girls. As I write we are here with her, in Switzerland, helping with day-to-day errands, cooking, taking her to chemotherapy and back home, just sitting and talking and praying with her. Yes, we requested our parents for a week to stay with our children in Italy. Pray for them as well.
  • We are organizing a day camp for the kids in Rebecca and Rachel’s classes from June 10-14, which will be held at the facilities of the Bible Institute. For over two years we have been able to make new friends and establish good relationships with the parents. We pray this turns into a great opportunity to share the gospel with the children and their parents. We are open and clear the camp will have a strong Christian component, so this will also be a good test to see their reaction. Pray also for our inherited American tradition of the Easter Egg Hunt which we are having again this year in one of the parks of our community. Those are precious moments for the little ones to hear (and for the adults to “overhear” as they walk around) the Gospel. We covet your prayers.
  • Another test will be the launch of a pilot "Summer School at IBEI." For many years this was a ministry and a great opportunity to study God’s word, especially for bi-vocational church leaders or Christians who could never take 1 year off work, or simply couldn’t afford a longer period at the Institute. The idea is having a class that will join history and NT studies with field trips to Rome, Pompei, Ostia, preceded by a prep time in class studying the corresponding bible passage. It is a pilot, so it might rise and die in one season. Please pray for a good opportunity to serve God’s people in Italy in this way and pray for the guy in charge of organizing the curriculum, the courses, and everything in between, whom I don’t trust very much (and I am that guy whom I don’t trust very much (and I am that guy). 
  • Pray for our summer planning. God willing, we will come to the US for a couple of months, something our mission suggests doing every once in a while, and which we welcome with great joy as we can see many of you again! I am also planning to spend some time at TEDS writing…if not wrapping up my dissertation?! We will need to start looking for a place to stay, and the campus at TEDS would be ideal. Would you mind praying God opens possibilities in this regard? Also, if you know of options for borrowing a minivan for the summer, or for a cheap rent, that would be of great help.
  • Lastly, keep praying that we may always walk in a God-honoring way, in what we do at the Bible Institute, at home as family, in our neighborhood, and our community as disciples of our Lord. We’ve been facing difficult circumstances in the last two years, together with great joys of seeing students growing in their love for the Lord and in knowledge of God’s word and neighbors hearing the gospel for the first time. We feel the healthy pressure of clinging tightly to God for help and assurance.