“Stover, are you sure you know what you’re doing? You mean to tell me that my grandkids are going to be ‘Pollocks’?”
That was my father-in-law’s response (himself a missionary in Thailand for more than thirty years) to the news that my family and I were leaving our ministry in Chicago to join a church planting team in Poland. He was joking, of course, but the reaction was a common one as we prepared to head to the field.
On June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan uttered the famous words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” That speech in West Berlin would drastically change the landscape of Europe forever. Following the loosening of the Soviet grip on Eastern Europe, missionaries began to pour into the former Soviet states. Initially, interest in Poland was strong, but after little results and fierce Catholic resistance, attention turned to neighboring countries.
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