Interview with Mike Smith about the Vineyard in Poland
VM: Mike Smith, senior pastor of Vineyard Aurora in Aurora, Illinois, thanks for joining us to talk a little bit about missions work you lead in Poland.
Mike: My wife Bogusia Smith is actually our Missions Director at the Vineyard Aurora, and so together we lead the US side of the work in Poland. She grew up in Poland and immigrated to the U.S.
VM: That’s awesome. I’m sure that helps with cultural training if you take teams over. Tell us a little about Bogusia.
Mike: My wife gave her life to Christ at 16 years old, and has been living for Him ever since. Growing up, she was part of a house church in Communist Poland, and she’s working with friends and family to revive the work that began there in the 1980s.
VM: (wide-eyed in wonder) Wow! That is amazing! She must have a hundred stories to tell. I’m sure there must be so much happiness in seeing Poland’s political and spiritual freedom for both of you. What has been a great joy to you and your wife as you are leading missions efforts in Poland?
Mike: Our recent trips to Poland have been fruitful with many supernatural signs and wonders followed with a great openness to the Good News resulting in many coming to a relationship with Jesus.
VM: That’s terrific, just as God designed signs and wonders to work, to set the Kingdom in place in people’s hearts and draw them into relationship with Him for eternity. Have you had any challenges to deal with as you’ve chased after what God is doing in Poland?
Mike: We are actually experiencing a real challenge right now. A key couple who are bringing the light to their city in Poland have suffered a setback. The husband has been stricken with inoperable brain cancer. Any progress of a potential plant in that city has ground to a halt as a result.
VM: That is so disappointing for all involved. It sounds like God is the only One who can break in and make a change there. I hope everyone reading will stop and pray for this man to be healed. Have you guys experienced any surprising blessings in the last 5 years?
Mike: Definitely. Even just walking the streets, striking up conversations with people is a huge blessing. Receiving words of knowledge for people and watching Holy Spirit show up and make His presence felt. Then as a result we’ve seen people come to Christ. We also enjoyed teaching Power Evangelism in workshops and watching people pray for others and experience the power of God's presence. The miracles that result stir up faith and boldness to evangelize. Seeing people healed and then accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior is a true blessing.
VM: What encourages you, Mike?
Mike: Currently technology encourages me, and how we can use it to further the Kingdom! Who would have thought that my wife and I would have opportunities we have to pray with people in Poland via Skype--for free--when we are not able to be there. We have even seen a demonized person set free over the Internet. We are constantly reminded that "humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."
VM: Nice casual scripture drop there! (Matthew 19:26 and Mark 10:27) What are you currently reading that you can recommend?
Mike: I am bi-vocational so I have two books that I am currently reading. For my educational administrative position I am reading Good to Great by Jim Collins. For my pastoral/personal enjoyment I am reading The Charismatic Century:The Enduring Impact of the Azusa Street Revival by Jack Hayford.
VM: Nice. I appreciate people who are always learning in their field. Thank you so much for talking a bit about Poland and giving us an update. Is there room for more U.S. Vineyard churches to join you in the work there?
Mike: Absolutely. Check out our Poland page and pastors or key leaders can contact me via the Vineyard Missions office and we can start a conversation, perhaps setting up a look-see trip.
VM: Perfect! Thanks again Mike! It was great to chat with you.
Visit the Poland Page