As the internet/www has changed so has our approach. To get updates on our ministry please search on Facebook for the ‘Kurtyka Family Ministry’ group and ask to join. This is a private group that enables us to share updates about our ministry that are more intimate or sensitive in nature. We’ll continue to use this group but given we work with asylum seekers and others, as well as we have found this site to be abused by some, we’ll use this WordPress site less frequently and for a broader audience. Peace, Mike
- Arriving in Holland to find out we were expecting Sophie! We quickly made changes to our original plan to be in Holland for a year and moved to Glasgow (December 2002).
- Children coming and growing in their faith – I (Mike) hadn’t thought much about this given how young our children were and we didn’t think we would have a 3rd so quickly. Now we have two that have given their lives to Christ and Sophie is pursuing a relationship with Jesus. In many ways they are facing challenges as their new/young faiths are being challenged by the culture, their friends and their own natures as they grow.
- Transitioning to bi-vocational ministry – we never thought we would open up a bead shop!
- Becoming a quasi B&B for so many people – we are blessed with a big flat that we have opened up to Nepali, Iranian, American, German, Dutch, French, Scottish and likely other nationalities over the years. Some have lived with us long term, others for a short stay. We have been blessed with friendships, help, and the opportunity to experience new cultures.
- Teaching English to asylum seekers – originally we thought our ministry would be to Scots and geared toward children/families. That is still very true but more and more our church is reaching out to asylum seekers. We meet this week to plan our 2nd year of conversational English classes held at our shop.
- Citizenship – we thought 2-3 years and then onto plan B somewhere else in Europe. We now have citizenship and still our dreaming about plan B – or are we in plan B?
- Our kids are in 3 different schools now so this opens up possibilities (if not logistical complexity) for us. So often, the relationships we make are with parents of our kids friends and where we can share the gospel. Please pray as Lily enters her first year of high school (different school than Harrison is in).
- Our shop is ‘ticking over’ but could use a better economy (like all of can) to allow us to grow it further. I, Mike have started to consider further schooling?, a new career? starting another business? I feel like I have accomplished what I set out to do with the bead shop, I want to keep my skills updated/relevant, and I do what I can proactively should the economy worsen any more. Please pray as I discern the next steps for me.
- Mosaic is pushing at the seems (at times) with our current location and we are attracting additional people. We would love to get the momentum going so that we not only have people coming along but disciples serving. We seem to be in a place of transition – growing but not enough to require a new location. A new location for the church would allow us ore space, more growth potential and greater ministry possibilities. Pray we can navigate this and that God finds the perfect place for us.
- Mosaic’s kids ministry could use an infusion as it seems we regularly are a community that interests those without kids – not good for our kids nor for growing a kids ministry. Please pray we get some new families and that Carol, myself and Carol’s sister Cindy can be effective with the kids ministry God has given us.
- Family life is getting my complicated of course and although we are bi-vocational, we really are just as involved in the life of the church and run the business full-time. Additionally, we have 2 teens and one who thinks she is a teen – as every parent, we could use pray that we raise them well, disciple them effectively and that they take on a faith of their own more and more.
Oh where do I begin? Carol was with her sister visiting her father in Massachusetts. I had my work schedule and kids all planned out – preparing weeks in advance who would be where, when and why! Carol left on a Wednesday and all was well. Monday night came and I had a meeting about the church website. I proudly cooked a family favourite meal, Harrison pro-actively cleaned up the kitchen, the girls got to bed on time by themselves and I and my ministry colleagues had a very productive 2 hour meeting. Said farewell, let the dog out one last time and went to bed at 11pm…10 seconds later I was in excruciating pain as I felt a stab in my left kidney. This continued until midnight when I went and got Harrison up and told him to get in our bed. I was fearful I would pass out and the kids would not know what had happened. I grabbed the phone and paced the floor for another hour until 1am. I took some pain meds I had for an old back problem but to know relief. It was getting worse and I felt cold, clammy and like I would vomit. I then called the health service 24 hour number. They thought the same – kidney stones and get to the hospital. I woke Harrison one last time and told him in his stupor (and my pain) that I was going to the hospital by taxi, stay home from school, get the girls to school, deal with the dog, let the neighbours know and I would call him. By 2am I was in the hospital and they said I needed transferred to another hospital (closer and where I thought I should have gone in the first place!!!). They gave me a shot of something, then another, but by 3am it hadn’t subsided and now was even worse. It is hard to describe the pain at 1am as tolerable as it wasn’t. By 3am it was so bad I had pulled a hospital cart toward me and was violently shaking it for dear life when another doctor came into my room and said, “Oh my!” and advised the junior doctor that I needed morphine. Ten minutes later and I was relaxed and enjoying a wee nap. At 4am they came to collect me and take me to another hospital where they did x-rays, blood work and a CT scan to confirm two large kidney stone (and a 3rd smaller stone still hiding we found out later). I stayed from Tuesday through Friday and was transferred to a third hospital where they did a lithroscopy to blast the stones and put a stent in my ureter. I came home Saturday night but by Monday went back into my GP – the hospital had sent me home with tons of meds but not pain relief!!! Wednesday the stent came out but that evening and I had the excruciating pain again; likely the last ‘wee’ stone finding his happy way out. Felt like it was happening all over again. Today, Friday, after a day of stupor from all the pain meds, I seem okay. We’ll see how it goes!
Through all of this I have read about thankfulness, prayed a lot, and been told how well our kids stood up to all of this. Getting themselves to school, making lunches, cleaning, dealing with the dog and generally getting on with life. Our neighbours, The Thomas’, stood in as parents to help them along but also remarked how impressed they were with the kids. In many ways I am thankful – the nurses and doctors care, the kids maturity and response, my neighbours helpfulness, family and friends well wishes, and that despite all I went through, it could have been worse. In a strange way it has made me more thankful and less worried about life/future events. Harrison and the girls all brought me stones as a reminder of the kidney stones. Oh their sense of humour, I wonder where they get it from?
I am on the mend, Carol is back, life is returning to normal and we are all thankful that this episode is (hopefully) behind us and that things are never as bad as they seem.
Peace, Mike for the family
Random thought for the week: I see myself as the entrepreneurial type – action oriented, results, individual pursuits, can do attitude, independent, quick to discern, etc. I don’t often think of myself as a pastor. Recently I have been confronted with needs & issues which require me to – listen, wait, draw out, helping someone in need – to name a few postures. Generally, being a pastor to people. It is a stretching and frustrating journey as I wait for results (even the word ‘results’ betrays my nature!). I think it best to operate in our strengths as God made us for something. That said, I do see the benefit of being stretched and growing in our areas of weakness.
We had our PC die a few weeks back and while I would like to go back and recover all my emails and contacts, I don’t have the time to do so. Would you mind emailing us so we have your current email address? With the death of our old PC, I decided to stop using Microsoft Outlook (where all the data was) and have switched us over to gmail as the means for emailing – although our glasgowmosaic.com email address is still the same and what we use. Gmail just serves as the ‘engine’ for our email ability now.
We are bursting at the seems with folk becoming regulars in our community. Please pray for us as we figure out how to accommodate the growth – spiritual needs, variety of worship expressions & preferences and culture differences.
Praise God that a friend I helped with his CV has had a glimmer of hope. He has over 30 years experience with a country’s helicopter service. We worked on reflecting this in his CV; making it very professional. He literally went to where the helicopters land/takeoff and told them he needs work. They were dubious until they mentioned a fault in a gauge that a company could not fix. A true miracle happened – they jokingly asked him to fix it and he did! They were so impressed they asked for his CV. Which he furnished and they were gobsmacked! They have forwarded this into their managing director. I hope to help him follow up with him and the company. This has been such an affirmation for him and I pray it will bring further fruit.