Kurtyka Family Ministry (A private Facebook Group)

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

Celebrating Ten Years

Friends,

 
In August we celebrated our 10 year anniversary in Europe with…very little fanfare! To be honest, like most of life it snuck up on us. In December we will celebrate 10 years of ministry in Glasgow so maybe we will throw a bash :). Regardless, it is hard to believe how far we have come and how much life has changed for us. Thank you for partnering with us and helping us minister here in Glasgow. here are some highlights of our time in Glasgow and some aspects of the future for us.
 
In Christ,
Mike, Carol, Harrison, Lily & Sophie

 
Highlights:
  • 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?
Future:
  • 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.

Stones

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

Contact us with your info

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.

 

Thanks, Mike

Grandma Lange

This is one of my favourite photos. My Grandma Lange was such a dear soul. Skin as soft as the day she was born. Who I get my blue eyes from. Footprints in the Sand written on a blanket, a cross on the wall and a Jesus painting that looked at you wherever your stood. 97 years old and yet cheerful as child (she was). These are my memories of her. I hope that I get to live to this age and more importantly, I have the same gentle spirit.

Boy on a roll!

 We live in a disposable, throw away, buy it new rather than repair it society. When I went to Kenya, every item had many years of life – repeated years of life. Bike tires were repaired or when the bike could no longer be fixed, the parts were cannibalised for use as tires on wheelchairs or toys for children to push with a stick. 

When I was about 11/12 years old I took a class with Mr. Zube that was a bicycle maintenance & repair course. We had even competitions in skill riding and were taught about repairing and maintaining bikes. I loved the class. I lived on my bike. In fact, I was so good at riding, when I was a paper boy I could deliver my entire route no-handed. I would roll papers as I rode along skillfully (and not so skillfully). I used that class to repair many a flat tire!

Today my son Harrison and nephew Aidan were riding bikes. Aidan we thought had lost some air; in his tire that is not from his backside (hey we are boys and boys do that stuff!). Anyway, when they returned from a brief journey, it was certainly a hole in the tire. We rolled up our sleeves and repaired it the old fashioned way. Immersed the tub in the sink to find the hole, I taught them which tools to use, even had my proper repair kit to show them how to take the tube out (a back tire nonetheless which is trickier due to the brakes and chain). With a little elbow grease and some patience we had a mighty fine repair job.

I enjoyed the effort of teaching them what I consider an invaluable skill but also life lesson. Many good things get thrown away as we don’t know how to repair them. Or we don’t take time to learn or be taught. It has been a good week for repairs. Last night I even saved my desktop PC for the moment; floppy drive failure, unable to boot, unable to even start. Aside from the practical aspects, it is good to learn new things. It stimulates the mind, we build relationships and hopefully we do are part in being good stewards of what God has provided. I feel like a boy on a roll!


Scottish Breakfast

Scottish Breakfast

I prefer many foods. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, late snacks, coffee in the morning, wine in the evening. This post is dedicated to the morning breakfast tradition of a full Scottish breakfast. For me it must include the following:

  • potato scone (when eating out, otherwise toast will do)
  • square sausage – also know as Lorne sausage. Carol calls it forlorn sausage – super fatty and peppery
  • 2 eggs over easy – need to be able to dip into
  • baked beans – for the Americans this is an anathema as there isn’t a hot dog and a bun nearby!
  • blood pudding – extra crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside
  • cup of joe – i.e. coffee
  • skip the tomato
  • hashbrown square
  • Lastly, I know it is bad, but I love to add extra salt. If you are going to eat this you might as well kill yourself with more salt and fasting later.

There are of course variations on this – mushrooms for example – but if I had my way this would be the true Scottish breakfast (or American with Polish background living in Scotland).

 

Mike’s random post for the day

January 2012 – rain, wind, English classes, kids club and more rain & wind!

It has been a wet & windy start to the New Year. No different from the last 6 months though! We have had gale force winds blow off a clay chimney cover, knock down trees throughout the neighbourhood, move a tree in our garden/yard from a 30degree to a 45degree tilt, and move a house (well the neighbour’s kid’s play house). That hasn’t kept us inside too much as there is school, the shop, kids activities and much to do through our Mosaic community.

Our English class had a great start to the New Year. We were not sure what to expect as some members (two Spanish couples) went back to their home country and the New Year is a time for many of our student participants to recover from exams. I spoke with Saied, our Iranian brother in Christ, about meeting every two weeks until numbers increased. The first night we had 3 new participants and 8 of our regulars back – and we were missing many! We decided their wasn’t a need to start slow therefore. I had the privilege of leading the bible study portion the last two weeks and decided to take a step back and teach how to study the bible; even discussing basics of the history of the bible, the contents, reliability, and basic facts and figures. This week I taught on Philemon and how to be a detective – who wrote the book, why, main characters, purpose, application. It seems to be helping as many have never read the bible before. Now if the Holy Spirit can convince them to read it on their own and seek God’s truth for their lives – that is a prayer we can all start this New Year.

Carol and the kids have started back with the kids bi-weekly club at the Annexe. While I am at the English class, they are either at the Annexe community centre where Mosaic meets each Sunday, or in a discipleship group with a couple from our church. Please pray for this to grow outside of Mosaic as the kids invite their friends to come along. Being part of a small faith community has its benefits, but being part of a larger community, and the youth activities that this enables, is something our kids miss out on. Please pray for growth in our kids ministry. That our children would be witnesses for Christ and be bold in inviting their friends to experience the love of Christ (and the joy/fun) through the youth activities that Mosaic does offer.

This month we also welcomed my niece Emily to our home for the next 5 months. She is studying at Glasgow Uni and living with us; the kids love having a big sister to play with. Frodo also likes another person to seek affection from:) This adds a new but easy dimension to our lives as family is always fun to have with us. Today we visited the new riverside Transport museum – £74m in cost! It was certainly enjoyable but I am not sure worth this amount. The old museum was adequate and I think a simple refurbishment of some of it would have been fine; perhaps just more temporary exhibits would have sufficed. I think the money could have helped so many people during such a difficult time economically that it wasn’t well spent on this museum. As I think about our business and the pressures it faces with people being very measured in their purchasing, I can imagine this is the same for all businesses and households. It gives me pause when these sums are spent as ‘investment in the future’ when the present is so needy.

The next few months should be more of the same with the added twist of deciding schools for Lily – she starts high school next year! Hopefully as we move into Spring, our next update will be about flowers, birds and warm weather 🙂

Sophie reading at the Mosaic Christmas Talent Show

Lily performing at our Mosaic Christmas Talent Show