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Erskine Seminary


Student


Spotlight: Spreading the Gospel Abroad


Many ARPs find their historical roots in Scotland and North America. Others within this family


tree trace their lines to branches in Pakistan and Mexico. But what some might not realize is that future growth of the Gospel through their denomination could include growth in Japan—by way of Poland! We had a conversation with Erskine Seminary student Mateusz Kupiec to learn more about his current ministry work in Warsaw, Poland, and his aspirations to become a missionary to Japan. Mateusz Kupiec was born and raised in Poland. “Like many, I was brought up in the Catholic


Church. Religion had always fascinated me, but early on I had no real love for God, nor do I believe that I had ever really heard the Gospel,” he says. He grew up, studied physics at university, and worked in the business world for a number of years.


It was while he was attending university that he stumbled upon a compelling article explaining Chris- tian theology by appealing directly to Scripture. “It was different from what I experienced growing up. From that point on I was inspired to


learn more and eventually started reading the New Testament epistles for the first time in my life,” he recalls. “Soon after that, I understood the Gospel and gave my life to Christ, trusting in Him alone for my salvation.” During this period of study and reflection, Kupiec also found himself becoming more Reformed


in his theological convictions. However, not only was there no Presbyterian church in Warsaw, but there was no Presbyterian church in the entire country of Poland. Around this same time ARP minister and missionary Dr. Dariusz Bryćko was preparing to leave the United States and begin a new ministry in Poland. “I learned from a friend about Dr. Bryćko’s desire to plant a church and establish a Reformation


study center here in Warsaw,” Kupiec says. “Not too long after that, I personally met with Dr. Bryćko, and the rest is history. I am now involved with the church plant as an intern and with the Tolle Lege Institute as a manager at the Study Center.” At First Presbyterian Church in Warsaw, Kupiec’s responsibilities include, among other tasks, pre-


paring the order of worship, co-leading Sunday worship, teaching children’s sermons, preaching once a quarter, managing finances, and accompanying the pastor on home visits. “Mateusz is diligent in his many duties,” Bryćko says. “Without his gifts and hard work, it would be almost impossible for me to effectively continue in the ministry here. He is an answer to prayer, and I am grateful.” Kupiec also serves at the Tolle Lege Institute in Warsaw as manager of the Study Center’s book-


store and library. This institute, whose motto is “Faith Seeking Understanding,” provides free access to Reformation-era materials otherwise unavailable or hard to find in Poland. The institute is working to establish a publishing house to help the Polish people receive literature about the history, theology, culture, and art of the Reformation in their own language. “I’m starting to see how guiding visitors through our library and bookstore and answering their


questions about faith is shaping me as a future minister,” Kupiec says. In addition to his other responsibilities, Kupiec is studying for his Master of Divinity degree at


Erskine Seminary’s Virtual Campus. “My studies at Erskine help me grow spiritually and intellectually to better serve the people in our church plant and those who visit the Institute,” he explains. “For example, my recent class on the Westminster Standards made quite an impression on me. It has


inspired me to study the Reformation even more deeply than before, and to sharpen my understanding, so that I can be most effective in our missionary efforts bringing Reformed theology to Poland.” Theological students from Central-Eastern Europe who are unable to visit the United States will


have the opportunity to attend on-site Erskine Seminary classes at the Tolle Lege Institute beginning in the summer of this year. But Poland isn’t the only mission field on Kupiec’s mind. “I was born in Poland and have lived here


my whole life. So, naturally, I want to help grow Christ’s church in this spiritually needy country for as long as I can. However, my true love is Japan, which God has put both into my heart and the heart of my wife, Anna.” Kupiec expresses his continued amazement at God’s providence, shaping him over time through


contact with and understanding of Japanese people and allowing him to better identify with their worldview and ways of thinking. He believes that God has placed him in his current missionary context in order to prepare him for the next chapter of his life. “The Japanese are especially dear to me, and I hope to be able to sow seeds of Christian faith in that land just like we are doing here in Warsaw.”?


Erskine Theological Seminary 12 The Associate Reformed Presbyterian


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