Our team was made up of myself, my six year old son Gabriel, my brother Dawid and our friend Dave Hughes. This trip started in a very interesting way. Our scheduled time for departure was being delayed due to the massive snow storms across the country. Literally hundreds of planes were grounded and guess what, there was not enough space for the four of us in the plane that was supposed to take us to Toronto.
These are moments where you either have faith in God’s plans or you simply give in to the reasoning of your mind. Let me tell you that our brains were saying “go back home and come back the next day”. In the middle of these different voices that were bombarding our logic I looked at my son Gabriel who was very eager to go. For him this trip was to be a special time with his father and he had been waiting for about a year. And despite the fact that our chances to fly that night were almost zero, he showed so much excitement and faith that when I suggested that we come back in the morning he would not except it. Instead he said that we are to stay and try anyway. Fine, for that to happen we all knew that this would require God’s intervention. You should know that we were there on stand-by, what that means is that we only fly when there is seating available just before they take off. In a normal day it would not be a big deal but during severe weather conditions when flights are cancelled it is almost impossible. I turned to Gabriel , and remember that he is only six years old, and I said to him that this woould be a good time to pray. He put his head down in prayer and a few minutes later he announced to everyone that he prayed not once but three times and that it was a done deal and with total confidence he said “Let’s go!” And so we decided that God would make a way for us to travel that night.
This is another powerful lesson about never giving up. Jesus said in order to inherit the kingdom of God we must become like little children. Sometimes we all forget about this. About midnight we were called to the departure desk and were presented with boarding passes. To make it to this particular plane was very important because we were to be at the conference in Muskoka (3 hours from Toronto) the next day at about four in the afternoon. If we had of missed this flight the next one wasn’t until the next day and we would have missed the beginning of the conference. Thanks to Air Canada, may God bless them for their diligence in accommodating us, we were able to make it long before our scheduled time.
The “Freedom Weekend” took place in an absolutely beautiful 5 star resort in Lake Rosseau in Muskoka Ontario. And I’m telling you what a treat it was. From the food to the service they provided it was superb. During those three days we had many opportunities to share the gospel, our testimonies and what is happening in Calgary regarding the open persecution of Christians. I was really proud of my brother Dawid for sharing his testimony with everyone he met and those that heard him were deeply impacted. One lady reporter was so captivated by Dawid’s stories that even an hour later she was still shaken and she told me that she had goose bumps. What a great opportunity to share Jesus with all of those people. Dave Huges was not far behind and I even heard him preach in the hot tub. Good job guys, as ambassadors you truly represented the King of kings our Savior Jesus.
Krista Erickson, Artur Pawlowski and Ezra Levant in Muskoka, 2012
There were media personalities such as Brian Lilley, Alex Pierson, Ezra Levant, David Akin, Michael Coren, Jacqui Delaney, Krista Erickson and more, and there were also business people and activists. We found the press to be highly educated and very well informed about the current issues of this world. During the years of dealing with the media (specifically the so called “main stream” media which is not main stream at all if you know what I mean) I came to the conclusion that the majority of them are simply not well informed or just biased as they are forwarding their own agendas. With the media that were present in Muskoka we found that their biggest goal was to present the truth as it really is and that is what reporting is supposed to be all about. There were panels of discussion and also many opportunities to converse at the tables during the awesome meals that we mentioned earlier. Ezra Levant did an awesome job hosting this event and making sure that the people really felt like they were a part of that media family. Ezra is not only well informed and outspoken about controversial issues but he is also fun to be around. He has a great sense of humour and from what I had observed during those few days is that he really cares about people and he made sure that everyones needs and concerns were addressed. We had lots of fun as we went with Ezra on a snowshoe trek while my son Gabriel was leading the way with the designated naturalist. Both my son and Ezra did great:).
During the events I also had an opportunity to speak to a member of parliament and a few other politicians. What a great opportunity to be involved in reshaping the political arena. Keep in mind that those people need all the wisdom that they can get as their decisions effect everyone in this country including you and me.
So from the conference we took off to Quebec, about a six hour drive, to see our long time friend Rheal. During this time God blessed us with something really special specifically for myself and my brother Dawid. As you know we both come from Poland and as we were driving through Ontario we came to a place called Wilno. Wilno is the first and oldest Polish settlement in Canada. The original settlers in this area circa 1858 were mainly of a Kashubian origin from the then German-occupied area of Poland. One of the reasons they chose this area to settle was because of the landscape which reminded them of their original homes.
It then came time for dinner and as we were looking for a place to stop, Dave Hughes was educating us about this great Polish test pilot that used to live somewhere in this area and behold! We stopped in the very city that this pilot used to live. Janusz Żurakowski was a famous Polish/Canadian CF-105 Arrow test pilot (12 September 1914 – 9 February 2004) and was a renowned Polish jet fighter. Janusz Zurakowski has been recognized for his many accomplishments in the world of aviation by being inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 1973. In 1996 he was further recognized by the Royal Canadian Mint issuing a commemorative $20.00 coin of the Avro Canada CF-100 which featured an insert of him. He was inducted into the Western Canada Aviation Museum as one of the “Pioneers of Aviation” in 1997. He received what is possibly a pilots’ most prestigious award – that being the first Canadian to be inducted as an Honorary Fellow of The International Society of Test Pilots. This put him in the same league as Lindbergh, Armstrong and Sikorski. And these were just a few of his major achievements. Wow! Not all Polish Canadians are as bad as I am made out to be.
What a beautiful God we serve that even with little personal things like this He let’s us know that He is the one in control and He delights in surprising us with little cherries, if you will, on top of the cake.
We arrived in Quebec about 8 P.M., had a wonderful time with our friend Rheal and his wife along with another pastor from their church. We were put up in a very nice hotel and when I went to pay I found out that they had already settled our bill. Then we went for breakfast and met the mayor of that town which is in the province of Quebec and had an opportunity to lay hands on and pray for him. We presented him with gifts from Calgary and a March for Jesus hat which he replied “I will wear this with great honour.” He was deeply touched through this whole encounter assuring us that he needs all the prayers he can get and right at the table he asked the pastors to arrange another prayer meeting with himself and city counsellors at the hall. What a blessing to have such a humble man as mayor of this city. With a leader like this God can now start doing mighty things.
We said farewell to Quebec and arrived in Ottawa the same day. We went to see the National Museum of Civilization to the great delight of Gabriel and Dave Hughes our adopted son :).
Our hotel was right in front of the Parliament Hill. Our member of parliament arranged a tour for all of us which was very informative. Then we received a special invitation to attend ‘question period’ right in the House of Commons where we were seated with the ministers and other dignitaries that were there from different provinces watching and listening to how the Prime minister and other members of parliament were debating different political issues of the day. Let me tell you that it was quite interesting. Not all of us shared the same emotions about this experience. At first Gabriel seemed to be very excited and then the Canadian politics literally put him to sleep and as a father I was very grateful that he did not start snoring because we would probably have been escorted out. Maybe that’s why the Prime minister gave me one of his unique looks. In the end of the day only one of us came out of that meeting refreshed and it was not me. Gabriel on the other hand felt great.
Bible verses on the Peace Tower: East window: He shall have dominion also from sea to sea (Psalm 72:8) South window: Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. (Psalm 72:1) West window: Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18) All are from King James Version Bible
On the front face of the Peace Tower, it quotes Psalm 72:1: “GIVE THE KING THY JUDGMENTS O GOD AND THY RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO THE KINGS SON”. This is the window arch that can be seen on our 20-dollar bill.
The right-hand face of the Peace Tower quotes a part of Psalm 72:8: “HE SHALL HAVE DOMINION ALSO FROM SEA TO SEA”. This verse influenced the original name of our country, “The Dominion of Canada”.
Then we went to have a meeting with Lee Richardson in his office. The meeting was supposed to be 15 minutes long due to his tight schedule and other official duties this day, but when we started to talk he wanted to know more and in the end he devoted about an hour of his time to us. What surprised me was that he really wanted to know the details of our challenges and this meeting was not simply to brush us off but this man was captivated by our conversation. We were able to present some documents proving our case and Gabriel had fun talking to him about the airplanes that were on his table. It was a very positive meeting and we pray that Lee will keep the promises he made to us.
Lee Richardson (Member of Parliament) and Artur Pawlowski
Around 6 P.M. We started to make our way back to Toronto. The next day we visited Toronto’s city hall where we presented the mayor with a March for Jesus hat and DVD, Street Church comic books, and a personal invitation for the mayor to come to the March for Jesus in Calgary. Keep in mind, in that building they have regular prayer meetings right inside their City Hall Chambers and there is also a Chapel.
Toronto City Hall
Another nice treat in Toronto was to visit the CN Tower and then we went back to Calgary. Now remember how this trip started with weather issues and God’s intervention well our trip ended in pretty much the same way. First of all we got to the airport a little late- ok a lot late and Dave was getting agitated because this time he really believed that we were not going to make our flight. I brought back to mind young Gabriel’s faith in the beginning of our trip and now with full confidence I declared “We will make it to Calgary tonight”. We went through screening and just minutes before the scheduled time of departure we find out that due to severe weather conditions the plane was a half hour late. So oddly enough four passengers were called off this flight and the four of us got on but then two hours later as the plane was taxiing an announcement was made that the breaks were damaged and we had to change planes.
When Jesus sends us to forward his kingdom he never promised a smooth ride without bumps and road blocks. If you do something for Jesus the devil will fight you all the way but the promise that our God does give us is this “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.
That night we were in our homes in Calgary. As ambassadors of Christ we do our part by stepping out in faith and at the same time God does his part, He supplies all the necessary means to achieve His purposes, He is so faithful. I believe that one day all the seeds that were planted in the countless lives during this trip will produce a great harvest for now and into eternity. This promise is what keeps us going and gives us hope that what we do here on earth for our King Jesus will echo for all eternity.
God Bless you in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
A Few More Pictures: