This update is related to the Crossway Global Ministry Fund campaign.
A Vision for the Evangelical Population in Poland
It’s no surprise to hear that Saudi Arabia ranks as having one of the lowest evangelical populations in the world at 0.53%.1 What may come as a surprise is to know that Poland’s evangelical population has an even lower representation at 0.31%.2
This is the landscape in which Saško Nezamutdinov does his ministry work. Born and raised in the formerly Polish part of Ukraine, he is familiar with the lack of an evangelical presence in the country. He came to faith as a middle schooler after he took an ESL class taught by strong, Bible-believing missionaries.
Saško’s commitment to Christ continued to grow throughout high school, causing him to choose to enroll in a Bible college. Although at the time he wasn’t exactly sure of what he wanted to do with this degree, he had a heart for God’s people and God’s Word. But even during his college years, the Lord was stirring in his heart the desire to be a pastor. “The calling [to be a pastor] has always been there, but it took me forever to figure out what . . . form it was going to take. That part took years.”
At age 25, the Lord led him to Krakow, Poland. It was here where he first encountered the lack of biblically based churches that reflects the low evangelical population of Poland. “Krakow is a city of one million people, and at the time [when I came to live here], there were probably only a dozen evangelical churches. And an average evangelical church congregation here at the time would probably be made up of 30 to 50 people.”
And so, from that day forward, Saško committed to being a church planter of a biblically based church where the gospel was preached. “[Even though] I was only 25, I had a vision. I knew what a church in Krakow should look like. I knew what it should sound like and feel like and smell like.”
Officially planted in 2015, Saško’s church was at the time the only Reformed church in a 200-mile radius, making it an international church from the start. Believers from Australia, Kazakhstan, the United States, northern Ireland, the Philippines, and others gathered together each week to worship the Lord.
Supporting the Church with Theologically Sound Resources
With the church plant well underway and growing, Saško turned to another pervasive issue facing his church and other Polish evangelicals: where were they to find theologically sound resources? In his experience, they didn’t have great options. He reflects that on one occasion, he and his wife picked up a devotional to read together. Though the author was highly respected, he found that the Polish translation they were reading was filled with typos. “I couldn’t give that book to anyone because it would be embarrassing. Even though it was a good title and one worth reading, it was so poorly done that it’s too hard to read.”
As a faithful shepherd of his congregation, Saško sought to provide his congregation with accurately translated resources that looked professional and provided theologically sound teaching. With these two standards in mind, MW Books was founded. Saško created it to be a Polish publishing house that offers a selection of various topics to engage the wider evangelical community. He hopes that “any Christian will be able to come to our store, whether online or in store, and be able to say, ‘I like this book. This is something I could or want to read,’ and then pick it up.”
Due to its storefront presence, the publishing house has also reached outside the evangelical audience to passersby. And because Poland has a large Catholic population, Saško makes an effort to provide books that might appeal to that audience as well. Recently at the store “there were people lining up to buy children’s books because this is the time of year in the Catholic church when first communion is celebrated. For them, it’s a big deal in the life of a child. . . . A lot of Catholics pick up The Biggest Story, for example, because it will still work in the Catholic context.” And as these Catholics browse through the expanding selection of books, they may even pick one up that will challenge their thinking and beliefs about God.
Equipping the Church in Poland and Around the World
Since its founding in 2017, MW Books has expanded its library of resources to include a large selection of titles, including more than 19 Crossway titles that have been published or are in the process of translation. Crossway has partnered with Saško to provide licenses to translate books into Polish, making them accessible to his audience.
Due to the ongoing support of generous donors, Crossway has been equipped to support the translation of Strange New World, which he hopes will address the challenges of living in a postmodern world. Polish believers are confronting hot topics such as gender and sexuality, among other matters that don’t have easy answers. “We are working on this book to equip churches and Christians with arguments to get them thinking about how to fight against these topics, and to view them in light of the Bible and its teaching rather than going with whatever is popular.”
Through support provided by Crossway’s Global Ministry Fund, MW Books can continue to minister to evangelicals and Catholics alike by providing theologically sound resources in their language. And through the generosity of donors, work like this can continue in Poland and all around the world where these resources are needed. Please consider partnering with us today in helping to resource the global church with the Bible and theologically faithful books.
Pray that more people would come to faith through the impact of MW Books, and that the Lord would continue to grow their ministry to reach even more people with the gospel.
Pray for the process of the translation of Strange New World, and for the Lord to prepare the hearts of those who will buy this book.
- “Saudi Arabia,” Countries, Joshua Project, accessed May 31, 2023, https://joshuaproject.net/countries/SA.
- “Poland”, Countries, Joshua Project, accessed May 31, 2023, https://joshuaproject.net/countries/PL.