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Over ten years ago, Richard Dietrich, a youth missions pastor in Arizona, was in Poland for a short mission trip and decided to surprise his wife with a gift by investigating her Polish family tree. Upon walking into the city hall in Żary, Poland, Richard’s query was met with a shocking discovery to both Richard and the city officials: Unknown to Richard, his wife is the direct descendant of the royal von Promnitz family, who were thought to have been scattered and extinguished centuries before. Upon this discovery the city engineer of Żary apologized to Richard, saying, “I’m sorry, sir, but we just sold your palace a few months ago.”
“Palace? I’m just here to get a copy of our family tree!” Richard said in disbelief.
The engineer replied, “Sir, Poland is a country of laws, and you are of the royal family von Promnitz. Whatever has your family’s name on it belongs to you.”
The von Promnitz family ruled the country of Silesia from the 1300’s until the 1700’s, in which time they established many of the towns and villages still in existence today, in addition to many estates, cathedrals, businesses, and schools throughout Poland. Recognizing God’s providence, the Promnitz family has chosen not to seek fame or riches from this strange revelation. They instead
The Polish government was thrilled to welcome Richard and his family—now heirs of a sort—back to Poland. Richard, now a Count and knighted this past year, was invited to bring music to Poland, as the von Promnitz family had done in the 1700’s by employing Georg Philipp Telemann as chapel master and court musician for the court of Count Erdmann II of Promnitz. For the past ten years Richard has led mission trips throughout Poland featuring Christian musicians who play to tens of thousands of people throughout the summer months. And because the Promnitz name is on many of the Catholic cathedrals, Protestant churches, and schools in the region, Richard has access to preach the gospel without compromise in these facilities.
The people of Poland are hungry for the gospel. The doors of ministry opportunity are wide open and the people are yearning to hear about having a relationship with Jesus. On their faces is the look of despair and emptiness. The older men and women still show the effects of communist rule in their countenance. Their sons and daughters remember those days well and try to fill their emptiness with tangible things. And the youth of Poland are being influenced heavily by Western society. The harvest is ripe in Poland. What workers will come?