I was falling...I had a flame of fame but my destiny was never to become popular. Rather severe and drastic rejection forced me to tread down an uncharted path. I did not resist or fight but gladly yielded. I am in full agreement based on a calculated decision to follow Jesus Christ, no matter what, but little did I know or expect the immense hatred and false accusations I would experience. It was the summer of my second year at Central Michigan University. I had just come back from a rough football practice of much persecution. I remember sitting in a chair contemplating what kind of life awaited me in light of John 12:24+25. I used to talk crap as "the crazy War". Now I was talking about Jesus and my buddies didn't like it. There were a couple guys who played the "Joe Christian", "accept Christ" prayer formula and Bible study but was not where I was headed. His Name is Jesus; "the Suffering Servant" and the life He revealed compels a man into a solitary walk not status quo (Is.53). I was scared. How to act and talk I did not know. I have never wanted to come across as better than anyone but to hold to the truth is easily misunderstood. God knows the heart. I am an imperfect vessel preaching a perfect gospel. Patience produces a wisdom that replaces immaturity. There was something so magical about those first few years. My familiar world faded away and I was intrigued into a world of God's mystery. I was enchanted with the living Jesus. A deep profound sense of security was, for the first time, in my life. Destiny replaced chance. I was losing my image yet discovering my identity. No persecution then or now can budge me from this unspeakable reality in Whom I am now rooted.
On that Autumn day I did not understand the Scriptures that explained... "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies..." (Jn.12:24).Now, after travelling to over 45 countries around the world for the past 40 years, with my wife and six (now adult) children to share the gospel and life of the living Jesus I have also come to fully understand, that "... if it dies, it bears much fruit" (Jn.12:24)!
About Michael Woroniecki:
Life, travels and ministryI grew up in a strong catholic family of four brothers and one sister. My mom and dad were quite typical in raising us to say the rosary every day and go to mass on Sundays. When I was a senior in High School I made the All -City fullback which gained the attention of a few Universities. After being a “walk-on” my first year because of bad grades I ended up getting a full-ride scholarship to Central Michigan.
While in college I gained a reputation as “Crazy War” (from my last name) because I was quite wild. A deep insecurity and desire to be accepted drove me into a persona quite contrary to my inner man. No one knew how accurately that nickname described my inner turmoil. The summer of my sophomore year I attended a Catholic Charismatic Conference with my family.
Up until this time I had been reading the New Testament and contemplating the Person of Jesus. While at the conference I decided to make a commitment to follow Him. I was “born again” while in the stadium next to “Touchdown Jesus” (Jn.3:3ff). It was an awesome experience and completely changed my life.
I really had no idea what this meant. In returning to the football team I found out there would be a huge price to pay. The persecution I received absolutely crushed my ego. One day, after practice I came home and read John 12:24-25. In that one moment everything came into sharp perspective. I realized my life would not be in the limelight but in the Light of the cross.
I attended Fuller Theological Seminary upon graduating from Central. I received a Master’s Degree in Theology and became an ordained minister. I also attended several other Christian seminaries, both Catholic and Interdenominational. I decided not to go for a doctorate degree because it was just too expensive. I was quite distraught by the extreme hypocrisy amongst so called “Christian” leaders. It was all about making money and getting a “church” or “ministry”. I met no one who had a vision to serve the living Jesus. Many laughed at me when I said I was not going to be a “pastor”, “preacher” or “evangelist” but a son who goes to the streets like Jesus did. I decided to marry my college sweetheart, Rachel. My cheerleader at CMU now became my cheerleader in serving Jesus. We started out quite simply going downtown and various city events to preach Jesus in Grand Rapids, Michigan after I graduated.
I was quite young and lacked wisdom. My passion needed some balance and Biblical understanding. I was arrested numerous times because I have quite a loud voice and was quite careless with where and when I went. Ultimately we out grew this tiny town and started traveling throughout the states. Our main focus was college campuses because I knew the mentality and felt I could relate to those who were like me and not into playing “church” or being religious.
One by one Rachel and I welcomed six beautiful children into our lives. We had them at home and continued their schooling at home as well. Never, in over the twenty years of traveling with our family did we once have to deal with any hassle from anyone about having to put them into public education. Today they are all adults who know several languages and reach millions for Christ.
After touring the states back and forth many, many times I decided to ship our converted bus to London and preach throughout Europe. It only cost us three thousand dollars at that time and provided a home on wheels. For the next five years we reached every country that was able to be reached by land roads. We also flew to Russia and then came back and went down into Africa. We got arrested in Casablanca because it is an Islamic state that does not allow Jesus to be preached.
We continued our ministry in the states as well as down into Mexico and Central America. Then we began to explore South America where we found much openness. Along the way Rachel and I developed a presentation consisting of skits, dances to the music I write and ways to communicate the gospel without having to know the language of each country we entered. This empowered us to go anywhere and KNOW that this place had received a witness of the living Jesus. I use this terminology so as to contrast our faith with that of the multitudes who believe in a system about Jesus.
Over the years we have preached to people from all walks of life. We have made a special effort to reach out to the poor and homeless as well as the sick, disabled and elderly. When you deal with as many people as we have the persecution and range of vulnerability to all kinds of things becomes quite inevitable. So as a result we have born our share of false accusations and a “fan club” of haters. I can not stop anyone from saying anything about us. We are commanded to forgive and to love them. This is what we do. I can't stop anyone from believing what they want to about us. All I can say is if you want the facts TALK TO ME.
If you want the truth look at our lives and get to know us through our web site. This is who we are, not what others say. I have matured a great deal since those early days in Grand Rapids. I am no longer against any religion. We work with people from all denominations. I think everyone has some regrets for things they did and said way back when. So only those who do not understand forgiveness and maturity disagree.
We preach the living Jesus and His profound work of the death and joyous resurrection. We do not have any kind of "take" on the gospel other then it's full counsel (Acts.20:28). We believe that salvation is found though faith in Christ alone, resulting in eternal life (Eph.2:8, Jn.3:3). Our authority is rooted in the Word of God in which I am extremely well schooled (We use the most accurate version of the bible to the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, the NASB. The NKJV, KJV and NIV are also pretty close. I would not consider any other as reliable.). There is nothing about our lives or ministry that is not a direct reflection of the revelation in God’s Word.
Thank you for reading, Michael Woroniecki
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