Street Church and Artur Pawlowski are Featured in Upcoming
International Documentary Film Directed by Tomasz Wisznlewski.
amazing story of hope and perseverance in the face of trials,
opposition and arrests captured the attention of renowned overseas
movie director Tomasz Wiszniewski. Director Wiszniewski and his
crew spent almost two weeks in Calgary filming the daily activities
of Street Church and their volunteers.
They spent countless hours interviewing people from different
fields about Street Church and its ministry. Everyone ranging
from politicians, lawyers, reporters, members of the police department
and the mayor's office to the homeless
served by the church and members of the public who passed by Street
Church services were asked about why there is so much controversy,
opposition and resistance towards a peaceful ministry that feeds
thousands of the less fortunate on the streets of Calgary. Particularly,
they focused on why there is a tremendous and open hostility against
Street Church from the municipal government.
During the two weeks, the filmmakers witnessed and recorded firsthand
what motivates and empowers the volunteers to stand for truth
and in defense of human rights. They witnessed many lives being
impacted during their time in Calgary through prayer, salvations,
and the meeting of basic needs such as food.
In the documentary,
Street Church volunteers are seen enduring and overcoming many
obstacles in their mission. The documentary shows these volunteers
being harassed, intimidated, handcuffed, arrested and taken before
the courts by local authorities for simply standing up for their
constitutional rights. It records their service to the poor despite
rain, snow and freezing weather. As well, it shows the bravery
of volunteers in the midst of attacks by local gangs. The film
captures how they have managed to keep their faith throughout
and continue with the mission they were called to do.
The film also features never before released archive footage
of the miraculous recovery of a boy named Nathaniel whom doctors
labeled a "Star Baby" because they declared that he
would not survive. Born with smashed lungs, a heart located on
the opposite side, stomach and bowels in his upper chest, Nathaniel
had all odds against him.
Also presented is a story of a successful businessman who left
all of his wealth to dedicate his life to serve and defend the
rights of the poor.
production was filmed at various locations such as Lake Louise,
Drumheller, Calgary, Hobbema and Warsaw, Poland. The film was
shot by cameraman Alex Pavlovic and it is produced by Henryk Dedo.
The finished documentary will be shown in Europe and North America
and will be featured at over fifty film festivals.
Based on a radio documentary by
Henryk Dedo and Waldemar Kasperczak
Fundacja “Glos Ewangelii”
/ Like our page Street Advocate
The Street Advocate Radio Documentary
This is the translation of the radio documentary called "Street
Advocate", it was done on the work of Street Church ministry's.
Few years ago the documentary was broadcasted nation wide on a
number of occasions. It won awards for the best radio documentary
The Street Advocate
Radio documentary Script
Author: Henryk Dedo and Waldemar Kasperczak
Direction: Henryk Dedo and Waldemar
Kasperczak; Sound Design: Waldemar Kasperczak;
Producer: Fundacja „Glos Ewangelii";
Lenght: 37 min. 12 sec.; Date
of Production: January 2008; First Broadcast:
June 7th 2008; Script Translation: Magda
and Gentleman welcome aboard British flight...
I'm sitting in a plane ready for my next business trip to the
other side of the ocean. This time to Canada. Besides necessary
things and official documents, I always have with me two things:
a camera and a recorder. Who knows whom I will meet...?
Airport in Calgary.
My friend is late. To fill the time I've picked up a "Calgary
Herald" that someone left on the bench. There is a big title
on the first page: Art Pawlowski, Advocate of the Street, Acquitted.
Pawlowski? Sounds familiar. Is he a Pole? I'm reading with interest,
looking for the answer: "Art Pawlowski, a businessman with
Polish roots, also known as Advocate of the Street, was acquitted
of all 20 charges made against him by Calgary authorities. The
Street Church organized peaceful demonstrations in front of town
hall, to protest civil rights violations."
One hour later I'm there, in front of the town hall.
The public has a right to know what the City is doing. You see,
that was the biggest problem with the media. The media did not
portray this whole thing accurately. To this day we are not guilty
of any violation. And that was the main reason the City of Calgary
took our permits away. Remember, they revoked the permit based
upon a noise complaint, which their own officer found totally
invalid. Their own investigators said: "These guys are not
breaking the law." Everyone investigating this case agreed
that the accusations were baseless. They know what we need –
we need amplification, because of the noise, and we need to feed
these people, because they are hungry. You think they would come
if they weren't hungry? Look at them. You think this has nothing
to do with it? They are hungry, desperate, hopeless. We come,
we feed them – but mostly, we give them hope. This is what
they need – hope for tomorrow, hope for another day, for
a better day.
So now if I receive another fine or ticket, I will be arrested
and put away for a year or two. That's how they treat us. That's
why we are here appealing to the Mayor and his heart. Help us.
Help us, because his bureaucrats break the law in the name of
Do they think we are slaves? We are free citizens of this country.
These people you see here are treated inhumanely. The shelters
are being locked. They are being shuffled like animals, like cows,
from one place to another. Is this a civilized democracy? Is that
what our forefathers were dying for? Tell it like it is. I'm sure
that the Mayor of Calgary doesn't want homeless on the streets.
And, you know, I don't like to see the homeless on the streets.
I think that the city should have enough dignity to take these
people off the streets and at least provide some kind of shelter.
Thank you. Are you doing a service here?
Yes we are going to start preaching in about 5 minutes.
Hi, my name is Henry.
Hi, how are you?
Arthur, could you please state in a few words what is going on
In Polish or English?
This is a peaceful demonstration with homeless people participating.
We came to town hall to talk with the Mayor and ask him to help
...we can't talk now. I have so many questions, so Il ask Arthur
for a meeting tomorrow. He invites me to his home.
I found it, although I almost lost hope. I also found something
else. Ten thousand Polish zlotys minted in 1990, the year we moved.
"Solidarity from 1980 till 1990" – a special edition
of that coin. The other 500 zlotys are from 1989, during the time
I was traveling around Europe and smuggling. This for instance
is a US dollar that I brought from Poland promising myself never
to spend it, as from this dollar I started. I brought three such
dollars. One I spent on food, one I lost on games and this third
– I kept. I did as I said. It was 17 years ago. The past...
There is a former drug abuser shouting here. He wanted to kill
Arthur in the past. He used to be a junkie and drug dealer. One
day, drunk and under the influence of drugs, he came to the park
while we were setting up our stuff before the meeting. He started
quarreling and fighting. Two weeks later he came back, looked
around and talked. The next week he gave his life to Jesus, got
baptized and is free now, and he is with us. We are inviting unconverted
people to work with us and talk. His testimony is very strong.
He was using and selling drugs and alcohol. He knows many people.
Does he speak Polish?
We left for Greece. We did not receive visas so we had to escape
from a tourist ship, a very big one. We managed to do this in
Piraeus while we were in Athens. We then traveled 50 km away from
Athens to a small village, very small, Agius Apostolius. Beautiful
village. Tourist attraction. During these few months – thousands
of people, dozens of thousands of tourists. But during winter
months – total emptiness, only howling dogs and plenty of
cats. So, it was our "paradise" Our first bed we took
from the dump. First TV set, black and white, also from the dump,
worked only 15 minutes.
We came not knowing any words in Greek. I found a job. I received
a shovel. I didn't know what to do with it actually. My entire
life before was based on my mind. I was studying, learning, and
I loved learning. I was winning one competition after another.
And now, I had a shovel in my hand. Some strangers talked to me,
shouted at me in a language unknown to me but I was thinking to
myself "We'll manage!" The first word I got to know
after my first work day was: gamotto. They shouted it at me it
very often: gamotto. It means village idiot, something like this.
Next word was avrio, means tomorrow. I heard it first time, when
I asked for my salary for that day of work. As a replay I heard:
avrio, avrio. It took me half a year to earn enough to buy a bike,
and it was a secondhand bike. I tied my shovel and trowel to it
and was ready for my new goal. I thought to myself "If I
have to work as a builder of new homes for rich Greeks I want
to have my own building company." I went to look for some
opportunities and people willing to work for me. And I found them,
but the problem was that I had absolutely no idea about the entire
building process. One Greek asked me if I knew how to make concrete.
"Yes, yes, we'll do," I was assuring him. We signed
the agreement, for really big money, and I was desperately looking
for someone who could do concrete for me. I found one Pole and
promised to pay him twice as much as others offered him. He agreed
to work for me and I was his helper.
After work was done and we received money, I started to look
for a new job and another one. There were business cards, phones,
first car, next one and third... Bigger contracts, I was later
employing not only Poles but also Greeks, Albanians – plenty
of people were coming from Albania in those days. The Albanian
mafia also came, so I had to deal with them. And again big money,
big buildings, I was working for the richest people on the earth.
I was working for politicians, was friends with ministers, was
working for singers, I went to the most exclusive parties where
one drink cost $100. After 6 years our financial situation was
very, very good. But we had...enough, we wanted to stop. Canada
said that they need ambitious, young people with good financial
status to build this country. We met with the consul in Athens.
He looked at us, listened to us and said: "We want such young
people, who want to gain something".
So we "landed up" in Canada in 1995.
Let the city give us our rights! Our freedom! We are pleading
with the Mayor's heart today!
(asks if there are going to be any trouble)
No, that's why we are on a public sidewalk; we don't want to
cause any disturbance, just pleading with the Mayor's heart today,
to give us our rights...
... to feed the poor, to clothe them, to give the message of
hope, that's all.
Ok. Thank you very much.
God bless you.
Who was that man?
officer. Mayor of the City called the police. They came and asked
what we were doing here. We have our rights and we are not breaking
them. This is a peaceful demonstration. We are not breaking any
rules and they can't do anything to us. He also asked if we planned
to demonstrate on the street, to cause problems. We don't have
any intention of doing that.
In 1998 we started our business, opened a company, we were doing
big investments, renovations, big contracts. We were building
new buildings, renovating shopping centers, churches. In 1998
we had about 40 people employed. We were all the time developing
our company and building new homes. That was the time when I used
to say: "Tell me, how much do you need? I'll give you a check,
but keep the entire 'church' staff away from me." We were
earning $5,000 a day and I had totally no time for anything like
Church. So I said, "Tell me how much you need for your charity
needs, but stay away from me. I have no time. I have to meet with
clients. I must participate in golf. I must this and that. My
time is too precious."
Three months later, I lost everything: 50 employees, a few buildings
started – everything. On each construction site someone
had stolen something, starting from hard equipment to cement.
We caught people red-handed, but judges were always setting them
free with no consequences. It was unbelievable. Everything and
everyone were against us. It took me more than three months to
pay back everything, to repay people, to pay for lost equipment.
I had to use all my money. I was in so much debt then that the
Feds came to take me to jail for unpaid taxes. Please, give me
half a year. If you put me in jail right now, you'll get nothing
back. After half a year I could repay everything. I will work
day and night and you'll see – I'll repay everything. They
talked to lawyers, investigated me, and discovered that it wasn't
my fault, that I was the victim of thefts. Many clients did not
pay me at all. The government agreed. I worked for six months
non-stop and I was able to pay everything back to the last penny.
There are a lot of jobs in Calgary. We send many people and they
are employed full time and are working. There also is one Polish
lady here that used to be a prostitute. She has five children
with Canadian Indian. Her testimony is also very strong. You know:
drugs and so on... but behind this is a broken heart, unloved,
unwanted, rejected. There were reasons. That is how it looks.
March 28th, 2000. My son was born. Three doctors came and told
us that there was no chance he would survive, because he had damaged
lungs. His stomach and intestines were where his lungs should
be and his heart was on the other side. They asked us to consider
switching the machines off as he would never be able to live or
would always be like a vegetable. We said no, we didn't want to
agree with that. I stood totally, totally against God. I told
Him: "You took away my money. OK, I can live with that, but
leave me my child!" At that moment I was so full of anger
towards God that I declared war against him. I ran away from the
hospital. I didn't want to talk to my wife. I became as cold as
ice, no feelings at all, like I was frozen.
When I came next day to the hospital, I had my first vision.
I'd never believed in things like this, but... I saw Jesus in
Gethsemane, I saw Him suffering, saw how He was nervous before
everything that was ahead of him. I saw the crowd beating Him,
blood was pouring on the ground. He was tortured, beaten, they
were spitting on him. I couldn't stand it and I ran away. But
I had to go back. The doctor wanted to talk to us, to know our
decision. So I went back and asked everyone to leave. I wanted
to be alone with my son for a moment. That sterile, white room,
white sheets and this tiny newborn body. He was so little that
there was no space for another needle, tubes in his head, nose,
And it was so strange, because I didn't believe in magic dreams,
things like visions – like other people. But I saw this
in such a real way like I see you right now. It was like someone
played a movie in front of me. And I heard a voice, like I hear
you now, a voice that said: What would you do to save your son?
I looked at this little body of my child and said: Everything.
Tell me to kill and I will do this so he could live. You can do
nothing actually. But I...I could. But I didn't. Do you know why?
For you and for other people. It broke me as a man, as a human
Arthur as speaker on the meeting
No demonic forces, no principalities can take you away from God's
hand of His protection. Following Jesus – there is a cost,
men – there is a cost, I remember...
For the first time I was crying for my son. I didn't even touch
him as I was afraid I would fall in love with him. He was dying,
had no chance to love and I didn't want to have anything to do
with it. I just watched as my wife stroked him, spending time
with him, but I kept myself at a distance. I didn't even want
to touch him. I raised my hands up and told God: "I give
you my son like Abraham on the altar. Do what you want with him,
but you must know one thing. No matter whether he lives or dies,
I will serve you till the end of my life." And... I was all
in tears. With these tears everything went out of me, all my rebellion,
anger, my entire past life when I tried to be stronger and stronger,
all those years of smuggling, working, money, and unforgiveness.
Then I told Him, when I calmed myself a bit, I told Him: "But
God, if you give my son back to me, I'll be grateful till the
end of my life."
Arthur as speaker on the meeting
...but you know – God is faithful. Men, God is a faithful
God. He says this; "No one will be able to take you, and
you, and you away from my love, no one! And, you know, we can't
go away from the love of God.
When I walked along the hospital's corridor people pointed at
me with their fingers. "This is the father, this is the father"
– they were saying. I didn't know what they were talking
about. "This is the father of the Star-baby." Three
doctors came again and told us: "We are not able to understand
what is going on. Your son not only lives, but also is breathing
on his own. In his condition he has no right to breathe. His heart,
in a few hours, moved to the normal place." They showed me
pictures of my son's damaged lungs, and next, and next as the
process of restoration started. They were shocked, because from
a medical standpoint it was impossible. They said "It seems
like your God listened to your requests. We called your son Star
Child. It's like the boy dropped down from the stars. He shouldn't
live but he lives."
Nathaniel was born on my birthday, the same day I was born, like
a gift from God. March 28th, 2000. Nathaniel means in Hebrew:
Song in the background: "We Follow Jesus"
Later on, I started other businesses. I had my own newspaper,
I had an office in the most prestigious place in this city, I
had meetings with politicians and again money started to flow.
But one day I heard God telling me: "Pack your stuff from
the office and leave it, as I have something else for you."
I did it and I never came back. I went on the street; I went to
the poor ones.
On meeting in park
What's your name?
Nice to meet you Laurence. We have a Bible for you. Let me give
you a Bible.
I can remember the first time a drunken Indian came to me. He
came up the street where I was preaching about this God who loves,
no matter whether you have much or not much, whether you are handsome
or ugly. This Indian came to me asking Preacher, are you talking
about love? Yes – I said. So give me your T-shirt –
as his own was old and full of holes. I thought to myself "Oh
no, I won't give it to him, I like my T-shirt. The Ten Commandments
are printed on it. I don't have another like this. It fits perfectly
for preaching on the streets ...I won't give it to him!"
I was surrounded by people. I didn't know what to do. But finally
I took off my T-shirt and gave it to him, and he gave me his own.
The smell was so disgusting that I couldn't stand it and I had
to take it off. And God confronted my heart: - You see, you preach
love, but you don't truly love them. You are just talking about
me. – And I said: But Lord, love comes from you; you have
to give me such love. I'm not able to love these people. They
are alcoholics, homeless, prostitutes, drug dealers – how
can I love them? Then I prayed: "Lord, give me your eyes
so I could look at these people like you are looking at them and
at us." And He gave them to me. And I can remember that I
looked at them with tears in my eyes and I started to see them
truly through the prism of God's love. That's how it started to
Arthur as speaker on the meeting
I was hungry and you gave me meat. I was thirsty and you gave
me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. I was naked and
you clothed me.
I can remember a dinner at Church, it was during Easter. I invited
our Polish acquaintances like I always did, but – what was
unusual – no one could come. So I said: "You know,
let's go and invite the homeless." We drove to the city center,
packed the car full with homeless people and brought them to Church.
That time my husband had already been on the streets. A week later
we held our first service on the street.
Arthur as speaker on the meeting
That's why we are here. Because some of you are thirsty, some
of you are hungry, some of you are naked...
We decided to go to the most dangerous area of the city, where
murders happen, rapes, prostitution and drug dealing, where even
the police are afraid to come (if they do come, they always have
a backup). And everything was OK. Two hundred, three hundred people
participate in meetings; we feed them and share the Gospel with
them. But someone in a higher position didn't like it, politicians
started to pay attention to that. And one of them decided that
it was not very good that we were taking these people off the
street. I don't know why it is like that. Maybe they have some
connection with drug dealing and are afraid of losing clients.
This is the only reason that comes to my mind.
The war started. We lost all permits for feeding the homeless,
for holding meetings. Yes, we are not allowed to feed hungry people...
We are not allowed to tell them that they can leave the street.
We are under constant police attack. 20 court cases, 20 times
before a judge. When I went to court with all these fines, the
lady in the office was totally astonished. She told me: You know,
I'd never seen such fines like yours. In my entire career, I'd
not even heard of such case. What is going on here? You have to
ask the Mayor – I replied. – He has all the answers."
We received fines because feeding the homeless created danger
for drivers. They could lose concentration watching what was going
on. Fine for $402. Next one I received for unloading food. They
wrote that we were crossing the street outside the pedestrian
zone. Another one was for illegal feeding of homeless. Next, for
placing stuff on the sidewalk – that's what they called
We're told about a place where prostitutes and drug dealers stay,
deal, sell, loiter, sleep... But we've placed food there and it
was wrong. Summing it up, in just a few weeks we received more
than 20 fines. And all we were guilty of was that we were giving
hope to these people.
So thank you guys for coming out. I know you cannot stop to be
blessed. Look at the ground you are standing on – it is
holy ground. It is not the enemy's park any more. This is God's
During the summer we are with children in parks. Many mothers
come with their children. We bring some balls, bikes, we play,
and that also is changing the atmosphere of this place. It actually
was the most dangerous place in the city, and I can truly say
"it was." Our presence there really touched these people.
They were coming to me and saying, "You brought your children
It also was unique to see homeless ladies in tears watching my
children and other children. Men that said to me, "You know
I also have a son, but haven't seen him for five years..."
Such moments were opportunities for me. I would say "Come
back! Come back. Allow God to change you and go back to your family."
And good things were and are happening.
Arthur as speaker on the meeting
There will be none without a roof above his head. There will
be none ...
I myself was a gangster here in Calgary. I was in a gang for
a few years. I was selling drugs, guns, I had friends that were
stealing and dealing cars, drugs, and then I myself fell into
drugs. I took cocaine for 10 years. About a year ago I heard the
Gospel of Jesus and I was healed instantly. It was a miracle.
Miracles are happening here on the street. Miracles in the name
of Jesus Christ.
There is constant war with the press, television, Mayor of the
town. Even in today's newspaper they didn't portray us properly.
According to them we are these bad guys and the Mayor of the town
is the good guy. It is not easy if you know the truth. I know
the truth, but manipulation in the media is huge. Yesterday on
TV – the same – we were presented in the wrong light.
We are watching with Art a recording of yesterday's news. What
I can see is actually different from what I saw on the street
yesterday. I have to conclude that not only Poland has a problem
with bias on television.
TV – News
...eventually, officers told Pawlowski and his followers to leave.
They will be allowed to hold another protest in front of city
hall next week.
This house is the place where we store everything. There are
a few beds here and food. We sort food here. For example, this
goes today. We are also having a barbecue for the homeless today.
No matter what the weather is like, rain, snow, minus 20 degrees
Celsius, minus 30, we are there. There always are some juices
and snacks, and today, we are having a barbecue. So look, here
everything is ready for people, in boxes like this. We are helping
families in need, single mothers with children, or families that
are in totally bad financial condition and have no money for food.
See, God is providing us with everything that is necessary to
feed others. Each cupboard is filled to capacity: sugar, salt,
even chocolate, rice, noodles. Also clothes and sleeping bags.
The government absolutely doesn't want to participate in this
and is not helping us. We haven't received a cent from the government.
Everything comes from ordinary people saying: "I can see
what you are doing and I'd like to help. What could I buy for
you?" And people are buying food, clothes, and sleeping bags,
whatever is needed.
Sounds of the street in the background
We are on the streets four times a week and the war is still
going on. I never believed that I would stand fighting for the
Gospel. More than that, I never believed that I would stand fighting
for the Gospel in a country that was built on the Gospel and on
the Holy Scripture. It is shocking to me. It is shocking to me
because this country has its anthem with words about God who holds
everything in his hands. As Canadians sing "God keep our
land glorious and free!
I don't know if I'll come back home this evening, as we are going
to preach the Gospel. When we started to take more and more poor
from the streets, some "important" people started to
feel anxiety. Drug dealing is very much a luxury business. Someone
"employed" a hit man to kill me for $5,000. What is
$5,000? I had a lot to do with big money; we could give 10 times
more. There were times I earned $5,000 a day. How little I was
worth... But when I talked to my brother he said, "Listen,
you should be glad, it is a lot today. I was priced for $300."
Once I was stoned, another time someone threw a knife in my direction.
Two weeks ago when I was preaching and the police came, 20 men
with guns surrounded me.
Am I dangerous?
In the most dangerous place in the city we've been pulling people
out of the gutter and the government claims that we are very dangerous.
So strange things are going on here. I can remember some words
spoken by a great man of God, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He said that
"The war is lost when you stop fighting." So, as long
as we can, we should go and fight for the Kingdom of God, to share
the Gospel. As long as we have mouths and tongues – we are
Dawid as speaker on the meeting
And I'm not trying to scare you. This is reality. God is near
your heart. He put 10 Commandments in your heart. Start searching.
I bless you in the name of Jesus. Wake up. You have a saying in
Canada "Wake up and smell coffee." Do it, do it now.
In the airplane
I'm going back. Thousands of feet above the ground I'm thinking
about finished matters, and about these that were not possible
to finish, about people I met, about a Canada I hadn't known before.
I'm thinking about Arthur and his ministry, I have with me dozens
of hours of recordings and I'm asking myself how it would be possible
to say everything in 30 minutes. How should I title this material
– Gamotto or Street Advocate? Or maybe Don Quixote from
Calgary? But I can't find the answer to the one most important
question: How will it all end?
| Copyright: All rights reserved