Thank you to you that support us in ministry. We regret that we are not super consistent in communication to everyone. Our work needs great support, we couldn’t live as missionaries without it. We have seen God’s perfect provision of answered prayer and practical resources countless times. (Even today!) Sometimes we are timid to ask in our needs, it is not an easy part of anyone’s life or our American culture…need and vulnerability. But as missionaries, we have the honor to live in that humble spot, where we are faced nearly everyday with our own limits and conclude with certainty of God’s completeness. And when we rightly focus on the people we serve and the calling we feel to this place at this time, the asking becomes a bit easier responsibility to swallow.
Also, to be further vulnerable, with so many people giving and supporting our work, we want to be able to tell how great things are going and how much huge progress we’ve seen, but honestly, sometimes there’s very little of that to report. This work is slow and difficult sometimes. Would you be ok hearing only of the struggles? A light bulb moment has just occurred…perhaps this discipline of regular newsletter writing that we have neglected should act as a spotlight on the positive so that we don’t become too focused on all of the difficulties? It could. These letters, just as life, need a balance.
So we have some great thanks to acknowledge and praises to speak specifically as well as some more difficulties and needs to express…
A young church plant there in the USA reached out to us to discuss a mission partnership and we developed a plan for a relationship outlook between their church and the Church of Mborje. It’s a prayer focus now. Nothing has been decided, but as a church, we’ve all gotten very excited about and delved deeper into the theory and practical of mission. Whether or not this partnership commences, that’s a praise!
Kenny will be taking a carload of Church of Mborje people December 9-18 to visit some of the many many Albanians that have immigrated to Istanbul to find work. We see this as a first step towards a foreign mission that can grow over the years. We get excited about the idea of Albanians coming to the Lord in an increasingly difficult to reach country and them being ambassadors for Christ. Perhaps one day a church plant will come of this! This is how we dream! We plan to visit folks and spend time in the evenings sharing the Hope we have. During a few weekdays we will do kids’ meetings and keep our eyes open for how God would have us serve. We have been in prayer and discussing this for months now but are not sure of many details. The Church has faith that this is a step their being called to take. Please please pray for this trip.
We are so grateful to three of our supporting churches in the US that gave generously beyond their monthly support to us. Through that giving, the Church of Mborje building purchase was completed in the Spring! We got busy and completed some necessary construction projects – concrete column reinforcements, stairs, and a second floor door. The other of our supporting churches agreed to help contribute towards this expense! We faced a hurdle shortly after these projects were completed, a land dispute with an unhappy neighbor that claims he owns the land surrounding the building. He gave his word that he would not act while we were away in the USA in the summer, but he did not keep it. We returned to find new property walls built and a discouraged church. The metaphorical hurdle became literal walls, and they are obnoxiously high and spiteful walls. Kenny has been tangled in paperwork and the mess of Albanian bureaucracy for months now to get to the bottom of rights. It has been confirmed that the neighbor does not own the land, that the State does, so he is working to gather the documents to privatize the land. Our resources are going towards this and we probably won’t be able to begin meeting in our building until after winter. Pray for the church members to persevere and be encouraged. Please pray against corruption that is common in every government office in Albania. Pray for favor. Pray for the neighbor to have a heart change and to even come to salvation through this.
Now, in the spirit of balance…a praise! Way back in October, we were visited by a wonderful couple that have retired from the mission field and now serve in a missionary care role for Kontaktmission. Steve and Joan Tinsley were here three days and blessed us deeply. They listened to us and encouraged us and challenged us. We got to show them what our life here is like and being known and understood feels good. We’re so glad they came!
We value support through prayer and finances and also presence! We want to extend an invitation to you or your church to consider coming to experience mission and better understand our work.We have seen so much good come from visits for the guests and locals alike and we feel like we are actually getting pretty good at the hosting. Just contact us with a comment or email or via facebook if you are interested in looking into a mission trip to Albania in 2017. We’d love to chat to discuss the possibility of your visit!
Thanks for reading, it is an encouragement! God bless!