September 27, 2018 - Today I have been thinking about the last 12 or so years and the changes that have taken place in our ministry. When we arrived, we were it! Nothing had been started. No churches had been planted. No pastors had been trained. We were really explorers scoping out the land and meeting the local people to see what if anything could develop. Most of our days were focused on meeting people and figuring out ways to connect.
Fast forward to now. Most of my time is spent with organization, paperwork, forms, paying bills, finding the funds needed to pay the bills and a whole host of necessary but non-glamorous or as fulfilling a role to do. Although this role is now needed!
Why you might ask? Here is what is now going on and what we are involved with (I do not do all of this but they fall under the organizations that I am responsible for or a part of):
- 19 church plants – keeping them legal with documents and forms
- Regular (often monthly) Pastor’s Training Programs
- 6 Elders and 8 Ministerial Candidates – tracking and encouraging
- 50+ Employees through the Livelihood groups, translators and store employees
- 7 livelihood groups we work with monthly producing goods that are sold
- 2 retail shops in BG – helping the livelihood groups and other artisans
- A Bible School with 3 distribution Points
- A Safe House for girls (about finished and ready for launching).
- Multiple groups coming to serve that need to be cared for.
- Property and agricultural land that need tracking and maintained.
- Humanitarian Aid – Christmas gift, feeding programs, and many misc things.
- English training from time to time has been done or is being done
- Annual Camps/Conferences for Families, Youth, Kids, and Pastors
There are now 3 full-time Missionary Families and a team of Nationals that are doing all this and I try and make sure that we are all on the same page. We are always thinking of more ways to serve so the list keeps growing.
When I write this all down I am amazed at all that is happening and has happened over the last dozen years. When we were starting out we prayed that God would use us and the work that we were to start would become a flourishing program for the kingdom – like a small acorn has the potential to be a huge oak tree. We are seeing that tree grow and flourish here in the Balkans. That is because of your support and prayers and God’s faithfulness. Thanks for your participation in what God is up to – continue to help us reach the lost in the Balkans.
This week pray for:
The Sweets as they are working through MOUNTAINS of paperwork for their adoption.
The Galloways as they are completing a 29-day partnership trip in the US that has taken them from Colorado to New York to Michigan to Washington (State) to Illinois and Georgia. (Team Balkans likes to get around)
The Mellingers as we are working toward our US mission project (November – January) to help the Livelihood groups expand their market and help us expand the people we can serve here in the Balkans.