Balkan Church Plant Returns

“Team members came back pretty excited about their experience,” an Alliance worker in the Balkans reported recently. She was referring to a men’s team from a Kosovo church plant that had conducted its first missions trip to the city of Bitola, southwestern Macedonia, in December.

A number of Albanians live in Bitola (“Manistir” in Albanian), and the outreach was planned to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Albanian alphabet.

“Albanian Chirstam Chiriasi was deeply involved in the formation of the country’s written language so his countrymen could read and know God’s Word,” said an Alliance worker in Macedonia.

“Though he is a hero in Albanian culture, this man’s Christian roots have been forgotten. Our goal for the outreach during the anniversary celebrations in Bitola was to remind resident Albanians that their roots are Christian in origin and godly in nature.”

Outreach Blessings

Praise God that many on the Kosovo team were able to share the gospel. Team members were blessed in their personal lives as well, even as they proved a blessing to nonbelievers.

One team member who shared his testimony told an Alliance worker serving in Kosovo that “his legs were shaking and he had to hold onto the podium, but the Lord helped him speak!” Another man led an older gentleman in prayer to accept the Lord and was able to give him a Bible.

A timid member of the team was asked to pray for the group on the first night. “This left quite an impression on him, and now he is less afraid to pray out loud in church meetings,” the worker in Kosovo added.

One team member was reportedly so fired up about witnessing during the outreach that he hasn’t stopped since. He witnesses to all of his friends and brings them to church. One of his friends has since become a believer and is now attending the men’s discipleship group in Kosovo.

“The joy of sharing their faith and seeing the great needs around them proved to be a great growing experience for these men,” the worker in Kosovo concluded.

More Good News

Exciting news has since come in from Macedonia as well.

“The grand-nephew of Chirstam Chiriasi is now visiting our church after meeting us at his uncle’s grave during the Albanian language anniversary celebration,” reported an Alliance worker from Bitola.

“He’s also bringing a neighbor to our church. This man has two girls attending my Sunday school class, and they are eating up every word!” the worker continued.

“I tell them about God and his love for them-it’s the first time they are hearing it! Their mother is attending women’s weekly Bible study and finding things in God’s Word that she didn’t know existed. Last week she said to me, ‘This book is really helpful for life!’

“It is so rewarding to give her healing words from God’s Word,” the worker concluded.

What You Can Do

Praise God for the exciting results from the Balkan outreach. Alliance workers in Macedonia also ask for us to pray for the establishment of the Evangelical Church in Bitola. Pray that God will lead Albanians there to this new Christian fellowship.


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