Greetings to you from Tirana, Albania! I hope and pray all is well with you and your families. Here is a brief update of what is going on with us in Albania.
We cannot believe we are past the first half of February 2014. Life, ministry, and work seem to be moving extremely fast. It seems like last Christmas and New Year's Eve were only yesterday! And yet, I am sorry I have not made the time to write to you earlier! Please know this does not mean you have been out of our mind, prayers and thoughts.
We are very encouraged by the way God is blessing our student ministry BSKSH. As of this year, BSKSH is also present in the northern city of Shkoder, and we have seen two new student groups in Tirana. While we thank God for these new groups, please join us in prayer for growth and strength of another student group in the southern city of Gjirokaster. BSKSH has a record number of workers at the moment - 9 paid staff, and several volunteer staff. Please pray that God will continue to protect and provide for these staff workers ministering in 6 cities across Albania. We are looking forward to three mission weeks among university students in three cities in the next couple of months. Pray for the greatest impact possible on the lives of students as they hear the Gospel message during these mission weeks in Tirana, Vlore, and Elbasan.
The ministry of the Emanuel Church in Tirana has also been encouraging. We are preaching through the Gospel of Mark on Sudays, and going through a Bible study series called "Jesus the Authentic Leader" on Wednesdays. Attendance on Sundays and Wednesdays has been excellent. Praise God for the love and fellowship our members share, and pray for those who are going through tough times because of health issues (Rafael,and Altin's father Bilal), and pray for those going through tough times economically because of unemployment and the economic crisis (Berti and Zamira, Armir and Elona). Pray also for numerical growth for the church plant in Vaqarr as some exciting plans to start a children's ministry and a youth/student ministry are underway.
Our last Tirana Book Club meeting was a great evangelistic event as we were discussing Henri Nouwen's book "The Return of the Prodigal Son". The book content provided for an excellent opportunity to share the Gospel with about 30 people who attended the discussion. Besides the monthly book club meetings, I continue to lead the monthly Bible study meetings with leaders of the Albanian Police Force. Pray that more people attending these two monthly events will commit their live to Christ and become part of the church. Our next police group meeting is on Friday this week, pray especially for Bilbil, Shaban, Adi, Arben and their spouses who are seriously considering the claims of Jesus.
One important event coming up next month is a meeting with some key preachers from Albania and Kosova in the context of the Langham Preaching and the Global Proclamation Academy. This will be a conference on "Biblical Preaching in Albania" on 18th - 20th March. Pray that God will provide for the needs of those invited to attend, and that the conference will lead to more effective preaching in churches across the nation.
Emili, Greis, Edita and I thank you for all your love, prayers and support for us. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you again sometime.