Week of April 14-20, 2014
This week, instead of a prayer directive, we will report on our visit to a refugee camp in Podgorica, Montenegro and the Balkan Networks strategy meeting in Gjakove, Kosovo which we attended last week.
Zuzanna and I started out by driving down the Croatian coast Monday and Tuesday (April 7-8) and were amazed at the beauty our creative Father laid out for us to enjoy.
We arrived to Montenegro and met with Sinisa Nadazdin who pastors in a Roma (Gypsy) refugee camp. At the camp we observed the degrading conditions of life for about 1,600 refugees. Several have come to know Jesus in the camp and are so hungry for Him. This was evident in the mid-week service we attended where about 75% was made up of young people. He has worked with the refugees for some six years and has earned their trust. Sinisa helps them in countless ways, among which is worth noting that he helps the refugees work through the entangled bureaucracy of the paperwork in order to establish their identity. These refugees have been struggling to get legal status for many years. They had fled from Kosovo during the conflict there about fourteen years ago.
On April 10th we boarded a bus for a six and a half hour ride into Kosovo. I want to say, Montenegro has some of the most unappreciated beauty Zuzanna and I have ever seen. The mountains and valleys are just breath-taking.
We arrived in Gjakova, Kosovo for the Balkan Networks meeting Thursday afternoon. It was great to meet men and women I had been corresponding with, some for years, through Praying for the Balkans, Project. It was good to meet many other Christians who have a burden for the Balkan countries. The meeting was very on purpose and we saw in many ways how each of us fit into the puzzle of the coming revival in the Balkans, which we firmly believe is on the horizon.
The inspiring news is that there has been an increase over the past few years of ministries coming or being raised up in the Balkan countries. We were blessed to have some pastors from the region that came and shared their dreams with us. I know I will leave some out but let me mention some of the participants at the meeting and the ministries they represent.
· Albin Larsson, from Romania, missionary and organizer of the event. Truly Albin did a remarkable job of pulling us together and setting the agenda.
· Jeff McLaughlin, from Kosovo – missionary, who did the ground work in Gjakova and lead our worship times.
· Dag Schjelderup who has been serving in Albania for many years as a prophetic voice and pastor.
· Bryan Brenchley, businessman from Macedonia, spoke to us about deepening our relationships and connecting with Kingdom minded people throughout the region.
· Lee Saville, missionary from Romania, was our main speaker. Thank you Lee, for setting the tone and challenging us to press on with expected assistance from heaven.
· George Markakis, pastor form Athens, Greece. Pastor George was a defining voice that helped bring clarity to the meeting.
· Venco Nakov, pastor from Macedonia, stressed to us the importance of prayer that must precede the move of God coming to the Balkans.
· Werner Woiwode, from Switzerland with Trumpet Call – Europe, is going forth blowing the Trumpet of the Lord in all European nations; the sounds of heaven are coming to earth. (Werner, I started reading your book “Stranded on Life’s obstacles” )
· Many others:
o Michael Long, missionary from Thessaloniki, Greece.
o Julian and Beatrice Kastrati, local church leaders in Albania
o Barry Ogden, missionary in Albania
o Pal Katona, missionary in Macedonia
o Rachel Bevan, missionary in Romania
o Katrine Drevon, YWAM representative from Serbia
o Athol Barnes from the USA, with Call2all, an organization to reach all hidden people groups
o Jerry McCarty and Donald Chandler from the USA with Serve the City
o Others, unnamed but special participants to the meeting
We were blessed to also have with us four pastors/evangelist from Argentina that had come with Michael Long. These gentlemen challenged us and spoke into our lives great Hope. They spoke of their plans to mobilize hundreds of missionaries from South America to take the Gospel back to Europe as a way of thankfulness to Europe for bringing it to them many years ago.
To Zuzanna and I, this Balkan Networks meeting was reassuring to us that God is truly answering the prayers we have prayed for the Balkans all these years.
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