This has been a very good month in many aspects. Of course, it wasn’t an easy month and it did have its challenges, but thanks be to God, He is with me through it all.
Spiritually, I am doing well. I am trying to discipline myself more and more every day in practical things like Bible reading, studying, praying etc. This month has been a time for me to reflect on the year that just passed. I’ve been thinking about the blessings and the challenges of the year, and about my personal growth and our growth as a church. At the beginning of last year, I had a lot of doubts about the ministry here and many questions in my mind, like: “Is this going to work?” Seeing the lack of interest in people and no response to the gospel, created all those doubts and fears. However, throughout the year, the Lord took all those fears and doubts away by showing me that it is Him who does the work and He can use us even though we are weak and might not have all the qualities needed. God has done amazing work in Malisheve this year and I am so thankful. Hundreds of people heard the gospel, hundreds of them received New Testaments and literature containing the gospel. Also, there was a growth of interest in people to attend our services. With all these things and a lot more, as I’ve written about in my previous reports, God has taught me to trust in Him and lean not on my understanding.
December of 2018 was a month full of blessings. In our ministry with the children, we were able to give out more than a hundred gifts to those that came to our Christmas program. The gifts were packages filled with stuff from kids in Germany and delivered to Kosovo for Christmas by a Christian organization. Through this program, hundreds of kids attended and many adults that came with their kids. We showed a video of Jesus’ birth from the "Jesus" film and then explained the reason we celebrate Christmas. Another blessing was the Christmas service for adults in which more than twenty adults attended. The entire family of Isak, the man who has been coming to our services with his two sons, came that day, which was great. During the service, we sang Christmas worship songs that were led by Donika with a guitar for the first time. Before God brought him to our church, we were singing without an instrument. Afterward, I shared the meaning of Christmas. After that, we celebrated together with a meal.
This month, I had the opportunity to talk to the imam of the mosque in our village. I was on the bus one day and he happened to be there too. During the ride, the imam started to ask me some questions about my family and also the church. Then he started talking about how we as Christians are wrong and that Jesus wasn’t crucified. I listened to him the whole time without interrupting for about ten minutes. After everything he said, he asked me: “What made you convert to Christianity?” So I was able to share about how I couldn’t find salvation in Islam. I told him that as a child I was going to the mosque, but after some time, I began to go to the church and grew up to realize that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. I told him that only Jesus’ sacrifice is able to satisfy the justice of God. The great thing about this conversation was that it wasn’t just the two of us talking to each other, but there were other people listening to us. So please join me in prayer for them, that they might come to realize that salvation only comes through Christ.
I also continue to talk to my family about the gospel whenever I get the chance. So please be praying for them that God might open their eyes.
One day I was talking to two of my good friends—A.B who is a Christian and L.B who is a Catholic. One of them raised the question about the differences between Protestants and Catholics, so I was able to share a little bit about how we believe that we can be saved only through faith in the work of Christ and not on our own works. I encouraged both of them, especially the Catholic to read the Bible to find the answers.
As I continue my ministry I kindly ask you to pray for:
- A new place to rent for the church.
- The seminary that we started.
- The people who can’t come to Sunday service: Sona is prohibited by her brother; Agnis must work all the time; Isak has been fired from his job position and is struggling with finances.
-All the church members to grow in the knowledge of God, to have a passion for the kingdom of God, and for the harvest
- For unity and love among us
-For me personally that I might grow in the knowledge of God, in wisdom as a leader, and in love, grace, and patience.