Moores in Macedonia: November 2020
Hi everyone, Here is our latest update from Macedonia. It has been an interesting and exciting few months for us, here are a few highlights:.
Our work in the town of Stip has fully restarted now. Once a week Ian takes a small team from Skopje to join with some members of our partner church in Stip to take part in street evangelism and some other activities. In one conversation we spoke with a group of young men who had never before been told that it is possible to know Jesus, rather than Christianity being a set of religious rituals. In another conversation we saw God’s compassion for a man struggling with a long term health condition. He was open to prayer and already knew a few people from the church and heard their message, but had never engaged with it before. It really struck us how God uses us in different ways during a person’s journey towards him and it reminded us of this scripture:
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9
We believe our job is not to tell God what to do, or to try and make something happen of our own doing, but to join in with His work. We are striving to increase our level of expectancy that God will work through us, because He desires for people to come to him.
Part of our call here in Macedonia is to empower the local church in mission. We celebrate what is happening in the local community but it has also been wonderful to see growth within team members as they see God at work through them and learn more about how he wants to use them to build his kingdom. We have spent time studying and discussing what it means to fulfil Jesus’ call on our lives to make disciples and how that applies to us in our different contexts. The team have been able to learn more about sharing their faith and dealing with the kinds of questions that come up. We have experienced some opposition, with one group of people jeering and swearing at us, but that just allows us to process how to respond in a Christ-like manner and to share in a small way in the sufferings of Christ.
“rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
1 Peter 4:13-14
The team have also sensed that God has also spoken into this work through 2 Corinthians 4:1-12. We would really encourage you to take a few minutes to read this scripture in whole, but here we will quote verses 4 and 5:
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2 Corinthians 4:4-5
We are reminded through this scripture that we share our faith, not for our own gain or to develop our own ministry or status, but so that people will connect with the risen Jesus! This is the heart behind what we do and why we do it. Sadly not everyone will be open to the message but we feel compelled to seek out those who are.
The change in season
Those of you who have been reading our updates regularly for the past few years will know that October brings a sudden and dramatic change of season as the temperature drops, and it means there are fewer opportunities to connect with people in the community as people stay indoors a lot more. We are using our home as much as we can although we are currently limited to four guests at any time due to coronavirus regulations.
Another challenge that this season brings is the annual ‘Skopje smog’ as the air quality drops significantly, and it reaches hazardous levels. We would appreciate prayers for our physical health at this time but also emotionally for us as it can be quite challenging for us. We often have to limit the time the children can spend outside, if you know our children well you will know how difficult this can be for them!
Something that has always been important to us is that our home is open for others and a place where people can come and connect with Jesus and grow as the family of God. This was a key part of our lives in the UK and something we wanted to see grow here in Macedonia.
Back in January 2020 we felt God say that there would be an increase in opportunities for us to use our home in this way, we were excited for what God was going to do. Of course then we got to March, and we all know what happened then. But God doesn’t go back on his word and it has been wonderful this past few weeks to be able to open up our home, perhaps not in the ways we expected with larger gatherings, but still as a place where people can come, be welcomed and experience something of the kingdom of God. We hope that in the future we will see more of this.
Thank you for praying for us. Last month we asked if people would pray that we could use our home again and that we would be able to build some new relationships in the community. We are delighted that we are seeing the beginnings of this taking place and are thankful to God for what he has done in and through us over the summer. We are hopeful that there is more to come!
Thank you those who pray for us, please would you pray about the following:
Give thanks for the progress that has been made over the past few months.
Please give thanks that Scott’s visa has now been processed and he is scheduled to arrive on Thursday 19th November.
Please pray for our health in this season with the smog.
Please pray that Macedonia will put in place wise and appropriate coronavirus measures and that we will be able to continue to operate effectively under whatever restrictions they decide upon.
Please pray for protection for the team heading down to Stip each week, for safe travels, fruitful conversation and open hearts.
Thank you so much for reading our news. We love hearing updates and news from our friends from around the world, so please feel free to contact us and let us know your news.
We are very grateful to all of you who support us financially as we need to raise 100% of our family and ministry costs. If you would be interested in supporting financially please get in touch with us.
Ian, Katie, Kristen and Josiah.