Moores in Macedonia: March 2021
Hi everyone, welcome to our latest news from Macedonia.
At the end of February we celebrated three years living in the country. We are so thankful to God for all he has done both in us and through us over the past three years and we are excited for what is to come. As a family we spent some time writing down some of our highlights and giving thanks to God for his faithfulness during our time in Macedonia so far. There have been many challenging times but also times of great joy and God has equipped us to grow through both.
We are so thankful to all of you who pray, give, visit and support us in doing what God has asked us to do. It is because of your generosity and support that we are able to do this and you are all just as much a part of the victories that we see.
Ian writes: One of the challenges that I have felt God remind me of over this past year is that of expectancy. The question I often have ask myself is ‘Do I actually expect that God will do something?’ This applies in so many ways. When we are going out doing our more organised activities such as street evangelism or our bible reading group, but also when we engage with people through the every day walk of life, such as going to the shops, taking the children out to the park or catching up with friends. So often I have done all of these things out of routine, without really stopping to think beforehand, ‘Am I expecting God to do something?’ If the answer is no, then we need to return back to scripture, because it seems to me that Jesus was always expecting something!
For example, when Jesus meets the woman at the well. If you are not familiar with the story you can read it in John chapter 4. He and the disciples are on a journey, and they stop by a well for a break, Jesus gets chatting to a woman who has gone to collect water and as a result a whole village is transformed! I like to think that if this story was played out today it would probably take place at a motorway service station! They were simply on a journey, going about their everyday lives, it wasn’t a planned, organised event, just an everyday experience but Jesus was always expectant, always on the lookout for how he could minister to others and demonstrate the love and power of God.
Spring has arrived in Macedonia and over the next few weeks we are hopeful for more opportunities to connect with people both through the organised and the everyday activities of our lives. I think now is the time to return to the question: Are we on the lookout, are we expectant that God wants to do something?
One of our roles is to support the local church in mission and evangelism. In recent updates we have talked about our work in the town of Stip. Goran, a member of the Oaza church in Stip faithfully takes part in street evangelism every week with us and it has been amazing to see him grow in confidence in sharing his faith and connecting with people. We thought you might like to get to know him, so we conducted a little interview:
I & K: Tell us a little about what happens when you, Ian and others go out on the streets of Stip.
G: We go and speak to people, we offer to pray for them or talk about the good news to them. We take copies of the New Testament with us to give to people if they are interested.
I & K: What are the different ways people respond?
G: Some are not interested and tell us to go away! Some people are interested and they let us talk with them and pray for them. Some of them take bibles with them. We get lots of different answers to the questions we ask them.
I & K: How has God changed you during these times?
G: I am thankful that I have had these opportunities. I haven’t felt equipped to do this before and I have felt pressure because I did not know what to say to people. But now I feel encouraged. I know that this work is not for us but it is for God and he is doing his work through us.
We first got to know Goran properly when he joined us for our Romania mission trip back in 2019. We love his heart to serve Jesus in whatever way he can and he has such a heart of faithfulness to God and his people. One of the amazing things about him is that he walks the town centre with us week by week to share his faith, yet he actually has quite restricted mobility and walking can be a struggle, yet he doesn’t let that prevent God working through him! It has been wonderful to see him grow in confidence in sharing his faith and how his role has changed over time. To begin with it seemed like he was just acting as translator for us, whereas now he does a lot more of the talking while we listen in and try and make out what is being talked about!
A key purpose of our work in Stip is to use the street evangelism as a bridge to meet people who may want to journey further towards knowing Jesus. We are hopeful that we will see breakthrough in this soon.
Thank you for praying for us in this season, please would you keep the following in your prayers:
Please give thanks that our residency visas have been successfully renewed for another year. The process should be complete by the end of this week.
Please pray for wisdom as we work in the community, especially in the context of a ‘third wave’ of coronavirus infections.
Please pray for a greater sense of expectancy as we go about our work.
For opportunities to connect with new people and to grow relationships with those we already know.
It is a new season here, please pray we would be able to fully engage with the new things God wants to do here in this time. There are a couple of things on the horizon – watch this space!
Thank you so much for reading, supporting and praying for us. We really do appreciate it and we hope that at some point we will be able to visit the UK and see many of you. Please do keep us updated with your news, we do love to hear what is happening with you all.
Ian, Katie, Kristen and Josiah.