Tales from the Macedonian Mission Field - November/December 2021 Update
I pray that this newsletter finds you well and that you and your family have enjoyed a peaceful and joyful Christmas and New Year season. Even as so many of us as still living under restrictions, or restrictions may even be increasing, I thank God that we always have things to give thanks for. God is good in all situations and circumstances. His character never changes. As the Scriptures say, "His love endures forever."
I love how New Year gives a natural opportunity for reflection upon the last year, and review for moving forward. Maybe things that God is saying is time to stop; others, time to start; and still others again to continue but maybe to change in some way. So to, in the work that the Lord has given me to partner with in Macedonia. I sense that this last year whilst many moments have been difficult, it has been a year of laying foundations. A year of preparation for growing things further moving forward.
December saw me joining in with a new language class. My last set of lessons ended at the end of July due to a season of travelling back and forth to the UK. I have now joined a different class from my last one, and have gone from one hour a week as previously to four hours a week now. It is safe to say that my new lessons are far more intensive, and are more suited to my learning style, which should help me get a better grasp of the language.
Unfortunately, at this time, we haven't been able to secure a lease on the building that we were praying for. We have continued to meet online and in person every few weeks within a home. Whilst this is a good second best, we feel we would be most suited to having a permanent space to meet physically and that provides space for community and partnership with other ministries. We continue to process how to grow the ministry and potential partnerships with others.
Photos below of myself and my church pastors from Warrington, visiting Skopje in November, and myself with Vladko at the Skopje Christmas markets.
IIt is really encouraging to see how our contacts are growing in their faith, and we have begun to process what it would look like to potentially partner with a number of churches in Shtip to increase this work, and provide numerous outlets for people to connect in with and engage.
These last two months has seen a growth in numerous relationships. I continue to meet up with people regularly from the church and to walk through life with them as disciples of Jesus. Our last home group stopped for a number of reasons, which were opportunities for us to learn and grow from. And excitedly, starting in January, we will be restarting home group in my apartment and going through a Discovery Bible Study (DBS) together. This will allow growth in Bible literacy, whilst also at the same time being accessible for people from any background and current understanding, to be able to engage with. There are some new people to the faith engaging with us in this, and it will allow numerous opportunities for the members to be able to invest in each other, whilst also at the same time providing a good and multipliable foundation for new home groups in other parts of the city moving forward.
I continue also to meet with other church leaders, and there is the potential opportunity to start a shared prayer calendar each month between several of the churches. This would be fairly easy to produce and would allow each of the churches involved to input, with all the various members of those churches praying strategically for the same topic each day. As the waters are tested in starting this up, moving forward, it also allows an opportunity for more and more churches to get involved.
Below is a photo of the main Skopje Square with the 'Warrior on a Horse' statue (or as we know it as Alexander the Great) in the middle, with the Millennium Cross lit up on Mount Vodno in the background.
For all the foundations built and growth in relationships of last year.
For continued growth in faith for our contacts in Shtip.
For new opportunities for discipleship growth.
For the MAKHOP, that a way forward would be made that would enable effective and sustainable physical prayer gatherings.
For open doors for cooperation between churches in Shtip.
For the development of the house group, and that it becomes a sustainable and multipliable expression of discipleship and sharing life together, whilst also enabling the growth of a missional heart.
For the prayer calendar. That it will develop, and become a good opportunity for churches to partner together.
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter. I pray that this year brings breakthrough for each of you, with new frontiers and adventures in Jesus.
With much love, and Christ's richest blessings.
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