I want to tell you about a special webinar I’m hosting for you next week and update you on our Nativity Appeal. But first, Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas! (here is a picture I took of St. Nicholas’ tomb when I passed through Bari, Italy on my way to Albania last January).
I have a small gift and a big ask to talk with you about. First the gift. Enclosed you’ll find a small icon and a handmade ornament. We got them for you when we visited Albania in October.
The icon came from the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral in Tirana. That’s the heart of missions—proclaiming in word and deed that Christ has destroyed the power of death! The ornament in its own way proclaims the same message. It’s made by an Albanian woman living in subsistence. She was paid a living wage for her handicraft by a missionary. That act conveys great love as it gives her hope and honors her dignity.
I want to share a little of how this trip came to be, what happened, and reflect on a few themes I hope will encourage you. You can see more photos at bit.ly/Montenegro-Ministry-Trip
In January 2017, I traveled to England for a class on Church Planting in an Urban Context. I extended the trip to visit our missionaries in Albania. In preparation, I posted to a missionary care Facebook group, hoping I might make a few connections for our missionaries. I got a message from Ton Vegt—a Dutchmen passionate about missionary care in Albania.
I wanted to share a quick update on the 3rd quarter as well as our ministry plans between now and the end of the year.
In August, I was blessed to participate in the New Candidate Orientation at OCMC. There are times when the prayers of others feels like wind in your sails—this was one of those times! It was a long week for me personally—I participated in all the training, helped lead a fair amount of it, and was present in the “down time” to connect with our new missionary candidates
In prepping for my trip to visit our missionaries in January I researched missionary care resources in Albania to connect them with, because I believe with the very marrow in my bones that missionary care belongs to the whole church facilitated by a few with that unique calling.
Through that research I meet Ton Vogt and learned of the Albanian Encouragement Project. Then a few months ago, Ton reached out and invited me to the AEP annual missionary conference in Montenegro (October 12-23)
Today is the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. Since you’re on my ministry mailing list, I wanted to tell you why it’s such a significant day for me personally.
The Apostles are some of our greatest heroes. Yet they had strong disagreements with each other. For example in Galatians 2:11-14 we learn that Paul publicly confronted Peter (he ate with the gentiles Christians only when the jewish Christians weren't around).
This feast always reminds me of that story.
I have a few highlights from this first quarter to share with you about our work in missionary care. In January, I was in England for a class on Urban Church Planting and tacked on a trip to visit our Missionaries in Albania. It was great to visit with them and to experience their life. While I could talk about that trip and each of them for pages, I want to share one story about Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald that encapsulates what mission work is all about.