Nativity Appeal Letter

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.
Resurrection Cathedral

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.  Watch a 5 minute video about this ministry at

I pray these small gifts remind you what missions is all about—reaching out with love to the whole person and their community in the hope that Christ makes all things new.  

This might come as a surprise, but I started the year pretty discouraged—the last two years were tough—there were many days when I wanted to throw in the towel but I was never released from this calling to help missionaries be united in their marriage and resilient in their ministry.
Random cow on walk to vespers

Something changed in January when I visited our missionaries in Albania—I got a glimpse of their life and it renewed my resolve.  I realized that all of the challenges I was facing are the same they face—my compassion deepened and my passion grew.



So I stopped focusing on reaching full support and started focusing on just being as fruitful as I could with the resources entrusted to me.  At this point in the year, I’ve clocked just over 180 one-on-one hours with our missionaries and 60 days of travel!

God seems to have blessed the “fish and loaves” we offered.  

In our updates, I’ve shared a lot about the travel, so now I’ll share just one story about the one-on-one side of this ministry.  John (not his real name) has a secular job in a creative access country—a country that officially forbids missionaries.  But John’s got a missionary’s heart and a small community of new believers is forming in his living room! A priest comes a few times a year to hear confession, celebrate the liturgy, and has even baptized a new Christians this year!


I’m honored to support missionaries like John (and I need your help to keep doing it).

John and I talk about once a month.  We check in and find a topic to explore.  Sometimes it’s transition and cultural stress, other times its relationship concerns, sometimes we talk about contextual theology and the marks of viability for a church.  We pray together.  I can’t help but imagine the missionary saints—like St. Paul—in exactly the same situation as John is now.

This way of coming alongside missionaries like John is about building the fence at the top of the cliff instead of waiting in an ambulance at the bottom.  It’s not flashy but it is making a real impact.  Here is what John shared about our work together:

“I didn’t think I needed it, but I actually needed a counselor to stay sane. The mission field’s not a joke. The spiritual life isn’t a game. Human relationships can consume. With all that, Geoff helped me pull myself out of the muck to heal in the stillness of the Lord.

Then those issues were overcome and so I thought I didn’t need anyone else again. Then, Geoff became someone who fights alongside me, constantly inspiring me to stand ground, or to charge into the fray. That’s priceless.

Resilient mission work can either be a desperate struggle to survive or a glorious war to thrive. Geoff can help with any of these. Glory be to Almighty God.”

Something really good is happening and you and me get to be a part of it.

Did you know that just 38 people, some giving as little as $5 a month, made this ministry to John and other missionaries like him possible?  Glory to Almighty God Indeed! I love how God receives our humble offerings and multiples them to meet the needs of the hungry multitude.

Here is where you can fit in. Between now and December 31st let’s raise $6,000 to care for missionaries like John!  Here is the breakdown of what we need. Would you take one of these slots?

1   person at  $1,000
2   people at     $750
3   people at     $500
4   people at     $200
5   people at     $100
9   people at       $50
10 people at       $25

We’re off to a great start with $250 already pledged.  When you help us finish the year strong, your investment will make possible a lot more one-on-one support with missionaries like John.

With Gratitude,


Geoff Whiteman