Prayer Requests and Ministry!
Hello, dear friend. Thanks for reading about us, caring about us, praying for us, and loving us. We have been blessed beyond any expectation we could have had. But we want to make one point clear: we did not come to be served but to serve. As (rather imperfect) slaves we come on behalf of our Master, who’s graciousness is on full display when He allows people like us to represent Him in any way, much less as His name bearer.
As such we ask that as you pray with us and for us, please pray that His glory would be magnified in us. Please pray that our joy would be found in His glory. Please pray that while in Albania we would make disciples and be disciples for His glory. Please pray that the work we do would only be for His glory and that through it many would become more conformed to the image of Christ or would come to a saving knowledge of His grace for His glory.
We know those seem broad and vague. We want to share with you some of the details of the ministries that have presented themselves. Below are a list of ministries our family is taking part in for the immediate future. Please do not read these as a list of “all the great things we are doing, look at us!” Far be it from us to write such a list. As if we are worthy of anything good being written. We are but a voice calling out, pointing to the One with infinite value. We are but dust, pointing to the Pearl of great price. We are like a flower that is here today but tomorrow is no more, pointing to the Infinite Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. We are but a shadow, pointing to the King of Kings with whom there is no changing shadow or variance. Okay, you get the point.
So then why write a list? We have been asked by many of you what ministries are we able to be a part of and how you can be praying. So this is our way of presenting the different ministries that are before us and if you could pray for just one of them, we would be so grateful.
(1) Monday mornings we are leading a Bible study with the administration team from Campus Crusade. The team gathers to pray, worship, fellowship and learn God’s word. We are excited about this study because we are trying to use the Precept Ministries material we have loved using in the US. For those of you who know the Precept material, we will have less time while gathered together and less time to study so we will be using the NISS rather than PUP. Everybody on this team speaks really good English so we think using these materials should not be too much of a burden. We will be studying Phillipians and Colossians over the next three months. Please pray with us that God uses this study as a time of growth in understanding God’s Word for all of us and that this study would expand not only our knowledge of the Word, but also our ability to dig for deep truths without the use of commentaries.
(2) Tuesday and Thursday mornings we are doing language study and Tuesday mornings we are doing cultural training. Yes, that isn’t a ministry in the direct sense, so it is cheating to include this here, but please pray that God opens our eyes so that we can learn Albanian fast because…
(3) Wednesday nights we are leading a Bible study with at least three Albanian families. This group will be smaller than the other and will be more intimate (i.e. more room for discipleship). Which will be a fantastic opportunity to serve our Lord and a heavy responsibility to serve in a manner worthy of our calling. The burden will be mulitplied by what will inevitably be many comunication gaps with the families as most of the group either speaks English at a moderate level or below. Our hearts desire is that God would be glorified as we work to build them up in everyway possible. Please pray that true discipleship can occur despite the communication gap, that we would all hunger together to learn the truths of God and seek to apply them to our lives. We hope that God will use the work of our hands for their spiritual growth and edification and pray that His will is done.
(4) Friday nights we are “leading” a Bible study, but this will be different than the other two. This Bible study will include just Scott & Eve and Altin & Dianna Zefi (the dear brother and sister that started the Albanian church we are currently serving at). We are excited about this study for two reasons. First, we are going to be doing a PUP study of the book of John. For those of you who aren’t familiar, PUP studies are very deep and detailed and they are fantastic studies if you hunger to really dig into what the Bible is saying. We are excited to get to have a small group where we will personally grow and be accountable. Second, this will be the first time the Zefis will be exposed to the PUP studies. We are eager to see if they think they are worth translating and using churchwide. While we believe they are, we also are Americans presenting American materials and want to see if they think the PUP materials would be beneficial here, too. Please pray for wisdom and growth as we gain a fuller understanding of the gospel of John together.
(6) We still don’t know when (as you can see, the schedule is already full), but we will help the church deliver food to the poorest families in the church’s neighborhood. We have met with the Mayor of that portion of town and we have gotten her blessings and her help in finding the poorest families so we can visit one or two per week. The goal is to get to know them and to present the gospel to them. We would love to be able to get them into a church (ours is available!!) and share our Lord and Savior with them. Please pray for these families who have so little and who are generally steeped in Muslim background that they would see the food we bring and would hunger for the Bread of Life.
(7) Last, we spend Monday through Friday working with the Campus Crusade teams in an administrative role. Eve spent a few days last week helping to prepare for the Campus Crusade International Day of Prayer with three Albanians. Scott has plenty of work ahead of him at the office as he integrates and helps out as much as he can. This coming week, Scott will be delivering a sermon at the IDP on Tuesday. Please pray that we would be diligent in serving in this ministry. It will be easy over the next two years to think of it as less important because it isn’t “one of the Bible studies.” We have an opportunity, though, to bless the team in tangible ways and we long to serve Christ as He has called us in this way.
As you can see, there is lots to do. God brought us here to humbly serve Him and to proclaim His name among the nations. God is working together great things in the tiny nation of Albania and we long to see His name glorified. May our family be the shiniest mirrors we can be, in order to more fully and clearly shine the Light into the darkness. Thank you for your time in reading this. Thank you for your prayers- past, present and future. Thank you for all the ways you bless us.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, NASB)