Coming Alongside

Today I head on from Albania to several countries in the Middle East and North Africa.  Renee is already on her way to join me.  In the midst of the turmoil of the region, God is on the move in ways that don’t make the headlines.  As you read the news, pray for what makes headlines in heaven. 

We will primarily be coming alongside Navigator leaders in their local contexts.  And we will be participating in two gatherings of next generation leaders, one gathering of promising expatriate leaders and another gathering of 3rd generation Arab leaders in our largest national ministry in the region. 

I feel very small when I am among people who pay such a price for the progress of the Gospel.  Jesus said that He would not leave us alone, ever.  In John 14:16 He promised to send a helper, the Holy Spirit.  The word for helper there literally means: one called alongside to help.  And that very same Spirit often calls His Servants to come alongside to help others.  One of our fellow leaders likes to say: We all need encouragement all of our lives.  That’s especially true of cross-cultural missionaries and local leaders in this region.  Please pray that God will use us to deeply encourage His servants. 

Answered Prayer:   The Lausanne – Orthodox Initiative was encouraging and challenging to me.  I was surprised to see what appears to be such strong growth of the Orthodox Church here since the fall of the Iron Curtain. This was a strongly atheistic state, but now 450 new Orthodox Churches have been built here.  Their bishop is a missionary at heart.  I also enjoyed a few days visiting a fruitful and successful missional enterprise here that is modeling making disciples, making money and making a difference in the community.  In Romans 15:19 the Apostle Paul said that Illyricum (Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Croatia today) was as far as he personally got as a missionary, and the Gospel is growing here once again.