On our recent trip to the Balkans we spent time with a team in Gjilan in Kosova. The team there are church planting, but also have a vision to have people join with them, train with them, gain experience before being sent on to other parts of the Balkans. The team are mostly Albanians who’ve moved to Kosova which is also mainly ethnically Albanian (3.5 million people with perhaps 1,000 Christians). The team is led by Geni with his wife Soni.
There are a couple on the team called Fisnik and Manjola who are hoping to move on eventually to plant churches in Bosnia. It would be great to find people who join them! Fisnik and his family came to Gjilan with 150 euros in their pockets and no consistent means of support.
The team run various things for young people and also run a kindergarten (one of only four in the city). It was very encouraging to be with them. In the evening we joined in with their youth night. We watched a movie and then played cards and table tennis. They also have a youth service on Friday evenings.
It’s often said that English is the international language. But Guy (one of my gospel community leaders) and I concluded that football (soccer) is the true international language. It’s amazing how long you can sustain a conversation shouting out the names of football clubs and players and then gesticulating approval or disapproval!
If you would like to get involved in partnering with local churches to reach the Balkans then contact Brian Jose of Radstock: brian [at] radstock [dot] org, http://www.radstock.org.