Last year I shared with you that doing ministry in a country that would not be "Christian" (at least by name) was a step of faith for me. I was looking forward to the Lord taking me to some new territories and stretching my faith teaching me to trust Him more and so He did.
You may have received a note from me by now letting you know that "my company sent me on business to a new country" wondering what it was all about. For the first time ever I had a chance to travel to a Muslim country. Albania is located in Europe, but 70% of its people consider themselves Muslims after the Turks swept through several centuries ago. Even though back in 1968 Albania was declared "the first and only truly atheist country in the world" by the local dictator, the religious environment is very different now. I was not sure exactly just who would process my postcards and how that could affect the work we do in Albania, so I made the message to be a bit encrypted.
I had a privilege to learn new things and also help train and encourage Campus Crusade missionaries who work so diligently in such a hard place. It was a very special experience and a great ministry opportunity. Last year European Union lifted visa requirements for Albanians trying to integrate them better into the European family. Needless to say, besides businessmen local religious clerics are also on the move taking the message of Islam to other countries. As they do that we realize that the need to change Albania from inside is so great. We are praying for the message of Romans 15:19 to become true again. "Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum (the old name for Albania − YB), I have fully preached the gospel of Christ". Please pray for more and more people of Albania and beyond to hear about the love of Christ.
Traveling back home through Turkey definitely completed my experience of being in the middle of a very different culture and, yes, I made it back in one piece. Looking forward to serving more outside my comfort zone in the future!
Please continue praying for the assistant school principle Olga Viktorovna. As brainwashed as she has been by the communists for so many years hearing about Christ from my wife is not easy for her. And yet she was willing to take another step − to read "More Than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell, a simple and yet a great book on basic Christian apologetics. This book was primarily responsible for my salvation ... oh, my ... almost 19 years ago. Time sure flies:)
Speaking of the communists, I know I should be very careful with politics in my prayer letters, but I would still ask you to pray for the local elections we will have next week. The communists already got majority in the city council earlier this month and are very close to regaining the seat of the capitol city mayor. Back to the USSR?! I sure hope not...
From Moldova with love,
Yuri, Olga, Rebecca and David(!)
New Life Moldova ( )