Start a movement where there isn't even a church

182418

Missionary


Andy and Irida live among a people with NO known church. 500,000 people and no congregation of believers. So where do you begin? Maybe you love others and do for for the least of these and see what God might do. This story is written by Andy

We had been in Macedonia just over a year when we began to volunteer with the Poraka Nova disabilities center.  It started simply enough.  We would come by for an hour or two, play a few songs on the acoustic guitar, do some crafts with the clients, and make a few friends.  Through these interaction we created trust with the clients and staff, and the LORD began to give us a bigger vision.

“Why not do a 5k run for disabilities awareness?”  my wife Irida suggested one day as we talked with Anita, the director of Poraka Nova.  Usually these sort of brain storming suggestions didn’t go anywhere, but right away it was clear everyone liked the prospect of an event like this.  “Wow, that is a great idea Irida.  World down syndrome awareness day is in about 6 weeks.  Maybe we could do it then.”  replied Anita.  A few minutes later we had laid out a preliminary plan for the event.

Putting together something like this wouldn’t be a solo effort, however, and we knew we needed a team.  Fortunately, everyone we talked to in the community seemed interested in helping in some way.  Centuries old ethnic rivalries seemed to disappear as people from different backgrounds worked together to make the event happen.  Before we knew it we were being introduced to half the town to present the vision for the 5k race.  The police department agreed to help us block off streets for the runners.  The Red Cross wanted to send volunteers.  The American Corner was excited to host the event.  Every high school in the community welcomed us to present the event to their students.  It seemed every door we knocked on opened up to us.

Still, we worried that the event would be a flop.  They had never done this before in Struga and we really didn’t have much time to prepare.  What if it rained?  What if no one showed up?  What if something happened last minute to throw everything into chaos?  What if people didn’t get along.  All of a sudden we had a million details to take care of.  What if we messed something up?  We prayed God would bless our efforts and left it in his hands.

The day of the race came and right away it was clear we were being blessed.  The weather was perfect and volunteers had already started to gather before we arrived.  The next four hours were a blur of activity.  We actually had more runners come out than we hoped for. Hundreds of people gathered to run or stood to watch.  The vision had become a reality.  God had answered our prayers. 

Here is a link to a VIDEO of the event.

Starting a movement by serving the community seems like it might just be the perfect beginning. Keep following the story by connecting with andrewm@converge.org 

 


182418, Missionary

Partner with me as we ask God for a gospel movement among the over 300 million Muslims living in the 21 nations around the Mediterranean Sea.