April – June 2008

Greetings Dear Family and Friends,

The Kona’s praise the Lord in all His goodness and glory! Our previous newsletter updated all our supporters from the New Year until March, so there is much rejoicing as we share all that has come about in these past several months. We are currently enjoying the Lord’s well heated summer here in Albania and continually find that all our needs and cares are nothing to “sweat” about as He provides so abundantly for His children. We are grateful for all of you as you have continued in your prayers and givings toward Mission to Albania. Please add these specifics prayer requests to your lists as well as numerous praises.

 

APRIL – “Showered with Blessings”

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  • Faithful preaching of the Word and gathering of the body as we continue worship at 10am on the Lord’s Day followed by an evening fellowship and prayer time in our home at 6pm.
  • Translation complete of Dr. Joseph Pipa’s The Westminster Confession of Faith Study Book. We currently gather at the church on Thursday evenings for Bible study, using this study guide to teach the fundamental truths of Scripture.
  • Little 4 yr old Sarah is baptized! Parents, Nardi and Lejda rejoice after this long-awaited event for their little girl. Please pray as they make home-schooling plans with Jenny. Currently Albania has not legalized home-schooling . . .
  • Mami Kona and My Jenny celebrate their Birthdays!
  • WIC fellowship continues once a month in our home – Jenny teaches about Hagar. She will begin this study for another church in May.

 

MAY – “Blessings Continue to Flower”

  • Website for Kisha Reformuar of Durres is up and running! Please visit at www.kishareformuardurres.com
  • Kisha Reformuar welcomes the donation of a new organ from a Dutch Reformed Church in Holland! This beautiful instrument is about the size of a piano with the use of foot pumps to play. Pray for the Lord to provide a pianist/organist.
  • Arjan Kosta is a dear brother in Christ and old friend from my former church who pastors another local church here in Durres. He has been discipled by our dear brother Nardi for some time now and is greatly encouraged by our Thursday evening Bible studies. He has such a pastoral heart though he has not received formal training. Pray for Arjan as he studies English in preparation to pursue further pastoral training. His desire is to study at GPTS through the distance learning program. Pray for his growth as he continues to adopt reformed doctrine as his own. Pray as he shepherds his body, using the liturgy and other materials from our worship quite often.
  • WIC – The ladies study Rebekah while the ladies of Pastor Arjan’s church begin their study of the Women of the Bible, starting with Eve. Jenny is enjoying her preparations and learning a great deal from such a challenge. Pray as she continues to learn Albanian to become an even more effective teacher/helper.
  • Celebration of my 37th birthday on May 7th!

 

JUNE – “Others join our tune”

  • Kisha Reformuar of Durres has a Library/bookstore! This one shelving unit holds about 50+ translated and printed books/booklets. The body is enjoying Pilgrim’s Progress, The Life of Martin Luther, and more. We continue to make additions, even offering family/children DVD’s from your generous donations.
  • Isaiah 53 series ends and is followed by the Five Sola’s of the Reformation, a 10 week series altogether. Thank you to Julie Speer for providing coloring artwork pages for the children to enjoy and learn from as they correlate with the sermon.
  • Kisha Reformuar of Durres Tract is written and professionally printed for informational and evangelical purposes.

 

SHORT TERM SUMMER MISSIONS

  • Woodruff Road PCA, our sending & home church bless us with a SUMMER TEAM!!! John (Deacon) and Melissa Seay, Craig (RE) and Maria Bradenbaugh, George Hopson (RE), and Suzanne Patterson all arrive around midnight on Sunday, June 29th after an exhausting and much delayed flight schedule. Though we miss our worship together that morning, seeing them again brought us so much joy!
  • Team facilitates a 5 day evening conference – the men teaching on various church/theology/history related topics. Our congregation is joined by Pastor Arjan’s church body in his facilities from 6-8:30pm. During this time Jenny orchestrates a VBS for about 4-8 children with the help of a dear Albanian sister in Christ. They enjoyed their lessons, crafts, story reading, coloring sheets (Julie Speer), homemade American treats/snacks, and more! This event greatly benefited both churches, providing a charge and spiritual boost that will last for months on end. Please consider us in your future summer mission plans.
  • WIC – Joint session taught by Melissa Seay on the “Hindrances of a Devotional Life” The 12 or so ladies are greatly encouraged and enjoy a homemade Red Velvet Cake made by Suzanne Patterson, excerpt cake-maker!
  • Leadership Training takes place throughout the day with a handful of men. Craig and George teach, providing much wisdom and experience on the various issues as elders, and John is able to instruct regarding the role of a deacon.
  • After their fill of Albanian lifestyle and cuisine, summer sun and heat, walking and talking, our precious team family leaves on Saturday, June 5th to arrive safely home. They will give their mission team presentation on August 10th for those who would like to join WRPCA worship.

 

Praises and Prayer Points for a Continued Summer

  • Sola Series on Sundays is completed and is followed by an expositional series through the book of Jude. Pray for the Lord to continue to grow His people and this body as I faithfully preach and teach the Word and as we evangelize.
  • Jenny experience her first traditional Albanian wedding as my cousin was married just this past weekend. What a 3 day experience for my Southern Belle!
  • On Saturday August 16th I will officiate my first wedding for two friends and family in Christ. Pray for me as well as I continue to develop the first study on Premarital counseling in Albania. I have met once with this couple and plan to continue their counseling after the wedding. Pray for all these endeavors.
  • Continue to pray for our prayer meetings on Sunday Evenings as well as Bible Study meetings on Thursday evenings.
  • Pray for WIC meetings taking place on the 2nd Wednesday and last Saturday of the month for both our ladies as well as those of Pastor Arjan’s church.
  • Pray for Pastor Arjan as well as other dear brothers in Christ who are interested in further seminary training. Pray for clarity of direction and wisdom regarding choice of seminary, degree, and timing.
  • Pray for providential encounters with God’s elect and their conversions.
  • Pray for those of the congregation in preparation to become members as well as future steps leading to particularization (ordaining of elders and deacons).
  • Pray for protection as we grow and become more visible.
  • Pray for the Kona parents in their continued health, strength, and spiritual growth and encouragement. They continue to be such a blessing to us and many others. Frida (Berti’s sister) and Caleb are doing well in Greenville, SC.
  • Praise for Jenny’s health as her thyroid is well on its way to normal function again (confirmed w/ lab tests), parasites are now gone, is in no current need of natural medicines, and enjoys her active lifestyle and recommended diet. Pray for further strength of body and mind, delight in her true “Bread of Life”, and growing love for the Albanian people and culture. We are encouraged in her Albanian language progress but know there is much to learn yet. Pray as well for her grandparents experiencing various health issues. Her papa, currently in rehabilitative care, recently had another stroke and her grandmother will have surgery on her back Aug. 7th. Her siblings have cause for rejoicing as Marcia is pursing adoption for their foster child Kenneth and expect their 3rd in late August, Christie heads off to Emory to study anesthesiology, and Jamie continues her studies and current profession in the area of natural medicine. All are happily married and growing by God’s grace as godly wives.

 

How we praise the Lord especially for all of you and thank you for continued prayers and loving support! We love to receive your updates as well so please keep in touch and let us know how we may pray. May the Lord bless and keep you . . .