By Chaplain Jason Dong, Oregon Army National Guard, Kosovo
Greetings! I hope this finds you well and standing on the promises of God day by day. COVID cases among the Kosovo population are going down so that is a good sign. However, we continue to have positive tests among our multinational partners. Despite continuing restrictions, I was able to venture out into the community last week.
One of those days was a very special religious leader engagement with Pastor “E.”. He pastors The Word Church, a Protestant Evangelical church. He and his wife “F.” shared their testimony. It was a pure joy to meet these heroes of the faith. Despite a Muslim upbringing they became Christians as teenagers in Kosovo’s capital city Pristina when a mission team from the Netherlands came and held outreach meetings. They felt called to plant a church in another city not far from where my base is. For the first five years they had no one. Then in year five they began getting phone calls from the community for Bibles. Then they had their first convert, “F”, whom we met which now serves as a deacon in the church.
Altogether they have been there 15 years serving approximately 100 families with an average attendance of about 45-50 each Sunday. Our meeting was the first time Pastor “E” has ever met a chaplain from KFOR (Kosovo Force). They shared how God has protected them from various threats over the years and are in the process of purchasing a new space that will accommodate more people. Pictured is also a fast food business that helped support the church, but due to COVID it shut down.
There are two churches in the U.S. that support them financially for various projects and send short term mission teams each year to hold youth camps and adult seminars. They hope to move into their new space by October 1st. It was a privilege to fellowship with them and I hope to be able to visit again as they move into their new space.
Praises/thanks: 1) Meeting Pastor “E” and his wife 2) God’s continued provision 3) Good health 4) Continued opportunities in ministry
Prayer requests: 1) God’s protection upon The Word Church as they move into their new space 2) Continued protection, peace and safety for the Soldiers 3) Continued wisdom and guidance in daily ministry 4) Physical, emotional, spiritual strength to finish strong 5) Holy Spirit’s work in those attending chapel/Bible study 6) Peace, health and protection for family back home.
Quote of the Week: “Religion says, ‘I obey; therefore I am accepted.’ Christianity says, ‘I am accepted, therefore I obey.'” –Alistair Begg
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.
“Religious Leader Engagement” is one of our military chaplain’s responsibilities. Taking the initiative to contact leaders of all faiths positively influence civil-military relations. If there’s any place on earth where this has been needed and beneficial, it’s in the Balkans where Chaplain Dong currently serves. Pray for wisdom, grace and health for Jason and his fellow-soldiers, as they serve as ambassadors of good will and safety in Kosovo.
For more stories by and about our chaplains, visit us a www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy. For information of endorsement for chaplaincy, email Director Randy Brandt at firstname.lastname@example.org.