The last time we wrote we were in our final stages of taking on our new staff for the 'Spark the Urban outreach project'. Here we proudly introduce Marko and Matilda who have felt the call, got what it takes and have taken a step of faith to come on board full time with Spark ministries. Read their profiles here: CLICK
We are so very thankful too, to Robin & Bonnie Stephen and Helen Sherman who help out in different ways, approximately a day a week.
Spark the Albanian Outreach
The outreach van was finished in time for the Christmas outreaches which we had in Durres, Fushe Arrez and Shengjin. All the outreaches were well received and it was a good chance for us to put the van to the test.
It was great to have the Mattersey Halls Mission Team here with us in March where the van was out every day apart from their last two days, as they went to Macedonia to two towns that are predominantly Albanian speaking towns, Gostivar and Tetovo. At the same time we were exploring possibilities of future partnership with missions groups that are trying to reach into those Muslim areas. See a Video clip of the Van in action.
We now have several Churches that are signed up for the twelve weeks of outreach over the summer holidays and there are many others that are interested. Training has already started with some of the Churches. In the mean time material production is also in process. We've just taken delivery of 5000 copies of our new children's gospel tract, ready for the summer! If you would like to sponsor 200 copies of the children's new gospel tract you can do so for £15 or $25. Donate here.
Vali and the work in Shengjin
If you saw the above video you would have seen that the Van also goes up to Shengjin to help Vali and the girls with outreach in Shengjin.
This Christmas, with the help of Samaritan's Purse, we were able to supply the whole of the Shengjin school and kindergarten with Christmas parcels. Together with that we were able to invite the children from ages 8 – 12 years old to take part in a twelve week course that would take them on a journey through the gospel. 80 children signed up for the course and just this last week seventy two of them have gone right through to the last lesson. In the next two weeks Vali and the girls will be preparing for a big special programme for all of those children, with prize giving and a clear gospel presentation with room for children to respond. We appreciate your prayers for this event.
Child protection in Albania is an issue that Spark ministries has been concerned about for a while. Historically this has been a subject that has failed to be properly addressed, not only in many Evangelical churches, but also in many areas of Albanian society.
There has been some very damaging cases of Child neglect/abuse in the past decade.
This has led Shkendije to initiate a round table in partnership with the Albanian Evangelical alliance and also in collaboration with the Albanian social services, with the aim of producing an effective and applicable child protection policy with suggested good procedures, that can be applied, not only by the Evangelical community, but with the potential to be implemented on a much wider scale throughout Albania.
As most of you will be aware Shkendije is a faith based organisation, which has no income, apart from peoples kind donations. With the strategic relocation of our head office to the capital city, and the launch of Spark the Albanian outreach, our ministry needs have more than doubled. This has been a large step of faith, and we continue to trust in God for His provision.
Please pray with us in these coming critical months.