Missions News & Stories

I am very excited about your desire to push for finishing the task! I want to have a part in this effort!! Praying that the task will soon be done!! Until there is a witness for Christ in every nation.

— Jean P.

After recent scandals, I have become skeptical of the native missionary movement. I have been supporting native missionaries for decades now, but these scandals have really burnt my trust. Thank you for addressing trust and accountability in Prayerline letter.

— Jann F., IL

We give thanks to our loving, compassionate, Sovereign God for your ministries. Thank you!

— Rick and Debra R., WI

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you, for such wonderful weekly articles. I look forward to each one, as it helps me to view beyond my own thoughts/circumstances enabling transformed and focused prayers outwardly to what God is doing around the world. It helps me to think outside of my little, local box, to see as God sees that there is more at stake than my problems. These articles and this ministry are a simple grace that is calling us to pray together as one body in Jesus Christ. Again thank you!

— Mark M., FL

God’s Joy and Blessings as we remember what Jesus did for us, new Life in Him.

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Thank you for all you do in helping us share in the needs of our brothers and sisters in God’s Kingdom! You are precious! Never forget the value of being the facilitating Hand of Jesus!

— Dale and Nancy D., NY

Thank you for all of your hard work in all of the hardest situations around the world, and thank you for making us aware so we can pray and help support your efforts. May God bless your efforts abundantly!

— David S., OR

Thank you for sending us the newsletters from the various ministries Christian Aid supports with its thrilling testimonies and their needs for us to pray for them.

— Keith and Carla H., CA

God bless you for being a great agent in the Hand of God to build His Kingdom!

— Doug R., GA

God bless your efforts on His behalf!

— Larry W., SD

May God richly bless your wonderful efforts on His behalf. Keep up the great work!

— Gary and Cheryl M., FL

Your work is superlative!

— Jacqueline B., IL

Opening Doors to Women´s Ministry in Kosovo

May 01, 2013

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A typical spring landscape in the Balkans

It was double humiliation for Hatixhe. During the war in Kosovo, her husband Abdyl enlisted in the army and was given prescribed drugs to help him function without sleep. The drugs were narcotics and Abdyl became addicted.

If Abdyl´s drug dependency hadn´t brought enough shame to their family, his second revelation certainly did. How could she tell her relatives–all Muslims–that Abdyl had decided to follow the Christian God?

Her husband´s conversion was not well received by either of their families. In fact, this news brought more shame than the addiction. They were ridiculed. Some wondered if the drugs had poisoned Abdyl´s mind.

But Abdyl refused to be intimidated. Not only that, he quietly lived out his faith in front of Hatixhe and their two young children. He also sought help for the substance abuse that continued to plague him.

Through a small group of believers that were friends of her husband, Hatixhe heard more about Jesus Christ. She had many questions for them. As her mind and heart opened to the gospel, Hatixhe did something she never would have imagined. She too surrendered her life to the Savior.

Hatixhe joined a Bible study group in their city of Gjilan in eastern Kosovo. The program is part of a women´s outreach started this year by Open Doors Church, a local ministry that receives financial support from Christian Aid Mission. The meetings are held weekly in private homes.

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Many people living in Kosovo continue to celebrate their ethnic Albanian traditions.

“I focus on women who are already believers, so that I may encourage and help them grow spiritually and in the Word of God,” said Violeta, whose husband Paulini pastors Open Doors Church. “Up to now there are four women that I am meeting with. For them, it is quite difficult to come to church due to the pressure and the Islamic spirit that dominates this city. However, meeting at their place is a double blessing, as we are bringing prayers, worship, and the Word of God into these households.”

Like Hatixhe, these women face a variety of challenges as wives and mothers. One woman is fearful of the future as her husband is dying of cancer. The couple has three children. Another feels betrayed by her unfaithful spouse who is not taking care of their family´s material needs.

“It is a joy to see these women come gladly to the meetings and enjoying this time. They are every day more open to each other and to those from the church,” Violeta said.

In addition to the weekly meetings, Violeta and two missionaries lead larger women fellowships twice a month. These events include Bible study, prayer time, and a craft/handiwork social time. They also plan to hold lunches and family picnics in the summer.

Their church offers a kids club every Saturday for children in the community. Hatixhe and Abdyl´s 7-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter like to attend the activities.

This summer they are planning to hold a one-week kids´ camp, a weeklong camp for youth, and another week of camp open to the entire congregation.

Currently 50 men, women, and children attend Open Doors Church, where their motto for this year is “To know, to live out, and to share the Word–JESUS.”

Christian Aid Mission is coming alongside Paulini and Violeta to multiply their efforts. As a way to encourage discipleship, the couple is focusing on building and strengthening house groups. Their church holds a corporate Sunday worship service once a month, in which they focus on evangelism. They also have prayer nights and the weekly gatherings for children and youth.

Breaking down barriers

Violeta started a women´s ministry when Paulini pastored a previous church. After her family´s move in 2012, she felt the Lord prompting her to begin an outreach to women in Gjilan.

As a mother of three children, including a newborn, Violeta understands the difficulties many of these women face. Financial instability and limited educational/vocational training adds to their insecurities.

“When we do the Bible studies in their homes, we mostly focus on Bible stories because this makes learning easier for them. We also teach child upbringing and education, as this is considered a mother´s duty in society here,” said Violeta.

The city of Gjilan did not suffer the terrible physical effects of the 1990s conflict with Serbia as did other parts of Kosovo. However, wounds of resentment toward the Serbs have not healed. That spirit of unforgiveness poses a greater obstacle to the gospel than does the culture´s Islamic traditions.

Kosovars, many of whom are ethnic Albanians and practicing Muslims, view the Serbs as their enemies. Because Serbia is considered a Christian country, Violeta said it is hard for people in Kosovo to draw a distinction between Christianity and Serbian politics.

“Islam is viewed as a national identity, and most of the people consider the war in Kosovo as a religious matter,” she explained. “Whenever people realize that you are a Christian, they stop visiting you and even consider you a traitor.”

Deciding to follow Christ arouses distrust for anyone who converts, but when that convert is a Kosovar woman, she places herself in a perilous situation economically and socially. Her worst fears are intimidation or even abandonment by her family. Violeta comes alongside these women to encourage them and bolster their faith.

“I believe the Lord has been speaking to my heart to persist so that these women would know the depth, the height, and the width of the love of our Father, and to persevere as Peter and John, who were not afraid of the threats, but obeyed the Lord,” Violeta said.

As part of her outreach efforts, Violeta is currently building relationships with some Kosovar women who are not believers. She prays that in time their hearts will be open to receive the love of Jesus Christ, and that they can be bold witnesses for the Savior among their families and friends.

Prayer requests:

  • For Hatixhe´s husband Abdyl as he continues to struggle with substance abuse. He has been to a rehabilitation center three times, but without success. Pray for God´s healing power to be released so Abdyl can break free from the bondage of addiction
  • For participants in the women´s Bible study to understand the Scriptures so that their faith will be strengthened and they will give over to the Lord all their struggles
  • That Violeta would have spiritual discernment to better understand how God wants her to minister to these ladies
  • That the three women she is building a friendship with will grow to trust her and one another, that they will establish strong bonds, and that they would come to know Christ as their personal Savior
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