One of the first questions locals ask us when we meet them for the first time is "so, how long are you staying in Macedonia?" Usually they expect us to say that we are just visiting or that we are only planning to live here for a year. On more than one occasion we have had people say to us in hush tones "if someone is keeping you here against your will, just tell me and I will call the police." After assuring them that we are here by our own free will we explain that we desire to stay for as long as we can, that we want to learn their languages and their culture, to raise our son here...to really live life here.
While our explanation confuses some, for most it seems to bring down a wall and begins to lay a foundation for relationships. Last week at dinner, our waiter said that he was surprised that we were still here a year later but that he could remember the very first time we met (just a few months after moving here) and us explaining that we really were here to stay. So, a year later we are experiencing the joy that comes in relationship when you desire to live life alongside of people for as long as God would have you stay.
We couldn't pass up this opportunity to once again say "thank you" to
our many partners in ministry. Many of you joined this journey two years
ago and been faithful prayer warriors, generous financial givers, and
constant encouragers. We are blessed and honored to serve alongside of
you in ministry in Macedonia!
Also, the CBF magazine, thefellowship! recently featured a story about long-term ministry as they celebrated the ministry of Shelia and Arville Earl, who will retire in September. The writer, Caitlin Rodgers, did a great job of highlighting the ministry of the Earls and the transition and continuation of work in Macedonia to us. Click on the photo to read the article!