Day 25 – 29 Days of Prayer and Giving – Elbasan, Albania
Dear Partner in the Gospel
Today is day 25 of our 29 Days of Prayer and Giving for Grace Baptist Partnership. Each day we will focus our attention on a particular church planting, church replanting or church revitalisation project in which we have an interest. We trust you will remember these situations in prayer and that you will take advantage of the opportunity to support the spread of the gospel by means of a donation to Grace Baptist Partnership this month. It will also help us if you will share these requests with your friends by forwarding these emails to them.
Grace Baptist Church, Epsom. Grace Baptist Mission. Grace Baptist Partnership. Grace Baptist Assembly. Euro Evangelism. Illyrian Gospel Trust. Harry S. Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That’s a good word for all of us.
Grace Baptist Church in Epsom has had a relationship with Arben Celanji and in his family in Elbasan, Albania for some time. First introduced to them by David Wilcox, a former GBM missionary, they have prayed for him and sent occasional gifts to support his work.
As Arben’s spiritual growth and potential for Christian ministry coincided with a change in his personal employment, the church sought support for him in his evangelistic work in Albania. Daryl Jones, Grace Baptist Mission Director suggested they contact us. Ryan King – pastor at Wood Green and researcher for Euro Evangelism – and I met the church leaders at Epsom and agreed to visit Albania when we were next in Europe.
Following a conference where we were speaking in Ukraine last May, we travelled to Albania via Vienna, Austria where we were joined by our friend Steve Missios. While in Albania we were astounded by the openness of people to hear – and respond – to the gospel. I had only seen this type of gospel openness in two other places – Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 2002 and Dongying, China in 2007.
I came home convinced something needed to be done. But there were a few issues. One, Arben and his wife needed to be brought into membership of a likeminded church for spiritual accountability. Two, someone in his vicinity needed to come alongside him to foster his continued growth. Three, financial support was needed to support his family as he pressed forward in the work of evangelism.
The Lord had an answer to all three needs. The church at Epsom would take the couple into missionary membership. Will Niven – who was speaking at Grace Baptist Assembly about the work of Illyrian Gospel Trust in Albania while we were there on our exploratory trip – would agree to come alongside Arben. One of our financial partners would agree to send some financial support to them through the church at Epsom.
Now Euro Evangelism will sponsor an Effective Evangelism Conference in Albania in May at which Kevin Felix-Hollington, Phil Heaps, Regan King and I will speak and Grace Baptist Mission will send an Envision Team led by David Wilcox and his wife to work in Elbasan in late July and early August. We believe much gospel good will come from these efforts.
Would you pray for the Celanjis and their work in Elbasan? Would you pray for the Effective Evangelism Conference being held in May? Would you pray for the Envision Team being sent out during the summer. Would you pray that we and our partners will continue to serve not for human credit but for the glory of God?
Warm regards in Christ
Grace Baptist Partnership