Monday, December 20, 2004

Saturn's Outer Rings Could Be Disappearing, Scientist Says


Terrible news.  Next we’ll be hearing how it’s all our fault.  Those darn SUV’s. 

A massive eruption of atomic oxygen from Saturn's outer rings suggests that the planet's wispy E ring is eroding so fast that it could disappear within 100 million years if not replenished. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft and science instruments are part of an international mission by NASA, the European Space Agency and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, the Italian space agency, to explore Saturn and its many moons and rings. 

[Europe Eurasia]

Friday, December 17, 2004

Rehabilitation of Iraq's Sweet Water Canal Completed, USAID Says

The US Department of State has begun to use RSS for news releases and other information.  I picked it up from one of Dave Winer’s recent blogs.  There is the link for the 12 latest USDOS feeds.  I’m glad to see the government using RSS for communication.  It makes it easier to get the kinds of information I want, organized the way I want it.

The below little clip isn’t sensational, but it’s representative of the “good news” that goes unreported almost daily by the mainstream media.  I mean, seriously, 13 water-treatment plants provide fresh water to a lot of people.  I can only imagine what would happen here in Kosovo if the US  Government sunk that kind of money into our infrastructure.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that the $23 million rehabilitation of southern Iraq's Sweet Water Canal was successfully completed. According to a USAID press release, the cleansing and repair of the 149-mile waterway also refurbishes 13 water-treatment plants including a pumping station that sends water from the canal's reservoir to residential, commercial and agricultural users throughout the Basra region of Iraq. 

[Iraq Update]

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Australian man discovers the hard way that gadgets and beer don't always mix

 I just couldn’t pass this up.  Some people try way to heard to lose touch with reality.  When I was in high school I worked at a hardware store and met many a person buying funnels and plastic tubing.  This guy definitely went all out.


Who knew that using a hose connected to a helmet-mounted jug and powered by an electric drill to drink massive amounts of beer could be dangerous? Certainly not us (there go our big plans for New Year’s Eve), and definitely not some dude in Australia who discovered the hard way that pumping that much beer into yourself can split open your stomach and get a lot of beer into your abdomen. Hard to believe, but the victim, who spent a week in intensive care, asked not to have his name released to the public. Australian health experts are warning people not to build gadgets to pump beer or any other kind liquid into themselves this holiday season.

[Via BoingBoing & Engadget]

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Minds controlling cursors today...and bots tomorrow

Technology is getting pretty wild.  Put these two blog entries together and you’ve got something off the sci-fi channel.  First is the Army’s attempt to field armed robotic vehicles in Iraq in the first quarter of 2005.  The Talon robot will come in three flavors, evidently.  The first is armed with a machine gun, the other with a automatic grenade launcher and the third with a rocket launcher of some sort.  They’re remotely controlled by a briefcase sized control pack by a soldier in the field.  This is interesting all by itself, but add the next article.

We read today about great advances in the development of the brain-computer interface.  Scientists have successfully demonstrated a non-surgical interface that allows people to manipulate a cursor on a monitor.  This will be a great boon to the handicapped who want to have greater freedom over their environments.  Of course, what man builds to help and heal can also be used to hurt and harm.  Obviously, we can foresee the military matching this sort of brain-bot interface to predator drones and bots like the “Talon.”  Personally, I have no problem with this.  I think our growing capacity to keep our troops out of harms way while inflicting casualties on the enemy will be so demoralizing that lives will ultimately be saved in the long-term. 

But this is always the challenge of technology and faith.  The development of our technology is always far beyond the development of our characters.  I think it’s pretty easy to become a nation of minds and cease being a nation of souls. 

Speaking of characters, bots and brains, you have to check out Toyoto’s latest developments for the “mobility impaired.”  Weird.


Saturday, December 04, 2004

Lycos Fights Spam With DDOS

I don’t know if this will work or not. It might just push up everyone’s bandwidth bills. I’m also not sure that I want my PC/network participating in DoS attacks. On the other hand, I would sure like to help Spammers choke on something.

Lycos Europe has recently joined the fight against spam by releasing a screensaver as part of its "Make Love Not Spam" campaign, which uses its participants machines to bombard websites that advertise through spam e-mails with data, effectively launching a distributed denial of service attack against them, with the intent being to push up bandwidth bills of the spammers who operate these websites. Is this an effective new front in the battle against spam?

Friday, December 03, 2004

What missionary kids don't know....

On Tuesday we were in Prishtina for some meetings. That evening we headed
out to Maxi's, our favorite super-store outside Prishtina. They've begun to
decorate for the Christmas season like most folks in America. Ya, believe
it or not that kind of celebrate Christmas in Kosovo! Out front of the
store they have an enormous, 30 foot tall inflatable Santa Claus. I was
carrying Reilly in as we walked by the Santa. "Hey Reilly, who's that?" I
asked. She looked up and down and the gigantic red figure, complete with
inflatable hat and beard. She just shrugged her shoulders. If you're a
parent, you we be amazed at how rarely our kids ask for new toys, or how
little they know already about American culture. Is that a good thing, or a
bad thing?

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A Twist on C.S. Lewis' Screwtape...And something to think about



Picked this up from a feed this morning and it made me stop and think a little bit.  Granted, the majority of it is a little over the top, but there are some things in here that should make you stop and think.  Can you support your support for the war in Iraq (or lack of it) based on principles?  It’s easy to support something because the “plausibility structure” around us supports it.  That is, it’s easy to get swept along with the thoughts and feelings of our social networks without reflection as to whether those thoughts are principled and biblical or not.  We must continually evaluate why we think what we think.  We are going to be misunderstood as a group by the world around us.  But we can be understood by those closest to us.  I’m continually amazed at the perceptions my international friends have of evangelical Christians.  And then we talk together.  Usually after explaining something their response is, “Oh, well you’re not like the rest of the Christians.”  I think I am, I think we’re just misunderstood.


Note:  The writer doesn’t credit C.S. Lewis and the “Screwtape Letters,” but it’s obviously built on that.

Is someone messing with the law on religious freedom?

Sorry, this is a long post but it’s an important one.  If you are interested in religious freedom and Kosova, and after all, who isn’t, read through this.  It might sound like a bunch of legal jargon, but it translates quite quickly into reality on the ground for us.


If you could contact your congressman, that would be great.



                                                                                                  26th November 2004


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ




As many of you are now aware, there have been some developments regarding the Law on Religious Freedom over the last weeks which greatly concern the Protestant Evangelical Community in Kosova.


Since mid-2003 a Working Group consisting of representatives from each religious group in Kosova plus OSCE (Operation for Security and Cooperation in Europe), the US Office and the United Nations Office have been working together to form this Law.  The representative for the Protestant Evangelical Community is Artur Krasniqi from the Fellowship of the Lord’s People in Prishtina.


Last week the Working Group was informed that the Law had been submitted to the Kosova Government without their completion or approval.  In addition to this, specific articles and statements that had been agreed upon had been removed without their consultation or agreement.  One of our concerns is that it is at a time of the Government hand over that the Law has been submitted to the Government and is being ‘pushed’ through for approval.


The intention of the Protestant Evangelical Community is to register as a ‘Religious Community’.  If this action is not recognized, we would automatically be a ‘Union of Natural Persons’.  This would not benefit us in any way and could even have significantly detrimental consequences.


The representatives of the Religious Communities have raised concerns over the following -


Section 30.3  - The process for the registration of Religious Communities


The Working Group agreed that in keeping with the right to protect an individual’s right to disclose their religious affiliation, the government would accept an affidavit signed by the representative of the group asserting that it has 500 members in order to satisfy the requirements of the Law. 


However, if there is reasonable doubt about the accuracy of the information provided, the competent body (Ministry of Public Services) would, through an independent judicial inquiry, seek confirmation of the accuracy of the numbers while ensuring the privacy of the members and that their rights under the law would not be violated.


The unilateral removal of this agreed provision is very problematic and confirms the fear of many of us, that the government might use such a provision to deny or reject genuine requests for the registration of Religious Communities.


Article 13 - Associations


This article has been added to the Law without any consultation with the Working Group. 


It is of great concern to the Protestant Evangelical Community that

Associations / Unions of Natural Persons would not have any benefits or rights under this Law.  Not only are these groups ignored and given no rights in the Law but there is ambiguity with the definitions of all groups including ‘Religious Community’.  Additionally, Article 1 requires registration of Associations, which contradicts Article 13, calling into question the point of registering if no rights are granted as a result.


Article 11 – Categorization of ‘Religious Communities’


Despite declaring in the Preamble that the Law provides equal rights and obligations to Religious Communities without any discrimination, Article 11 makes a categorization of Religious Communities into ‘Existing Religious Communities’, that are traditional religions. However, ‘New Religious Communities’ will need to fulfill certain conditions to be registered. 


Our complaint is against the distinction that is being made between ‘Existing Religious Communities’ and ‘New Religious Communities’.  Being registered as a ‘New Religious Community’ infers that upon registration they will be categorized as a secondary group. All Religious Communities should be given equal treatment whether new, old or considered “traditional” and no one religion or religions should be singled out for special favour or treatment


The Liaison for Religious Affairs to the Prime Minister


From previous encounters with this representative, we believe the Protestant  Evangelical Community has due cause to be concerned about his neutrality and impartiality.  We believe his intentions are dubious and he is not working in the interest of all religious communities in Kosova.


Christianity in Kosova


The Christian Community is a minority in a predominantly Muslim community.  We have enjoyed freedom of worship since UNMIK assumed authority in Kosova but now we are afraid and concerned that the Law on Religious Freedom will jeopardize the freedom to worship we presently enjoy and that could diminish when UNMIK hands over the reigns of power.


We hope we have articulated the issues and clearly conveyed the concerns that affect the Christian family in Kosova


We ask for your prayers and your support of these serious issues that will affect the future of the Protestant Evangelical Community in Kosova and the right to exercise our religious freedom.   In light of the serious nature of recent events, we would like to urge Institutions to write letters regarding the above issues to the Kosova Government and UNMIK.


If you require further information, please email us on



Yours in Christ

Prishtina Churches




Getting moved into the basement of the center. This isn't framed well because the electricty was out and I was shooting completely in the dark. Shefqet was a big help yesterday!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Mini-Retreats, Coaching & Mentoring 15 Nov-03

NOTE: I wrote this last week, but because of technical reasons, couldn't getit sent out.

Dear Team,

We want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving this week and remind you that we'rethankful for you. God has really blessed us in so many ways, but Ispecifically wanted to write and thank you for giving to the Great CommissionFund, which enables us to be here! Thank you!

Field Retreat Report

We just returned last night from a three and a half day "mini-retreat" in
Bitola, Macedonia. Our speaker for the weekend was Dr. Rick Mann, the Provost of
Crown College in Minnesota. His topic was coaching and mentoring and it was good stuff stuff. Dr. Mann led us through three pretty intense days of thinking about coaching, mentoring and leadership development. I've been looking back through my notes trying to pick out something that would both give you a sense of what we learned and also offer something worthwhile your own growth and edification.
Let me give you this one thing on levels of leadership.
We all start and develop from the level of "personal self-development and/or family leadership." That is, the fundamental level of leadership is
leading our selves and later, our families. If we never lead another thing in our lives, we will always lead ourselves. It is largely up to us to determine the kind of person we will become. It is what Stephen Covey calls "personal mastery." Here are some questions that point to this

  • Are you developing the capacities in your life that will lead you where you want to go?
  • Are the foundations of character, discipline and integrity well-founded in your life
  • Are you practicing good spiritual self-care?
  • Can you complete what you start to do?
  • Can you follow through on the commitments you make?

These are some of the characteristics of personal mastery and
self-leadership. Dr. Mann said that through our lives many of us have the
opportunities to rise to different levels of leadership. Being involved in
volunteer leadership, like leading a Bible study or working with a community
group demands additional leadership skills. If we leave college and enter
the work force there are issues of professional leadership to attend to.
In our 30's we may have additional opportunities (to be honest, I can't read my
handwriting on the notes I took, hence the ?? ;) ) Finally we may be in
position to influence change on a regional or national level.

Here's the point though. Our ability to influence others rests on a foundation of personal mastery, or character and integrity. People can still rise to various levels of leadership, but the more gaps and weaknesses in our base of "personal leadership" the weaker we are. Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York led a traumatized city through September 11. But

later the judge in his divorce trial ruled that he wasn't fit to have custody of his children.
There were some gaps in the base of his pyramid.

I want a strong pyramid base in my life and I was challenged this weekend to

continue building that base by practicing the disciplines in my spiritual,
emotional and physical life.

Center Renovation Report

While we were gone in Macedonia, things were moving forward with our center
renovations. It is exciting to start picking out tile and paint!
Please pray for our worker, Ragip. Ragip has just returned to Kosova from
Germany where he has been for the last eight years. He has three children,
two of which were born in Germany and speak better German than they do Albanian.
In fact, this is a common issue among ex-pat Albanians and their children. Often
they've been forced to return to Kosova, but the mother-tongue of their children
is not Albanian! Pray for him and his family. We're hoping that this
relationship would develop into a significant one spiritually.

Ragip has been a real blessing so far. I don't think any of the wallsin our building are square, but he's been doing a great job laying the tile out beautifully.

Early last week he re-plastered and painted the basement. This will be our therapy and computer lap space (and temporary home for the church, until more
renovations are completed. Ultimately, our church will meet here, but I've got enough picture on this page already!

National Church Meeting Report

Last week we asked for your prayers about a meeting that was to be held today. Yesterday some of the national churches in Kosova made another attempt to form a unified national church. For years the national church has tried and failed to come together in a unified manner. But now the government is about to pass new laws for the governance of religious
organizations. The new law requires each "official" religion to have at
least 500 members, among other things. Guess what? No single
evangelical church here has that many members. As a result, the local
churches are being forced to work together in ways that previously were

Initially I was about as interested in attending this meeting as in watching

a train-wreck, but I had been praying and asking you to pray as well. I
have to report that there was a very healthy spirit of cooperation and respect
at the meeting, and a lot of laughter, which is often a good sign. In the
end we agreed to form a working group to come up with the structures of a new
national church organization and meet again in the near future. Praise God
for this first step towards a unified Body here in Kosovo.

Thanks for your prayers and your gifts! We see evidence of both every

day...and we're thankful.

Jeff & Melissa

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Great tool for cataloging your photos

I first saw this on Marc Orchant’s blog, it’s called Picasa and it’s a tool for cataloging and manipulating your photos.  I’m a little slow on the pick-up, but I finally got around to downloading it today.  It works pretty nice with their companion product, called Hello.


Marc’s original post:


Picasa home page



Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Here's Ragip working happily away on the first floor our our center building.

Monday, November 15, 2004

15-Nov - Finally we have a community center...sort of

Hey gang,

It’s been a fun last couple of weeks and I thank you for your prayers! God’s been at work here and I believe it is in response to the prayers of his people!

New Believer – I first mentioned him a couple of weeks ago. He started coming to our Bible studies in response to the Bible Seeding Team in September. Not only has he been coming, but he is the most faithful member of the core-group!! This last Thursday, Shefqet made a decision to follow Jesus in a public way, in front of those of us who were present. Praise the Lord for a new member of the family. You’ll eat with him one day at the “marriage feast of the Lamb” with Christ in heaven!

Gjilan Community Center – This week we finally signed a two-year contract for a building. We’ve got a lot of work to do, as you can tell by the picture, but we’re off square one! I cannot
believe how long this has taken. This is partly because I am, frankly, pretty inexperienced. Part of this is that we have wanted to find the “right” place. Partly too it’s a product of trying to cement a healthy partnership between CAMA Services, International Ministries and our local partner, who doesn’t live in Gjilan. Yikes.

After signing the contract we bought our first paint and tile to begin the renovations. We’re going to do renovations in two phases. The first phase is to renovate the basement and the first floor. This involves tiling the floors, installing a bathroom, painting and furnishing the place. Half of our rent each month will help pay for these renovations. The basement will host our computer lab and occupational therapy center. The first floor will host our bookstore and visitor center, and temporary meeting space. Phase two will hopefully begin in the spring, which involves refinishing the second floor, where you see the five open windows and the open door. The second floor contains a large room that will ultimately host our large meeting room for church, meetings, forums, etc.

We’re excited about the opportunities that this location provides! I have been doing some "mindmapping" on its potential and how we're thinking of rolling out the ministry here. Ifyou're interested click here. God’s going to work here!!! It’s also going to cost a lot of money to do the renovations. If you feel led to help with those costs you can contribute to Kosovo Church planting by sending a check to the C&MA National Office marked “Kosovo Church Planting” in the memo line, or you can give online by clicking

Muslim Holiday – This weekend marked the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan (or Ramazan, as they call it here). The end of Ramadan is marked by the holiday called Bajram…though you’ll see a different name in other Muslim countries. Here Bajram is celebrated by three days of visiting friends and family, eating a lot of sweets and giving kids money (kids always have an angle ;) ). On our way to visit our old Landlord’s house, we were greeted by the nightly call to prayer (1MB, mp3, RealMedia)

Important National Church Meeting – I really want to ask you prayers for an important meeting on Monday, 22 November. The provisional government of Kosova has some legislation pending on regulating religion in Kosova. By and large, it looks like it will protect the rights of all the major religious groups in Kosova. However, in order to qualify for protection under the law, each religious group needs to declare that they have 500 members. Now, that’s not a problem for the Islamic community, or the Orthodox, or even the small Catholic community. HOWEVER, for the evangelical community that’s a challenge. The only way the evangelical community can pull that off is if ALL the Christian groups in Kosovo can come together and register as a collective organization. I can’t even tell you how difficult that has been in the past. Over the last five years there have been 4-5 separate efforts at creating a unified “national church” organization. Each one has failed as different groups of nationals and missionaries pulled in different directions. This time it’s serious. Please pray for a mighty movement of the Holy Spirit so that we can stand as a unified group before the provisional government here.

New Relationship for Sharing Christ – I also want to ask you to pray for Venhari and
his friend Agron. Venhari used to work at a small boutique next to my house. His first or second question to me as an American was, “Do you really think that Osama Bin Ladin was responsible for Sept 11? No real Muslim would do such a thing, he said. That continued into a discussion about Islam. Since then we’ve had a several conversations about Christianity and Islam. Pray that Melissa and I could build these kinds of relationships together. Sorry Venhari’s head is cut off, his friend Agron took the picture ;)

Car Bombing – I mention this, not so that you’ll worry, but just because it was interesting. Imagine for a minute the nicest Wal-Mart/Super K-Mart in your state. Imagine that folks from all over the county come daily to do their one-stop-shopping. The walk up and down the isle is shopping bliss, putting the best things Wal-Mart has to offer in their shopping carts. Now imagine that one day, inexplicably, someone drives a car into that beautiful shopping paradise and that car blows up four hours later. That’s what happened in Ferizaj this week, at our newest shopping paradise called Ben-Af. Well, fortunately hardly anyone was hurt and the young owner, who owns a similar store in Prizren, promised to rebuild the multi-million dollar (though uninsured) store. All this in a country with seventy percent unemployment. Things that make you go Hmmm.

Lot of love, hope everyone is doing well.

Jeff & Melissa

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Local perspective on the Muslim call to prayer

Over lunch today we were talking with our baby-sitter about the five-times daily call to prayer. Most of the Muslims here in Kosova are fairly nominal. Down the street from her house is a mosque where a hoxha (prayer leader) leads the calls to prayer. I had thought that all of the mosques these days used recordings for the calls, but apparently that is not true. She laughingly related that from time to time the hoxha coughs or sneezes while issuing the call. It really added a human element to something that at times, seems other-worldly to someone from the States. She also said how thankful they were that during the recent curfew (because of the riots in March of ’04), that the hoxha wasn’t able to get to the mosque and make the call. They were thankful for the quiet. Interesting perspective from a Kosovar national.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

what a week

Hey Gang,

Hope everyone is well. We’ve been busy the last few weeks, as I’m sure you have been. However, I’ll bet that we had a lot more fun that you! Seriously, we had a great past two weeks as first we went to Croatia for our annual Field Forum and last week we spent some time with my mother, sister and niece. Field Forum is the time when each field holds their annual business meeting. Our Forum is usually held in Croatia—and this year was another winner. Every year a church sends a worship team and a child care team to help with those two aspects of the program. Well, this year, my home church sent the child care team (in the form of my mother, sister and niece). Our speaker was a pastor named Morris Dirks (pictured below with his wife Ruth) and he did a fantastic job. One of the sessions he led us through was particularly helpful. Gathering information from several different authors he delivered some great stuff on “Discovering your Spiritual Instinct.” Since you help send us to Field Forum through your Great Commission Giving, I figured it was only fair to mention it to you (and hopefully encourage you with it).

People have been exploring the idea that each person is created with their own unique spiritual instinct. God approaches us, and we approach him, as individuals. While one might put down any number of instincts, we talked about seven. These various instincts explain why each of us connects with God in a slightly different way.

“I have observed that each of us has what I would like to call a ‘leading instinct of the soul.’ This leading instinct is the way of sending and receiving ‘signals’ to God that we most frequently employ when we want to engage in sacred or spiritual activity, when we wish to know and understand Him better.”—Gordon MacDonald. Forging a Real World Faith.”

The AESTHETIC Instinct: The agenda is majesty.
The important things in worship are beauty and order. These people value artistic integrity. In church construction, architecture and symbols are very important. Dignity and solemnity are highly valued during the worship service. Liturgy is a good example of what worship should look like.

The EXPERIENTIAL Instinct: The agenda is joy.
For these people, “feeling” is the most important element in experiencing God. Expressions of singing, dancing and clapping are demonstrations of one’s “heart” for God. God is our “contemporary;” he is “with” us.

The ACTIVIST Instinct: The agenda is achievement.
Service is the way of truly loving God. Projects, building organizations, social justice are how we experience God. Spirituality is how we “get things done.”

The CONTEMPLATIVE Instinct: the agenda is listening.
The emphasis is on the interior life. Meditating and quietness are the ways you experience God by hearing the still, small voice. Solitude is important because life is too noisy. God is found in quiet places.

The STUDENT Instinct: The agenda is truth.
For these people study of the Scriptures is the pathway to God. These folks love books and are interested in the deep truths of God. They easily expose false teaching and are delighted by theology.

The RELATIONAL Instinct: The agenda is love.
God is met in community. These people love small groups and love to serve with others. They dislike “ministering” alone, but put them in a group and they do very well. They like to touch, affirming each other.

The NATURALIST Instinct: The agenda is creation.
God is experienced in the great outdoors, outside the “building.” Creation points to God and it is the best place to meet with him.

Morris said that all of us probably connect with God primarily in one or two of these areas. The other areas are growth areas—areas in which we can explore meeting with God for our own benefit and our increased understanding of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

This has some significant implications, I believe:

Many church fights (particularly in the area of worship) point back to one’s spiritual instinct, not their theology. If we understand that we have different instincts it gives us more freedom to have grace for those we don’t agree with.
it gives us permission to have denominations that emphasize various instincts. The Anglican, Episcopal and Catholic traditions all emphasize the Aesthetic and Contemplative instincts. Some Pentecostal movements emphasize the Experiential and Relational instincts. We’re not talking about right and wrong theology here—that is a separate and very important question. Rather, we’re talking about how we naturally connect with a God who is timeless and who doesn’t “belong” to any particular culture, nationality or era.
It has important evangelistic implications. I had a friend when I worked as an Emergency Medical Technician who, though he didn’t consider himself a Christian, he felt that he met God most clearly on a ski slope or in nature. He had defined himself out of Christianity because he didn’t feel like he could meet God within the four walls of the church. I’m not saying that we need to tear down the church buildings, but if he had been exposed to other Christians who connect strongly with God in nature (and understood that) his understanding of the Church may have been different.


We appreciate your continued prayer for this project. Some exciting and some intimidating things are developing. First, I met again with the landlord of the building I would like to see as the center. He is still fairly firm on the 1000 euro/month price (which we cannot afford). However, this last time we met he said we could have the top two floors of the building for 1500 euros. Please pray for God’s direction on a center site. I am convinced that we are in the right neighborhood, but I’m not 100 percent convinced that this is the right building. I’m praying that he would do something “irrational” like give us the floor we want for 500 euro a month. Would you pray with us? As my mother, sister & niece stood on top of this building, we looked down on hundreds (or thousands) of young people all of whom are without Christ. There are less than TEN Christians in the whole municipality of 100,000 people. God wants this city for himself—I am convinced of that!

In other news—and this is really exciting--Crown College has adopted the Gjilan Center as a giving project and will likely be sending a missions team to Gjilan in March of ’05. Please pray that God would direct how the funds given by the college will be used. This is really, really exciting news!!! Praise God!!

Also, the South Atlantic District of the CMA is sending a Bible Seeding Team in September. Their mission is to distribute 5000 Bibles in Gjilan and to cap the week with an outreach event. Please pray for the planning and funds for this group as well.


Finally, a mundane but very important prayer need. The mission has decided we need to import our vehicles into Kosova (where they’ve been for four years). Since their purchase, they have been registered in Denmark under a special program the Danish government runs. Over the past 5 months the mission has been pursuing registration in Macedonia. However, the mission recently discovered that two of the mission vehicles (the one we currently drive and the one assigned to us beginning in July) cannot be imported into Macedonia because they were not build to European emissions standards. Therefore, we have to import them and register them in Kosova. Because we are a Non-Governmental Organization in good standing, we will probably be exempted from customs duty and from the taxes, but it is a long and arduous process. If we can indeed get exempted it may save the mission (i.e. the Great Commission Fund) around six thousand dollars. Please pray that this process would go smoothly and quickly.

Well, that’s a little long. Thanks for your prayers and your support!!

Jeff & Melissa

Please Pray:

for God’s direction on a center site in Gjilan. If God wants us at the site I’ve identified, please pray that we would “find favor in his eyes” like Joseph, Daniel and Nehemiah and that the rent would be lowered.
that God would direct how the funds given by the Crown College group will be used
that the vehicle importation process would go smoothly and quickly.