October 2023 – It has been 24 years since Kosovo attained independence from Serbia with our military help. However, deep ethnic tensions continue in this predominantly Muslim country. Mercy Projects is represented in Kosovo by pastor Urim and his wife Teuta. 20 Families are sponsored with 5 of those families still in need of monthly sponsors. We have promised to provide winter firewood to 20 families = $5000
Pastor Urim Shares His Vision
I was born and grew up a Muslim. At the age of 15 right after the war I heard the gospel for the first time and received Jesus into my life.
When the first missionaries came to Kosovo the Lord has used teams from America to reach out to Muslims in awesome ways. Now I am a pastor in my hometown of Malisheve. It is great to serve the Lord here, but sharing the gospel in a Muslim country, means persecution, slander, and local people believing and spreading lies about you or your kids.
People are afraid of changing their faith because of the consequences from family and friends around them. We spent a lot of time asking the Lord to give us wisdom on how to reach out to people. This past summer we had a team from Calvary Chapel, Murrieta, California who really helped us reach out to the community.
“It seems like there is a huge price to pay if you do not want to be a Muslim anymore,” said Norm, a member of the team. “Some of the students knew about the church and made rude comments, but others actually showed up to the English classes. The teens were open and had lots of questions. We practiced English and talked about our families and our faith. Nobody made a commitment to Christ, but Urim was very positive about the openness of the young people. There were lots of seeds planted. They listened and asked questions.
“One of the boys who was definitely the leader of all these kids, asked, ‘Well, why should I come to these classes?’ And I said, because if you come, you’re going to get better with your English and you’re going to have a lot of fun doing it. I said, I guarantee that.”
Andrew, another team member, shared that their home visits were simple times of having tea or coffee with cookies and hearing stories about their lives.
“The people are very hospitable,” he said. “They served us their food, whatever they had, without a second thought or complaint, something we all felt challenged by from our culture. One family had us over for Sunday lunch and served a traditional meal, sitting on the floor, followed by Turkish tea. This family didn’t have much, and their house needed work. It is pretty humbling to us Americans sometimes.”
“I also want to say that the teen seminars were impactful. We would play games and then talk about a topic such as social media, their career choices, and finally religion. The teens kept coming back and even planned a good-bye party for us. It was very special, very encouraging, and I think very helpful for the church.”
Monthly Sponsorship of Families Is Needed
A monthly family sponsorship is $29 per month. You may sign up on the mercyprojects.org website or simply send in a check and we will assign a family to you. In Kosovo, families receive $66 worth of groceries each month plus English classes at the church. We look for 3 sponsors per family. Many families are widows or the husbands cannot work due to disabilities. A sponsorship not only feeds a family, but also helps pastor Urim share the gospel in the community.
Pastor Urim recently asked whether MP would be providing firewood again this year to needy families in Kosovo.
“We have to buy the firewood in October,” he said. The prices are going up and families are depending on us. This year a winter’s supply will cost about 200 Euros plus delivery,” Urim said. (about $250 per family)
20 Families will receive a trailer load of logs delivered to their village home. We ask their sons or local villagers to help chop it up. This way the recipient families also participate, if possible, in the project. Thank you for your help this Christmas!
Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
Please pray for the Armenian refugees leaving their homes in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. This ethnic Armenian settlement has belonged to Armenia for a thousand years, but now, the Azerbaijan army has overrun them and is pushing the 120,000 people out. Mercy Projects runs a dairy farm in Armenia and we will be helping refugee families with food and clothing. God has called us to serve people in the war-torn areas of Ukraine, Armenia, and Kosovo. Thank you for your support