A team of 7 from Hope Church, Rotherham, and J28, under the leadership of Darren and Julie Jones, visited the popular tourtist town of Struga in South Macedonia for a week of ministry on the 5th May 2017. We were working with a small evangelical church, linked to Macedonian Assemblies of God, in the heart of the town which is lead by married couple, Emil and Vesna.
The church building is a wonderful facility with a welcoming feeling comprising of a hall where they conduct their services, a sofa area, a church office, kitchen and coffee bar area and a small dormitory/bathroom at the rear. We were put to work almost straightaway and throughout the week we went out onto the streets of Struga to converse, pray with and advertise our activities to both Macedonian and Albanian folk, young and old, Orthodox and Muslim. We visited the local hospital/drug rehab facility, a local brothel, a school for special needs kids and held both men and women’s meetings, an Alpha evening and other special services back at the church. Throughout the week, new people were contacted and put in touch with the church, previous contacts were renewed and about 7 people committed their lives to Jesus for the first time. One or two received their Spirit-baptism and the leaders were left encouraged and revitalized by the team’s visit.
Something special for me, personally, were the times spent with the very diverse team members, some of whom I did not know before the trip. We had moments of laughter and tears – starting as acquaintances and finishing as friends! I was also challenged by the openness of people to what we had to say and our message of hope. People of all ages were generally happy to stop and talk (albeit in broken English), be prayed for and receive a leaflet. This is an area ‘ripe unto harvest’ and all it takes is willing people to go. I look forward to future growth in this beautiful part of the world and to more visits from myself and other members of Hope, Rotherham and J28 in the near future.