Update from the Balkans

Four months ago, I announced an opportunity I had to share at a gathering of pastors from an un-named region who are in great need of training and equipping concerning the challenge of Islam. Due to security issues, we chose to keep the information private until after the event. This past week I returned from a historical gathering of pastors from every nation throughout the Balkans. It was truly a wonderful time. The following video is a short three minute update from that trip. I will share some more in the next few weeks. For now, this is just a small way of thanking all of those who prayed for the trip or who contributed financially toward making it possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you. All of the clips were shot on my iPhone. Be sure to expand it to full screen and turn the volume on. The first song is by Josh Garrels, and the second song was recorded at the conference as believers from at least a dozen languages all sang “How Great Thou Art” in unison. If you would like to become a regular supporter to a ministry doing wonderful things in the Balkans, then click here and then click the button for “From Everywhere to Everywhere” project.

13 Comments
  • BJ and Alisa
    Posted at 16:52h, 05 October

    Good Morning Joel,

    We want to thank you for sharing this video of your trip to the Balkans. First of all we realize we were not able to send very much to be used toward the expenses of this trip. You are telling us Thank you but we want to tell you Thank You for letting us be a part of this trip that we could never do ourselves. We feel proud to be connected with what you are doing for the Kingdom of God.

    Thank you again,
    BJ & Alisa

  • Troy Geddes
    Posted at 16:57h, 05 October

    Joel;

    I just returned from eleven years of missionary work in Eastern Romania and Moldova. The churches definitely need our prayers. The area I was working was on the east side of the Danube and therefore had quite of bit of influence from the Ottoman empire in years past.

    The problem I found was the intense dislike of the Jewish people in the evangelical churches. They didn’t want to really discuss the history of persecuting the Jews during WWII. I befriended a Jewish woman who was 90 years old who lost her seven sons and her husband to the holocaust her remaining son stayed alive by assisting the Nazis. I went to the Synagogue with Him one time. It was sad because they only had ten men in a building that help over 800 before the war. (They believed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were just legends and in reality only King David actually existed!)

    Over all the evangelical church in the Balkans is made of up extremely solid believers that love the Lord Jesus Christ. Many churches are made up of believers who were persecuted under communism. They were sort of hard on the young believers who had NEVER really been tested as they were. I am really interested to hear how your message was received. I even had a Bible study of yours translated into Romanian. I didn’t get a chance to spread it around much. Actually Calvinism was starting to grip the minds of the young Romanian pastors and that of course trumps everything else in their minds. They saw it as a way out of the extremely harsh, and legalistic tendencies of the older pastors who were teaching them error when it came to God’s grace. The issue of end times was not really on their minds as much as freedom in Christ.
    I really loved the Orthodox people and literally spent my days doing Bible studies in their homes or sharing Jesus in the streets with lost “believers”. The Orthodox believers on the street NEVER bit back.. unless they were leaders in the Orthodox church. They were extremely interested in what we had to say and many hundreds of them allowed us into their homes to do EV Bible studies. Works salvation was not even the issue.. the issue for them was… We are sinful and we are going to Hell! they would say this often, “I pray God will show me mercy on my judgment day”.. just the opposite of being here in the good ol USA! We did plant one church and we saw around 30 or so true conversions and thousands of professions. God bless you for posting the video.. it brought back many wonderful memories and I continue to pray for the seeds that were planted to take root some day soon.

  • good4u
    Posted at 18:34h, 05 October

    I saw this clip earlier on Twitter and it really does tell a beautiful, moving story through picture and song. I just loved it, Joel. It truly captures the “feel” of the Balkans region. If that is what you were going for, you captured it perfectly imo.

    Those little cameras on cell phones these days are invaluable. You are quite the video journalist, Joel. Another budding career move? LOL

    Blessings!

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:15h, 05 October

    Please don’t apologize. I genuinely appreciate every bit of support that I can get, especially prayer! Bless you!

  • Korey
    Posted at 04:23h, 06 October

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

  • Davy
    Posted at 10:38h, 06 October

    As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 😀

  • Vernon
    Posted at 11:44h, 06 October

    This is awesome Joel.

    Praise God you are back safely…now we can work on that trip to Bermuda in the near future. I am working on that! 😉

  • Herman
    Posted at 19:06h, 06 October

    Hello Joel,

    Beautiful video.
    This summer i was there with the the youth of my church in Holland. We were on the other side of the lake to spread Gods word under the local youth. The country were we are stayed was also one of the Ottoman Empire. In our weekend we visit the location from you’re video a beautiful place. But also a Country what need a lot of prayers.

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:52h, 06 October

    Amen Herman. Pray for every nation in the region that the Lord would strengthen His Church there and send more workers.

  • Willard
    Posted at 02:23h, 07 October

    Very interesting video – thanks for sharing Joel – My church Center Street Church has planted a church in that part of the world. The gospel is a blessing so many people today

    This part of the world is the very Northern corner of Alexanders empire and may play a part in these last days

  • Sally R
    Posted at 20:49h, 17 October

    Praise God for this video, Joel, and for this Conference in the Balkans. I am presently In Croatia with a Christian group from the UK. We have also been to Bosnia and Montenegro.

    Whilst here, I have been giving out booklets in Croat entitled “Ten Signs of the Last Days” which present a clear Gospel message and invitation. They are published in the UK in a number of different languages by an organisation called “Light for the Last Days”.

  • Joel
    Posted at 00:52h, 18 October

    Sally,

    Wonderful! Great to hear. Thank you for being a blessing there.

    Bless you,
    Joel

  • mirjana
    Posted at 21:36h, 16 April

    Dear, brother Joel. I saw many videos of yours on Youtube, read The Islamic Antichrist. I wish I had known you were in the Balkans. I am from Montenegro (country in the Adriatic). We have had during the past decade or two incredible increase of new mosques (the number and size is something that no way local muslims could afford to construct with their own fund raising) and many muslim women covering themselves (word is they get monthly payments for that?). Also, a lot of preaching of islam on the internet etc. My impression of the church here is that people are not very interested (unfortunately) in hearing of this. Instead, churches are splitting, belivers in conflict, not communicating with each other. A sister in Christ I know lives in an area where there are many muslims, and a huge mosque (islamic center) recently constructed. She often says while we are in conflict with each other, muslims are progressing. I wish I had an opportunity to hear from you on what do you think will hapepen to Balkans if the Antichrist truly comes from islam (Turkey), since most of it was part of the Empire and what will be the role of NATO in this. Most of Balkan countries have joined NATO, my country is about to do it. Serbia, alone, has decided to stay neutral (by the way the map in the video you cut northern piece of Serbia as a separate country). I am praying for you and your ministry.
    Blessings, sister in Christ

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