Pioneer Church Planter

Location: Europe, Kosova, Istog

Program name: Long-term service

Singles or couples are needed to join current workers Vince and LaVonne Ramella in building relationships, with emphasis on evangelism and discipleship with persons in their town.

Albanian language study is essential. Assignment is a minimum of two years with openness to successive terms.

Context: This land-locked country in the Balkans belonged to the southern part of Serbia until it declared its independence in February 2008. With a dominant population of two million mostly ethnic Albanians (90%), it has a history of many bitter conflicts with the Serbs (10%); the most recent one was in 1999, when Serbia invaded and burned down many houses. With much devastation to the economy and infrastructure, Kosova is now slowly working to re-build. Many, however, seek to leave Kosova in search of a better life.

Life moves slowly and family and relationships are still the hub of society. Since it was under the rule of the Ottoman Turks in the middle ages, Turkish culture is still prominent in food, music, dance, and language. Most Kosovars are nominal Muslims and a small minority is Albanian Catholic. Though there are some evangelical churches, particularly in the capital city of Pristina, the church as a whole remains very small and under pressure.

Ministries: Second-term VMMissions’ workers Vince and LaVonne Ramella and their three boys live in Istog, where they are seeking to sow the seeds of the gospel through friendships and the witness of their Christian home. Istog is home to a milk processing plant started a few years ago by a group of American Christian businessmen/farmers interested in business for transformation. At present there is only one believer in the outlying area of their town.

Contact Janet Blosser to learn more about this assignment.

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