A tribute to Paul Kropf, long-time missionary
Posted on February 28, 2011 by VMMissions Staff
On behalf of VMM, I wish to recognize the significant service rendered by Paul and June Kropf, long-term pioneer missionaries to Albania with Eastern Mennonite Missions. Paul died unexpectedly on Christmas morning. With great sadness and sense of loss, we remember Paul and his contribution to the Albanian church.
Upon their arrival in Lezhe, Albania, in 1993, Eva and I were privileged to welcome Paul and June and help them settle in their new home. Since then they’ve faithfully and humbly shared the Gospel with the Albanian people. Paul’s diligent, untiring investment of his energies and gifts in the formation of Albanian believers and churches will be greatly missed.
As a linguist, Paul delighted in learning and speaking the Albanian language and passionately communicated the Gospel and biblical teaching. He and June served as lead missionaries in establishing the congregation at Lezhe, and more recently as co-church planters in the city of Tirana.
Paul gladly served the broader evangelical community for several terms on the executive committee of the A E P (Albania Encouragement Project). In addition he avidly supported VUSH (Albanian Evangelical Alliance) and enjoyed relating to and learning from Albanian pastors and interdenominational exchanges.
From its inception, Paul served capably as president of the Albanian Mennonite Foundation, that involved him in agriculture and community development, educational programs, as well as evangelism, church planting, and discipleship ministries. During the past five years he was team leader for the four Mennonite mission agencies that partner together in Albania, coordinating and supervising the work of all Mennonite missionaries.
Over the years I’ve greatly appreciated Paul’s perseverant, hard-working, resolute commitment and godly character. His playful, humorous side contributed much laughter at missionary retreats and informal occasions. Paul was a loving, faithful husband to June, deeply concerned for her wellbeing, and included her as teammate in ministry. His passing leaves an incalculable void. Paul has preceded us to his Eternal Home and the embrace of the Father. May we steadfastly follow his example.