I recently had the opportunity to travel to eastern Europe with some Live Global teammates. It was a little bit of a whirlwind trip, and I won’t attempt to give a day-by-day account here. (If you are interested in that approach, you may view my Facebook profile where I provided updates in real time.) Instead, I will only give an overview of the trip so that you can grasp what we did, why we did it, and what it means for the future.
Before getting into those details, I wish to first thank all of you who prayed for me while I travelled and for my family who stayed behind. The Lord was good and kind to provide all that was needed for us. Speaking of provisions, thank you especially to those who generously supported this trip with financial gifts, and to those who continue to provide support for my work on a monthly basis. If the amount given as one-time gifts for my trip was added to our current monthly support, it would increase our support by 20% (from 60% where we stand now to 80%). Would you pray about becoming a monthly supporter so that we can have even more opportunities to assist our brothers and sisters around the world as they make Christ known among the nations? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.abwe.org/work/missionaries/david-and-brandi-prairie.
My goal going into this trip was simply to learn as much as I could about the work God is already doing among some of our national partners so that I can wisely proceed in assisting them in their work. I asked a lot of questions and did a lot of listening. Thankfully, I was able to travel with and visit with other veteran missionaries along the way, who also helped educate me as needed. Here’s what I learned and observed:
In Hungary, a young couple is preparing for full-time local church ministry. He is preparing for pastoral work and she for a counseling ministry. Both have a Bible college education, and they have a two-year-old son. They are faithful members in a local church where they participate in teaching and discipleship. Pray for God to provide further theological training for him, and wisdom and clarity in counseling for her. Both are remarkably gifted and intelligent, and we want to serve them well as they proceed in these works.
In Bosnia, a veteran pastor leads a church of 45 members in the only Muslim-majority country in Europe. Like-minded churches are scarce in his country. Yet he and his team provide theological lectures, school outreaches, youth and children’s ministries, housing for migrants from central Asia, and mid-week Bible studies in addition to Sunday services. There are plans in place for a new church building (they currently rent a workable but not ideal space). Pastor Z also hopes to establish a theological school that would enable him and others to train men for gospel ministry in a country where it is desperately needed. Pray for the growth of this church and for the Lord’s help as we partner with them for these future projects.
In Serbia, a couple evangelizes in their city by giving away Bibles and other Christian literature as a way to begin conversations with people about the gospel. They also have a radio and podcast ministry in which they broadcast Bible studies, sermons, and readings from Scripture and Christian books for a wide listening audience. Additionally, the brother assists in preaching for at least three churches in his region. Finally, they have connections to a school which offers degrees in Biblical and Theological studies and specializes in training pastors and missionaries. Pray for their ongoing outreaches, and for wisdom as I explore the possibility of assisting with future teaching opportunities.
In Romania, a pastor of a small church in a poor village feeds his people spiritually through preaching and discipleship and he feeds them physically by providing groceries for those who have little or no income. His church was planted by another congregation formerly led by his older brother. Together, these men strategize about how to reach their country through church planting, which requires training men who will lead these congregations. Pray that we can learn from them and also guide them well through these processes.
As you can see, God is already at work in these places. We are simply attempting to stand in the gap for these brothers and sisters so that they can have all of the resources necessary to continue in fruitfulness and faithfulness. Your prayers and financial support enable us to do this well. Please continue to hold us up in this way.