Saturday, August 19, 2017

Are you watering the weeds?

The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one. Matthew 13:38

Walking home after buying two handfuls of groceries a couple of weeks ago I almost ran into a little girl in the middle of the sidewalk. I repositioned my stance and the groceries in my hands and squeezed around her. Why would her parents let her be squatted down in the middle of the sidewalk? What was she doing? She had a small cup and was watering the weeds growing between the sidewalk cracks. This stuck in my head as quite odd. But I think too many times in life we are just like that little girl. With all of our heart we pour out all that we have into weeds of this world and neglect the beautiful thirsty flowers that are around us. I want to pray daily for God to direct my focus to whom he wants and not for me to waste time playing in the weeds. 

Dorian's baptism
We have had an extremely busy summer! We had an intern, Nathanael Schanie from McDonough Christian Church join us for two months. Nathan was a blessing and a great help. Most of his attention was focused on helping Juli with the youth in Kavaje. I have so many pictures of what happened that there isn't enough room to show them all. So, Dorian a newly baptized believer in Kavaje put them in a video for us. You can check out the video here at Summer adventures Some of the summer activities have been a sea Baptism of Dorian, game night, two youth camps and a trip to a conference in Pogradec, Albania, countless youth trips to the mountain and beach, worship and prayer time, serving others in the community, lots of fellowship drinking coffee and playing cards plus lots more! We are very thankful for this eventful summer and sad to see Nathan go!

One of our youth Gloria is having to go back to school for highschool. This is her second year away in Elbasan. We have supported her with housing while she is away. She also has been an amazing help this summer and we are blessed to have her here. She told us that this has been the best summer of her life. Gloria was able to deepen her relationship with Christ this summer. 

Thank you for your prayers for our family! On July 11th, Arian's dad (Naun)'s heart stopped working. They rushed him to Tirana, the capital, to put in a pacemaker. He is doing much better but has some blood clots in his leg and they are worried about them moving and causing a stroke. Please continue to pray for Naun. 

We are very excited about visiting the states in October and November. God has prepared a way for Arian's sister to take care of his parents while we are in the states. Here is our schedule so far of where we will be during our furlough. We would love to see you! 
October 8- McDonough Christian Church, McDonough Ga
October 15- Hickory Valley Christian Church, Chattanooga, Tn
October 22- Horsepasture Christian Church, Horsepasture, Va
October 25- Colonial Heights Church of Christ, Norfolk, Va
October 29- First Christian Church Keswick, Charlottesville, Va
November 5- Crosspoint Christian Church, Conyers, Ga
November 19- Hickory Valley Christian Church, Chattanooga, Tn
December 3- McDonough Christian Church, McDonough Ga


Thank you for all your prayers and support. We love and appreciate you all!  

Serving in His name,
Arian & Stefanie Kosta
Stateside address: 148 Wolfe St.  Cohutta, Ga 30710 
Albanian Address: L3 Rr Egnatia AP:1043 
Durres, Albania
email:kkdurres@gmail.com



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Obedience

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

I think when it comes to our relationship with God we are just like children. Our son, David turns 4 next month. He has a hard time understanding why obedience is better than what you want. We tell him what would Jesus want you to do obey your parents or get what you want. He always responds with, "But I want!" I think a lot of times we are the same way with God. Getting what we want is so much easier than obedience. In those times that we are obedient to God, things always turn out better! 

We have been very blessed with visits the past couple of months. In February Mac and Diane McClintock came to visit. Mac preached in Durres and Kavaje. They are always a blessing to us. Who doesn't need a little help and encouragement every now and then! 

In March we were blessed by David and Linda Marckel. It was their first trip to Albania. When we came home last year we started praying about the possibilty for David and Linda to come we wanted them to see our ministry and share with them what we do in Albania. When they were here, they spent their time working along side of us in the ministry but David also lead two days of leadership training for our staff. We also took one day along with church members on a field trip to Prizren, Kosovoe. We appreciate David and Linda coming to encourage us and being able to go back to Hickory Valley Christian Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee to share with them what we are doing here in Albania. Our David also loved getting to spend time with Mr. Big David! :)
 
We were in great need of Bibles in the church in Kavaje. After Juli searching about where to get some bibles, we found out that the Bible Institute would donate some for us. The youth group in the picture are very happy to have the Bibles now! 

I have told you about Ana and Hekuron in the past. Hekuron just turned four years old. Ana gave birth a year ago to another son. Ana comes to church occasionally and we were able to give all the boys a new pair of shoes when they came. Please continue to pray for Hekuron, he has severe developmental delays

Please continue to pray for Gloria. We are supporting her to go to highschool in Elbasan. She is doing very well in school and making good grades. She is wanting to find a small part time job to help her with expenses. 

Please pray for Fatmira. She is in desperate need of an operation. She has a old wound that has not healed and is infected. The doctors at the state hostpital don't want to do the surgery. They have referred her to the private hospital but they keep giving a different price to do the surgery. Please pray that we can find Fatmira the help that she needs to have this surgery. 


Our sweet Abby just turned one this past week! She is growing so fast! She enjoyed very much her first chocolate cupcake! Please pray that she learns soon how to sleep at night.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. We love and appreciate you all!  

Serving in His name,
Arian & Stefanie Kosta
Stateside address: 148 Wolfe St. 
Cohutta, Ga 30710

 


Albanian Address: L3 Rr Egnatia AP:1043 
Durres, Albania
email:kkdurres@gmail.com





 


  


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Year new perspective!



Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29

Momma always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!" Good advise momma! This year I have decided not to make a resolution (because who ever keeps them anyway?). I don't want to make a drastic change in my life, I just want to get better. I want to be a better Christian, mom, wife, missionary, and friend. I have been challenged to think of something and focus on it this year. This year my focus will be on encouragement and being patient and loving with people who aren't lovely at times. This includes everyone from my children who are crying and throwing a fit, to the lady that cuts in front of me at the grocery store, to the rude comments I see on social media. I pray that God will help me in the new focus and renewed perspective in 2017! 

We are praying that 2017 will be a better year because 2016 was rather challenging!  We are still keeping a very close eye on Arian's parents. Arian's dad fell down again and is having a problem keeping his blood pressure regulated. Arian's mom is doing much better but she is afraid to leave the house. We also have been without water. Here in Albania you get water for an hour a day and you pump it into a reservoir on the roof. Durres usually doesn't get colder than about 30 degrees. Well this week we have had snow twice and freezing temperatures as low as 18 degrees! So our reservoir on the roof along with all the pipes froze. But Praise the Lord it is warmer today and we got water! You really take for granted simple things like water!! 

We had a great New Year's eve this year! New Years is like the American Thanksgiving plus lots of fireworks shot from building to building. It is an amazing and a little scary at the same time! Arian's parents were here to celebrate with us. Arian's dad insisted that it would be best for Abby to lick the turkey leg. I'm not sure that was the best idea but I guess it didn't kill her. Living fairly near to Arian's parents is great. I just wish that my parents lived nearer and could celebrate with us as well!


Christmas was a very busy time. With having two churches there is a lot of planning to be done. We received Christmas boxes (like samaritan's purse) for the children and boxes of food for each family donated by Mission without borders. We also bought warm thick socks for the 50 residents of the old home. We had a staff Christmas party at our house where we played the White Elephant game, ate a huge meal, and played dominoes (while Dr. Nikolla took a nap). It was a blessed time together as a staff! We celebrated Christmas in Kavaje on Saturday (Christmas eve) and in Durres on Sunday (Christmas Day). The youth group of Kavaje had prepared a skit and a couple of dances for both churches. Also in Durres the men's Bible study group prepared a great skit about getting caught in sin. Definitely a busy time but a blessed time as well as we celebrated or Lord's birth!


















Things have been going great with women's Bible study as well. One day we had 10 ladies in attendance. They are faithful in coming and growing in the Lord. We are very happy about this! 

In September we decided to put David in preschool. He is loving it and having a great time. He was busy learning songs and even had a little part that he spoke himself. He got very nervous and one of his friends helped him. David often speaks about loving Jesus and wanting to be in heaven with Jesus. We pray that he will remain faithful in his love for the Lord! He is also a very good big brother and wanting to smother Abby with kisses all the time! 

Thank you for all your prayers and support! We appreciate you and thank God for you all! 

Serving in His name,
Arian & Stefanie Kosta
Stateside address: 148 Wolfe St. 


Cohutta, Ga 30710
Albanian Address: L3 Rr Egnatia AP:1043 
Durres, Albania
email:kkdurres@gmail.com

 

  

 








Friday, November 11, 2016

Be Strong and Courageous!


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

In this season of our lives we have been relying on God's strength! On Friday Arian's parents transitioned back to their house. Arian's mom is doing very well with the walker and even sometimes without it and is building up strength. Arian's dad is still having numbness in his left foot but is doing much better. They were like caged cats that we had pinned up for too long! They couldn't wait to get into their own beds and space. Their time here was difficult but also a blessing from the Lord! The time they got to interact with their grandchildren was beautiful and David and Abby loved every minute of it! Sharing the love of God with them on a daily basis was an excellent witnessing tool to them. Arian asked his mom on the last day about Jesus and she said Jesus loves me and I love Him. This brought so much joy to us! We are still praying for their salvation. They are ready to come back to church when they have the strength to come. I was also glad that this time also broke any "American" stereotypes that they might have had for me. Throughout the whole time God gave us strength, humbleness, and the ability to be patient. Please pray for them as they continue getting better and that they would confess God as their Lord and savior. 

So this is what men's Bible Study looks like. Men sitting around and drinking coffee together! A couple of weeks ago Arian took several men to Tirana (Albania's capital city) to meet with Ismail who is a member of the church in Durres. He is living in Tirana now to get treatment. He is a very bad diabetic and they had to remove two of his toes. He is doing better now. It was nice to have a time of fellowship with him and his wife. (Top picture). Usually the men meet together for an hour on Fridays at the church then go drink a coffee together afterwards. Drinking a coffee out with the men is the most popular thing to do here in Albania. Coffee shops are full of people drinking coffee. We thank God for the blessing of the men's Bible Study in Durres! 

We were very blessed in October to have baby dedication.  We dedicated Abby to the Lord in front of our church in Durres. Dr. Nikolla preached about raising children in the Lord and wrote a sweet poem for Abby. Abby slept through much of it. We are very happy that the church can join us in teaching the word of God to our children. We are a blessed family! Please pray for both David and Abby to one day accept the Lord. We have had a change in weather and both of them are now sick with colds. Please pray for them to heal quickly from this.


We are so blessed by our building in Kavaje. Now during the rainy cold season the kids can be inside. The kids club in Kavaje is going well. The kids that come to the kids club are gypsi or roma and are looked down upon in the society in Albania. We are grateful that we can fellowship, teach, and share the love of Christ with them. This week Juli is going to start a youth group with the older kids that attend the kids club. Please pray for this new service starting on Saturday. 

Thank you SO much for all your prayers and support for us! We appreciate all the messages we received from all of you! God bless! 

Serving in His name,
Arian & Stefanie Kosta
Stateside address: 148 Wolfe St. 

Cohutta, Ga 30710
Albanian Address: L3 Rr Egnatia AP:1043 
Durres, Albania
email:kkdurres@gmail.com