Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blessings scattered all around!

Yesterday in Albania many Muslims celebrated Bairam know as "The feast of Sacrifice". People go to the market and buy their best a live chicken, sheep, or goat to sacrifice for Bairam. This festival commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as an act of obedience to God. There were lots of people carrying live chickens down the street, on the bus and everywhere we went. There was dancing and music in the streets at times. When I think about this I think about how other religions take things from the Bible and believe them as truth but the actual truth they are missing. There is no need for animal sacrifice because the perfect and spotless Lamb, the Lamb of God was sacrificed for us! 1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. We are very blessed for the sacrifice that Jesus paid for us and I am glad that I don't have to sacrifice animals.

God is doing some awesome work here in Albania and I am glad that I get to be the messenger to share this work with you. 

Juli leaves for school on Monday to Pogradec. Some Brothers and Sisters from England were able to help Juli and pay for his school for another year. We are very thankful for that! Now that Juli knows that his family will have a warm house with the new doors and windows he is happy to go to school. Juli will be in charge of mentoring the 1st year Bible students this year as well as his 2nd year course work. Juli knows this will be a lot of work and he is up for the challenge. He is ready and open to God's leading and teaching in his life.  We wish Juli the best this year and we will be praying for him while he is in school.

Praying with Klara
Klara, the girl from Kavaje that has been sick, is finally getting to go to Italy to have surgery. Praise God for this blessing! She has thalassemia which is a blood disorder passed down through families where the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. This disorder results in an excessive destruction of red blood cells and causes severe anemia. Klara has to get a lot of blood transfusions and needs a bone marrow transplant. We are praying for Klara and her mom Mara as they arrive in Italy today to get the help that they need. We were able to help Mara pay for travel costs to Italy. She will be staying with her brother. We are praying that the doctors have mercy with Klara and can give her the treatment and surgery at a low cost that they can afford. A couple of people at the church have decided to pray and fast for Klara, they are going without one meal a day. Please join with us and fasting and praying for Klara. 

We just found out one more blessing. Stefanie is 9 weeks pregnant and expecting baby Kosta at the end of May. We are very excited about this gift that God has given to us! Stefanie's parents are very excited to be grandparents for the first time! 

Please join us in praying for: 
* Juli and his schooling this year. 
* Klara's healing. 
* Stefanie's pregnancy. 
* The truth changing the hearts of many Muslims here. 
* Spiritual Growth in the Church. 

Serving in His name, 

Arian & Stefanie Kosta

Friday, October 12, 2012

How important is water to you?

Do you have water? 

Here in Albania there are families that don't even have water. It is something that I take advantage of and don't even give a second thought about. When I turn on the faucet I expect for water to come out. In this blog I am going to focus on a very special family in our church who now has water for the first time in a long time. 

Tani, Mary, Samueli, Merita, Sabina
The Sadiku family has been without water for about 4 years. They relied on their neighbors to give them a little water for cooking or sponge bathing. They had no shower to use nor a sink. The family has a hard time finding work. Tani the father works as much as he can when he finds work. They have two teenage daughters and a 6 year old son. The family is very faithful in church. They are there every time the doors are open. They never ask for anything and are very grateful for everything. Merita the oldest daughter (18) is currently taking a class offered by another church that teaches her how to sew. This will be a good skill for her to find a job. 

A couple of weeks ago Tani decided that him and his friends would dig a well to see if they could get some water. With much success the well has water. Tani came to the church with a prayer need to get a pump and deposit to hold the water installed so that they could use the water from the well. We prayed and the Lord provided. With help from McDonough Christian church (MCC) we were able to get them water and a water heater so that they can have a shower. This family is very thankful to have water. 

Another family, the family of Juli, MCC helped them to purchase doors and windows for their house. With the winter coming soon a house without doors and windows would be very cold. We went to visit them to see the progress that they were doing on the house. I was a little sad to see that the family didn't even have a shower or a stove. Even though they have very little, the family is very grateful for this help and very encouraging. 

Please contine to pray for: 

* Juli and his family as Juli leaves for school soon and can no longer work  to provide money for his family. 

*Klara the little girl who needs money for an operation and money to get to Italy. 

* The growth of the youth at the church in Durres in attendance and in spirit. 

*Several members in the church of Kavaje who are starting to ask about baptism. Praise the Lord!

Serving Him, 
Arian & Stefanie Kosta

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Go into all the world!

 This week we had the privilege to work with a mission team from McDonough Christian Church (Stefanie's Home Church) from McDonough Georgia. As soon as they stepped off the plane they were anxious to get started on the work that God sent them to do even though their suitcases did not arrive until a couple of days later.

Liri, Bailey, Elizabeth, Abby, Mary, Caroline, Lisa, Mike, Dennis, Stefanie, Alice, James, Bashkimi & Arian
Sunday they attended church with us at Kisha Kristiane Durres. The church was so packed that we had to put chairs outside the room with the doors open so that everyone could hear. Then we had our first youth night that night. The youth in Durres love Jenga! We had a great time of fun, fellowship, and reading God's word. 

Worship Songs
Our Hand Tree
Craft Time
Monday through Thursday we traveled to Kavaje where the team scrubbed the floors, painted the walls and ceiling, and made benches for the children. Shpresa and Juli were also a big help all week. Other helpers such as Bledi and Nikolino came by to help as well. The team led a VBS (Vacation Bible School) Tuesday through Thursday. The children had a great time singing the songs in English and in Shqip. The team enjoyed loving on the kids in Kavaje. The team also made care packages and brought socks for the people in the nursing home. 

On Friday we toured the city of Durres and had another youth night. There were a total of 42 people in attendance (not all were youth). Bailey shared an excellent devotion about how Albania is like the Bible. We had an awesome time in fellowship and are thinking about keeping the youth game night once a month since it was such a good turn out! 

On Saturday the team went to Kruje and learned about the history of Skenderbej, a great fighter for Albania. They were also very anxious to buy souvenirs for their family and friends back home. Later in the afternoon the team split up and did some home visits to people that they wanted to see again in Durres. 

Early Sunday morning the team left. We were very sad to see them go. The team enjoyed their time and saw God's work here in Albania. Many memories of serving in Albania will be forever in their minds! Their servant heart reminded me of the verse:Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. The team definitely had a willing spirit to go into all the world! 

Prayer requests/ Praises: 
* More money has been given for us to purchase a car for the ministry of Kavaje PRAISE! Now pray for God to lead us to the right car for our needs. 

* Pray for people here to seek God with all their heart. 

* Pray for the family of Klara who is still seeking money for her treatment and operation in Italy.  

* Pray for God to lead Shpresa to a job where she can serve Him.

* Pray for Mac & Diane as they have gone back home. Mac will start his new job soon!

In His service, 
Arian & Stefanie Kosta