Previous Update Issue

Number 83

June/July 2002

Dick Ady, Editor
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New Christian in Cambodia A Significant Landmark Metro to Sponsor Bonner Jackson Reports from Vlore
A Busy Summer in Durres Cassies Move to Prizren, Kosova A Critical Need Thanks Beloved

 New Christian in Cambodia
"Following six months of studies with a WEI teacher using the e-mail lessons, Monita Pak, a 19 year-old single lady and former Buddhist, was baptized into Christ on May 31, 2002.

Monita Pak in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

"Living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with her widowed mother, she decided to overcome her expressed fears. Fortunately, her teacher had put her in touch with a missionary of the church of Christ about two months previously. She knew where to go. Early in the morning, Monita took a motorcycle taxi to the meeting place of the church where she knew a Bible class was scheduled.

Following additional study, Monita was buried with Christ in baptism that morning, and there was much rejoicing.

"Monita has completed Lesson Five of the Advanced Bible Series and wants to continue those studies with her teacher. She plans to meet regularly with the church of about 25 members.
"Praise God for His grace and the power of his Word."

Yours in Christ,
Vaughn Young, Kingwood, Texas

A Significant Landmark
Bob and Jan Towell, who are heading up the WEI Internet teaching ministry, say, "Rejoice with us. The WEI on-line program just sent the Welcome/Introductory Lesson to the 2,000th person.

Praise God for Bob and Jan Towell, for Bob Patterson, and for all the teachers who are working with them to spread the word about Christ via e-mail.

Metro to Sponsor Bonner
In our last newsletter, we announced that Tom Bonner had decided to move to Lushnja, Albania to help plant a church there. Tom had taken this leap of faith, not knowing who would sponsor him or where he would get the financial support he needed.

In this issue of WEI Update, we are happy to announce that the Metro Church of Christ in Gresham, Oregon has decided to sponsor Tom and partially support him. Metro will provide $1,500 a month, and Tom will raise another $1,500 a month for personal support plus $1,000 a month working fund.

Tom has just completed a month-long crash course in missions at Abilene Christian University and is eager to get on with the Lord's work. He wants to move to Albania in early August, or as soon as possible.

Albanian church leaders are preparing the way for Tom's arrival. Erik Qirjaqi and Artan Xhaferi are teaching WEI students in Lushnja one day a week. Men from the Tirana congregation will soon be conducting worship services in Lushnja each Sunday. A nice teaching facility has been rented on a main street. Tables, chairs, and booth dividers are in place. A telephone has been installed, and a computer is waiting.

Few missionaries have so much groundwork laid for them prior to their arrival.

Two WEI students in the Lushnja area have already been baptized into Christ. Bill Morgan and three other short-term missionaries will conduct a WEI summer campaign in Lushnja from July 15 to August 9. By the time Tom arrives on the scene, there should be several new Christians waiting to be taught and nurtured. These will form the nucleus of the new congregation.

Tom Bonner

God has opened a door in Lushnja, and Tom Bonner is marching through it.

Is God calling you to help supply Tom's basic needs? If you or your congregation can include Tom in your budget, please let us hear from you. Let’s send this good man into fields that are "white unto harvest."

Jackson Reports from Vlore
In his May newsletter, Virgil Jackson, missionary in Vlore, tells of some exciting developments:

"This month, four precious young women were baptized into Christ.

"Aurora Merjo, 20, and her younger sister, Dezdemona, began studies last summer with Juanita Mansholt. We visited in their home, continued Bible lessons with them, and they became active in our church youth group. But traditional Muslim family ties held them back.

"During one of our youth meetings, we prayed specifically for the teenage Christians in Albania. At their next private Bible class, Aurora said that she felt hurt and left out. ‘We are Muslim teenagers. Who prays to God for us?'

"While we conscientiously avoid militant badgering of non-believers, it is critical that they hear that 'salvation is found in no one else' and that Jesus said, 'No one comes to the Father except through me.'

"Eventually, the fellowship and our efforts at 'speaking the truth in love' won out. The girls invited their parents and a large group of friends to witness their baptism at a Friday afternoon teen meeting

"Jonida Mehmeti, 17, also began studies last summer with Juanita and continued to study with Jackie for the last nine months. She, too, was baptized at a youth meeting this month.

Aurora Rushiti was waiting for her 13th birthday to become the final member of her family to accept the Lord. She joined both her parents and her two older sisters, as her father baptized her this month. It was a special thing to see the look of love and pride in the eyes of her parents.

200 Attend Ladies' Day in Elbasan
In his June newsletter, Pete Hodge reports that the church in Elbasan had just conducted the annual nationwide Ladies' Day.

Pete says, "This was the first Ladies Day organized here in Elbasan. For all the ladies in the church, other than Dulcie, it was a matter of treading in unknown territory. The amazing thing is, over 200 attended.

"It was a stifling hot day, and many participants could not last the entire day. Most of those who left early were from the villages we work in. This was a special thrill for us. It showed that we are making progress in these areas. A good number of sisters came from Tirana, Fier, and Vlore.

"We are considering a request to start classes in Cerik, a large town close to Elbasan. A school director has offered us the use of the classrooms and is very keen on us being there."

A Busy Summer in Durres
The missionaries in Durres are busy this summer. Here are some excerpts from their report:

"Five campaigners arrived during the month of May, and we began teaching 48 new students. What an encouragement they have been to the Lord's work in Durres.

"During the first part of May, the teenagers participated in Durres' first Bible Bowl on the Gospel of Mark, and it was a huge success. Fifteen people participated in the event, with the remainder of the members officiating or serving in one role or another. Jona Salataj came in first place with a score of 98 out of 100. Jona was baptized in August of 2001. It was such a blessing to see all of them test their knowledge on God's Word and do so well.

"If you are wondering whether or not you should come and teach, let me tell you about Ryan Tessier. He is 25 and has been a Christian only seven months. Because of the method and the (WEI) material that we use to teach, he felt totally comfortable teaching his ten students.

"Six additional campaigners will soon be traveling to Durres to assist in the work here. They will teach in two groups of three during the last half of June and all of July.

"In August, the Adam's Blvd. Church of Christ in Bartlesville, Oklahoma will be sending eight teachers. With this in mind, we are looking for teachers to help with follow-up work in September.

Is that something you could help us with? In September, the airfare rates drop and the weather is cooler. If September will not work for you, how about October?

"The number of applicants wanting to begin the course is increasing weekly.

"Ty Pope will be returning this summer to participate with the work over the next year. As you may remember, Ty is from Idaho Falls and spent last summer teaching in Durres. Ty graduated from Harding University this spring with a Bachelor's Degree in Bible.

"We are pleased to have Leslie Winebarger back with us for part of the summer. Leslie is the daughter of Dennis and Fredia. Leslie spent two years in Scotland with the AIM program and just completed her first semester at Harding University."

With this kind of activity, you can be sure the kingdom of God will grow in Durres’ this summer and fall. May God continue to bless the church in Durres.

Late Reports from Tirana
Due to a shortage of space in our last newsletter, we failed to run a report from Lloyd Campbell, missionary in Tirana. The good news he reported then is still good news today. Here it is:

"The Lord added two precious souls to His Body in Tirana last month. Diana Velinaj is a public school teacher. Two of my WEI students have her as their math teacher and love her dearly. They shared their faith with her on many occasions, and one day, she told them she wanted to become a Christian.

"Diana came to see me, and we talked about the Word of God. She was so excited about Jesus Christ becoming her personal Savior.

"Diana was baptized into Christ on January 23. Now, we can rejoice over these two new souls who have been added to the body of Christ."

Lloyd Campbell & Diana Velinaj

Lloyd and Suzanne Campbell have just returned to Albania from a two-month furlough.

Cassies Move to Prizren, Kosova
The church in Kosova was established shortly after the end of the Yugoslavia/Kosova war in 1999. Doug Smith, of Longview, Washington, went to Prizren, Kosova in October 1999 to begin humanitarian aid efforts. He helped people rebuild their homes, relieved hunger, and provided medical equipment and supplies. These efforts were funded by Partners In Progress.

Within a few months, a World English Institute program was begun in Prizren, teaching English using the Bible as a textbook. Since that time, more than 30 Christian teachers from around the world have shuttled in and out of Kosova to teach the Bible.

Since Kosova is primarily a Muslim culture, it has taken longer than normal to bring students to faith in Jesus Christ. Fear of rejection by family and friends is well founded. However, twelve precious souls have now been baptized into Christ. Attendance at the Sunday worship service averages 25. Two of the recent converts are now teaching several times a week.

Originally, Doug agreed to work in Prizren for six months or until a missionary could be found to take his place. That six months stretched out to two and a half years.

Jim and Kath Cassie

Now, Doug is happy to report that Jim and Kath Cassie, a Christian couple from Aberdeen, Scotland, have moved to Prizren to work as long-term missionaries.

Jim and Kath are sponsored and partially supported by their home congregation in Aberdeen. They are also supported by the 6th & Izard Church of Christ in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Please remember Jim and Kath in your prayers as they teach the ethnic Albanians in Kosova, build up the Lord's church there, and as they work with several American teachers in a WEI teaching campaign this summer.

A Critical Need
Due to the tragic events of 9/11/01 and the downturn in the American economy, WEI has lost several large monthly contributions. Look at the financial statements on pages 5 and 6 of this Update and you will see that we desperately need more funding in order to keep WEI afloat. We are experiencing a shortfall of $2,000 or $3,000 a month, and I don't have enough time to raise the needed funds before leaving the country.

By the time you read this newsletter, I will be in Albania-leading a summer campaign. I hate to leave Maudine here to deal with the financial crisis alone. She can't go out and speak to churches and raise the funds that are needed.

Nevertheless, I refuse to worry about the problem. I don't know how I can raise money and lead a campaign for Christ at the same time. I can't cancel the campaign at this late date, so the only thing we can do is to put it in the hands of God. He knows where the resources are, and he can supply our needs.

If you or your congregation can add WEI to your monthly budget, please do so immediately. Let's work together to share the Good News to every man, woman, and child on earth.

Thanks, Beloved Friends
Take another glance at the financial statements on pages 5 and 6 (over 180 contributors, many churches) and notice how many friends and churches are generously sharing their resources with us. What can we say, except, "Thank you!"

We wouldn't trade our friends for all the money in the world. We love you.

---Dick and Maudine Ady