Small Groups in MacedoniaBrook Hills Contributor
Hannah and Ginna are two Brook Hills Mid-Term missionaries serving in Macedonia for two years. Our hope at Brook Hills is to have small groups supporting and encouraging those that are being sent out Mid and Long-Term. This blog post is a beautiful example of two girls from Hannah and Ginna's small group joining them for a week to help serve and share the gospel with the people they are working among in Macedonia.
Greetings from Ohrid!!
We have finally made it to the city of Ohrid after several hours of traveling, and it has truly been a blessing that we have made it this far. The city is absolutely gorgeous and the people are extremely friendly and hospitable. While we were walking down a street with several shops, the storekeepers always greeted us and attempted to talk to us. It was really cool to see how we were still able to semi-carry on a conversation with these people even though we did not necessarily speak the same language.
At this point, some of you are probably thinking, why in the world Ohrid, Macedonia?
Well, that is a good question. Many of us reading from Scripture would assume that Macedonia is a very reached region, considering the amount of work that Paul and other disciples poured into that region. However, today the country is considered to have between 0.01% and 2% Evangelicals and the number of professing Christians is above 5%. This is not as unreached as some parts of the world, but it is a mere shadow of what it could be considering the work and evidence of the Spirit in Scripture. Sadly, many Macedonians are caught up in the traditions of the Orthodox church and in believing that works are necessary to earn salvation. This is so contrary to what we know to be true. We are all sinners and completely incapable of achieving salvation through any work by our own hand. We desperately need a Savior. Because of this, God sent His only Son, Jesus to humble Himself by becoming human and dying the most humiliating death on a cross. His life and death were sufficient to pay the penalty due us for our sins if we repent of our sins and trust in Him. Therefore, it is urgent that we speak this Truth to the Macedonian people!!
There is another good reason for going and it involves two of our precious sisters, Hannah and Ginna, that have sacrificed two years of their lives to live among the Macedonian people in Ohrid. Courtney and I have had the pleasure of meeting Ginna through our small group. Last year we shared life together before she started on this journey. Courtney and I have such an amazing opportunity to join in ministry with Hannah and Ginna and then we have the opportunity to encourage them and uplift them. When spending an extended period of time on the mission field, it is so important to be encouraged because so much of your time is spent pouring into and investing in others. We are so excited about getting to spend time with our friends and work alongside one another in order to further the Kingdom of God!!
The work that Hannah and Ginna are doing here is completely different from any other mission trip I have been on before. Rather than physically doing something for people such as fixing a building or serving in a soup kitchen, they are actually focused on building relationships with people and sharing life with these people. One particular story they shared with us really stood out to me and it was the fact that Hannah had invited a hitchhiker back to their apartment while walking home one day. In our American culture, this seems like such an absurd thing to do, especially since Hannah had no idea who this woman was and had never even seen her before. Yet, they invited this woman in, fed her lunch, and talked with her learning more about her life story. They found out that she was hitchhiking all the way to Serbia and she had recently lost her husband as well as a family business they were running. Ginna and Hannah also had the chance to share the gospel with her before she started again on her journey to Serbia.
It's moments like this that Ginna and Hannah are living for at this moment in their lives. They just take one day at a time and focus on the people that God placed in their lives. It didn't matter that Hannah had never seen or met this woman before, but she trusted in God and used this wonderful opportunity to share more about Him. Hearing this story has truly opened my eyes to a different side of missions that I have never seen before on any of my other mission trips, and it only makes me more excited to see what God has planned for the rest of this trip.
Many blessings, Amber and Courtney