Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy

Catching Up

Erla and I are having a great time catching up with old friends and making new friends in Tirana.  Last night we came to a full church (not bad for a Wednesday night) – and one of the deacons was giving the Bible lesson out of 2Chronicles 14.  It’s hard to find the time to spend with all the people that we love when we only have a week or so available.  It seems like we constantly are having to explain why we can’t get together with everyone who asks.  I feel bad about that.

The time we have spent has been very fruitful – much more than just casual, personal conversation.  I have had the chance to talk to pastors and leaders here about their observations and strategies for future ministry opportunities.  For example:  What would be the most effective way to use short-term mission trips?  What if, instead of leading a group around from pre-planned event to event, we let them really learn what it means to be a missionary?  What if we bring them to a foreign country with no assistance from an existing missionary and simply let them walk around, pray, meet people, and try to initiate conversations about Jesus?  After all, THAT is what missionaries do!  (At least at the beginning of their ministries.)  Then, if any respond with interest, you can follow up further with them.   When you leave the country, you can leave the list of names that you contacted with an existing pastor or missionary.  Not a bad idea!  We just might have to try this one!

Tomorrow we will be leaving for Struga for our conference.  Please be praying with us during this time.  We are looking for the Lord to make it clear whether or not we need to participate in the ministries that will be presented there.

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Great to hear everything is going well. Hey, I seen this commercial on CNN (, just thought it was interesting. I am really excited to hear about the opportunities that God could provide for us.


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