GraceConnect eNews, No. 108, Week of July 13, 2015

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Albanian churches in metro New York are encouraged by the book of Acts.

One Risk...Multiplied 


Today's story comes from Steve Galegor, Jr., a field leader with GO2 Ministries in partnership with BILD International for Albanophone church development. He and his wife, Melanie, have worked in church planting among the ethnic Albanian Diaspora in the New York Metro region and the Northeast since 2000. He will be speaking at this year's Flinch Conference, which will be held in New York City this July 23-26. 

Our Albanian churches here in New York/New Jersey have been working through the book of Acts recently, not as a mere history, but as a catechism for us today as we continue the mission Jesus began now among our first generation of Albanians in the Diaspora here.
 
Acts is full of risk, in line with the great risk taker, Jesus himself, who went into the teeth of pain and evil for the "joy set before him" on the other side of that risk. Those early believers did no less, and I was struck recently by the risk-taking efforts of Ananias, whose call was to take the risk of trusting God’s wisdom in the selection of Paul as the Apostle to the nations. The reality of risk drips from Ananias’ words to the Lord in Acts 9:13 and following: “Lord, I have heard much about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” Ananias took risk in one hand and faith in the other and boldly met Paul with the title "Brother" on his lips.  The rest is catechetical history, so to speak.
 
Let me introduce you to such a guy in the modern day -- someone on mission among his countrymen. It was the risk of one that multiplied to an entire family and has led to multiplied churches and believers, only now here in the Albanian Diaspora in the New York region.
 
Years earlier as Albanians were dispersing anywhere to make a better living, a young lady named Alketa had taken a risk to live in Crete (where deportation back to Albania was a bit more difficult) and scratching out a meager existence as a worker in a small shop. A visiting British missionary couple took an interest and told her about Christ and their prayers for Albania. A visit for coffee ensued, then a repeat visit next year, and again the following. Finally the risk lead to a visit to her family in Albania and the meeting of this meek older couple with Alketa’s rugged, and hardened little brother, Beni, a troublemaker of various sorts. A gracious demeanor and persistent questioning led to an encounter with God and not long after this young man found himself sitting awkwardly in the back of a church service – the very subject of his ridicule in days before. God's Spirit met the risk of one person, and a whole family turned to God – along with Beni, the last one you would expect, but the one whose zeal and love for the Lord has been born out of a life of wrongheaded living.
 
Beni (Kristo) will be leading the Riskursion to the Albanian community in Queens during our Saturday together [during Flinch Conference]. There are many like him in that busy part of Queens, making life work as best they can, but ignorant of the new possibilities available through grace by faith in Jesus and by the power of His Spirit. The Beni's of the world are worth the risk, and you never know the exponential power that a risk like that might have. Pray for the new church emerging in Queens among Albanians there, who will risk everything -- like most immigrants -- for that which is not truly eternal in nature. May they find Jesus more than worth the risk. —
 by Steve Galegor
 
Steve Galegor and Beni Kristo are leading a Flinch Conference Saturday Riskursion, Albanian Immersion and International Express
, in which participants will enter the world of recent Albanian immigrants and church-planting efforts among them. If you plan to attend Flinch Conference, you can use this link to register for the Riskursion.
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<<Momentum Students during the Concert of Prayer on Wednesday evening.

[Your Turn:]

 
[Pray:]
  
This week
Momentum Youth Conference is taking place at Indiana Wesleyan University with the theme Relentless. Over 2,000 youth are spending a week immersed in biblical teaching from the book of Daniel. The theme verse of the week is from chapter 3 verse 28, "They trusted in Him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God."

There are several ways you can pray for this life-changing event as the week progresses:

>>Getting comfortable with prayer is one of the goals of the Momentum leadership has for the attendees. This week, Momentum students are taking three minutes a day to gather in groups of three to pray -- like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3. Pray that this simple practice would grow into a transformative, lifelong habit. 

>>Over 250 young people came forward
Wednesday morning as a public testimony to their decision to follow Jesus. Pray that these students would stay connected to their churches, youth leaders, and Christian friends as they start their walk with God. Pray that when they return home, they would stay strong in their commitment to follow Christ.

>>On Wednesday evening, main speaker Keith Minier
challenged Momentum students: "How will you fill my mark with my Maker?" he said, referring to our time spent on earth. He encouraged students to post their decisions to Twitter and Instagram. You can find many these decisions by searching the hashtag #todayidecided, as well as #Momentum2015. Take a few minutes to read through these individual posts and pray for the students who posted. 

>>Watch the live stream of main sessions, including speakers such as David Nasser, Clayton King, Jeff Bogue, Sean McDowell, Keith Minier, Jackie Hill Perry, and Naghmeh Abedini. (Click here for a full list of speakers.) Check out the full week's schedule here. Pray that God would move through the messages of these men and women. 
 

>>Keep an eye on the GraceConnect page,as well as Twitter (@graceconnectus), Facebook, and Instagram (@graceconnect) feeds for more updates and stories. 

>>If you are attending the event, tag your posts with 
#graceconnectsus on your Instagram and Twitter to help us stay connected.
 

Events in the FGBC

June 15-July 27, 2015 – Operation Barnabas, Winona Lake, Ind. (CEN)
July 14-19, 2015 – Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN) 
July 23, 2015 – Women's Celebration at Flinch Conference, Newark, NJ (WGUSA)
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC) 
August 10-14, 2015 – Encounter SoCal Santa Ana, Calif. (EWP) 
August 28-29, 2015  WLS: Biblical Foundations of Leadership, Winona Lake, Ind.   (WGUSA)
September 25-26, 2015  Revive '15 Fellowship Forum, Indianapolis, Ind.  (WGUSA)
October 30-31, 2015  WLS: Principles of Effective Bible Study, Columbus, Ohio  (WGUSA)
November 13-14, 2015  WLS: Women & Scripture, Elizabethtown, Pa.  (WGUSA)
January 15-16, 2016 – WLS: Women & Scripture, Ocala, Fla.  (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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