TWoL – Kosovo and beyond

This is my personal emailed newsletter called “The Way of Love.” The name is based on the name of my blog, “The Beginnings Of.” I started my blog when I started my DTS with YWAM and I knew it was the beginning of something big but I didn’t know what. I have been wondering ever since then what exactly it was the beginning of and I felt like God gave me the answer in October of 2015 at a prophetic conference while I was listening to one of the speakers: “The Way of Love.”


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14 Mar 2016

Well everyone, this is my final update about our outreach to Kosovo. Sorry its been a month since my last newsletter. The last month has been really busy as we finished up in Kosovo and back at our base in France.

In the last month on outreach we were able to do so many cool things, but I’m gonna try to talk about just a few of the highlights.

First of all, we got to be a part of a youth group at a church in Pristina for several weeks. One week, we got to host a French evening. It was a lot of fun; we broke out the face paint and crepes and had a great time teaching them about France and sharing a testimony with them about Jesus. Fernand gave his personal testimony and it was really good. We had a great time with the kids that night.

We also got to spend several different times of worship and prayer with the YWAM Kosovo leaders and the YWAM Norway team. Once in the church we attended, once in the church they attend, and once on the roof of a building overlooking the city of Prishtina during a major protest. It was amazing! We worshiped declaring the Lord to be Lord over Prishtina and we prayed that the protest would be peaceful. And guess what? The Lord IS Lord. This major protest did not turn violent! He is the true ruler of Kosovo and He fights on behalf of His beloved there. So cool! 🙂

We were also able to rent, from a friend, a jeep that could hold all of our team. One day we drove for about 5 hours or so around Kosovo to try to make it to a church service in another city. Then we went sight seeing on the way home and it was one of the best team times we had. We had so much fun with everyone in one car on a road trip around half the country.

Our outreach ended with a few days at a nice hotel in Skopje, Macedonia to debrief. Claire and I spent time with each student to talk about the entire outreach and process what God had done with them. It was so amazing to see how much He did in each of them! I could go through each one and talk about how much God changed them into more like Jesus. It reminded me of why I wanted to do this school in the first place: to watch God change lives. The best part was that it truly (and thankfully) had nothing to do with me. It really was all God and I’m not just saying that. Trust me. haha

Once we made it back to France, it was a busy week as we had a couple more classes and the graduation for the students. Then, shortly after, they all began to leave.

It’s been about a week now since all the students, whom I happily call friends, have left; and now I go back to normal base life. I don’t know what the next months hold for me, but I know that God is faithful. I am so thankful for all that He has taught me through this experience and I hope He will ask me to do it again some day.

Thanks for reading my updates from Kosovo! I will now be sending this newsletter out once a month around the beginning of the month. Also feel free to contact me about anything! Jesus loves you!

-Justin Smith

PS: I can use prayer for a couple things right now:

I am trying to renew my visa for France, but their system is very overbooked at the moment. I need to get an appointment before my visa expires in about a week. Please pray that I am able to get that appointment or that God will show me something else if He has another idea. 😉

Also, I am in need of monthly support. I still need help to cover expenses for this month as well. If you would ask the Father if He would ask you to help me out, I would really appreciate it. You can give on my blog or just reply to this email and I can help you. Plus I would love to say thank you personally too. Thanks! 🙂

 

Psalm 27 NASB

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the Lord will take me up.

Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes. Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
 


Prayer points:

  • For my Visa situation and that God would give me favor and wisdom.
  • That I can process well all that God has done during these last six months.
  • Thanksgiving for each of the students that I got to watch transform over the last six months!

 

French night at the youth group!

 

I love my team!

 

The streets of Skopje, Macedonia! Cool city.
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