Long-term mission personnel linked to Mount Pleasant are Geoff and Shirley Townsend.
Geoff and Shirley work alongside other mission partners serving with AEM (Albanian Evangelical Mission). They are based in Gjirokaster, in the south of Albania.
Geoff and Shirley are involved in a church plant and minister to students. Shirley is also involved in a Bible teaching ministry to women and Geoff is involved with technical support, occasional preaching and oversees the translation and distribution of Christian literature in Albanian.
The following is from their January 2017 prayer letter ...
A new year lays before us! A year of new opportunities and challenges! As we go into the year with Christ as our guide, may we be filled with anticipation and expectation at all that He will do in and through us for His glory. We are so thankful for all the ways in which God has kept and directed us throughout 2016. We now look forward to all that is yet to come!
A quick look back at December …
As always it was a busy month of special outreach and evangelistic opportunities. We rejoice in the Christmas services that took place and for the many who came for the first time. Pray that they will have a hunger and desire to keep on coming and through listening take that step of faith to believe in the Lord Jesus.
The week between Christmas and New Year was an opportunity for a bit of rest and relaxation! We especially rejoiced that after 7 days without a supply of water, we had water coming into the house! Water is a great gift!
As has become tradition, we travelled to Korça and spent New Year with Niko and Monda and the family. They are doing much better and it gave us joy to see this. Niko is very involved in the work amongst the older men in the local church as well as serving in a variety of other ways. Monda often bakes cakes for the men that Niko and Aliu reach out to so is serving in her way along with keeping the home and serving the family.
A look ahead to January …
Ministry in Fier and Patos
Geoff is preparing for preaching in Fier and Patos – the plan at present is for him to preach in Fier on the 15th and in Patos on the 29th. We will be spending the week of the 14th till the 20th in Patos serving the church and teaching the ladies meetings during that week. Pray for the work amongst the women as we will be studying the book of Esther in both groups.
Will and Doreta and family have enjoyed a good family break in the UK and return on the 6th to Albania. Pray for them as they re-enter the work and the many opportunities and challenges that brings.
Ladies work in Gjirokaster
Shirley along with Lori and Najada are going to restart this following a break over the Christmas and New Year period. Continue to pray as Shirley continues the handing over of this work over the next several months. We were very encouraged at the number of ladies who came to the special Christmas meeting.
The Christmas meeting was very well attended with standing room only. It was encouraging to see the group of youth who are using the outreach centre at the church come to this special event. Pray for those who are daily reaching out to these youth. A neighbour recently told us how good it is that the church is reaching out to this age group who often either hang out on the streets or in internet cafes. This is giving them a place to come to where they can chat with those who are committed to reaching out with the gospel.
James and Petrit have the responsibility of ministry on Sundays and Wednesdays, on Sundays they will be teaching through Exodus. Geoff and Steve provide support as needed.
Please pray for all of us who have been down with the flu or have others in the family not well. It seems almost an epidemic as there are so many down with this virus, to the point that the Albanian school system is closed down till at least Monday the 9th January. If the situation continues, this may be extended.
Thank you again for standing with us in prayer! We look forward to sharing with you how God will continue to build His kingdom here in Albania.
With our love in Christ,
Geoff and Shirley
Albanian Evangelical Mission