• Pray for continued freedom to evangelize among the 80% Muslim population.
• Pray for the peace of Jesus to heal the hatred between ethnic Serbs and Albanians.
• Pray for spiritual growth and bold proclamation among the small group of committed Christians.
The unique Kosovar national anthem has no words, as the government feared the addition of lyrics might offend minority ethnic groups. To this day, the anthem remains purely instrumental. Such concessions may seem polite and peaceful, but they highlight centuries of ethnic strife that have divided the southern European nation of Kosovo and nearly destroyed it.
With NATO and UN intervention, Kosovo eventually gained independence from Serbia in 2008, after nearly 10 years of negotiation and brutal ethnic conflict.
The intense conflict devastated both Serbs and Albanians alike, making Kosovo one of the poorest nations in Europe, with more than half its inhabitants living in poverty and an unemployment rate of 70%. Kosovo is dominated by Islam, as 80% percent of the population is Muslim, the vast majority of those of Albanian descent. Though many are nominal in their faith, extremism is increasing, as is opposition to Christianity. Even so, there are a growing number of believers, especially among the youth and young adults, and more churches are being established. Pray that believers in Kosovo would grow into mature Christians who lay aside ethnic differences and strive for reconciliation and healing for their fellow countrymen.
The main priority of a missionary is to bring the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have never heard the Good News. LCMS missionaries usually share that Good News in the language of the people they serve.
When the Holy Spirit begins to gather people into Christian fellowship, missionaries assist these new Christians in forming their own indigenous church leaders.
Today, the LCMS trains, sends and supports called and appointed career, long-term and short-term missionaries in various countries around the world and in the United States where there are mission stations, partner churches, schools or mission relationships.
LCMS missionary teams are made up of people who focus on planting churches, leadership formation or some type of locally initiated holistic services in areas of health, agriculture, community development, English-as-a-Foreign-Language classes or partner support activities.
Missionary teachers also serve in international schools where missionary children, expatriates, and often national children attend. Agricultural and medical missionaries are utilized when their work will strategically contribute towards reaching and gathering a communities of believers, so that churches can be planted.
Missionaries usually spend a good deal of time when they first arrive on the field developing language skills and learning about the culture and mastering a foreign language.
The overall LCMS mission “team” consists of ordained pastors, directors of Christian education, directors of Christian outreach, deaconesses, teachers, lay ministers, Directors of Parish music, medical professionals, agriculturalists, vicars, church work program interns, retired Lutheran laity and college graduates. All are scattered across the globe working together with national partners to tell the Good News of the salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ.