I've been thinking a lot recently about the Church here in Kosovo. Not just the community of Christians here in town, or the big church in Pristina, but the whole collective of believers throughout this small country. It's a new Church, I think the first official evangelical church was started in 1985 (and therefore is younger than me), the New Testament was first translated into Albanian in 1980, and the whole Bible by the early 1990s. This is very recent history. There were Orthodox churches around before that as Serbia is officially Orthodox, but the evangelical community is still in its very early stages.
This has made me think a lot about the role of the young believers that I'm meeting here. In the grand scheme of things they will be some of the early leaders of this Church, given that they are probably only the second generation of "churched" believers in Kosovo. It takes me back to the book of Acts, to thinking about what the Early Church looked like, how the first few generations of Christians who were living post-Jesus went about meeting together to talk about their faith, to worship God, to do what they could to follow Jesus' instructions about living and believing in Him. They were trailblazers, founding fathers (and mothers), pioneers, and it is their example that these teenagers are learning from.
I have two prayers for this young Church, from a passage in Ephesians. Firstly, a rooting in the love of Christ; and secondly, unity within the Church:
"And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God."
"We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future. There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father who is over us all and in us all and living through us all."
Ephesians 3:17 - 19, and 4: 4 - 6
So if you are one of Christ's people, under this one God and Father, then pray for your Church family here. They have a big task ahead of them and they need to know the support of their brothers and sisters around the world. I am certain that they will achieve mighty things as they reach out and follow Christ, and I'm certain that this is a journey you want to join them on.