Balkans (MNN) — Doors are
opening in the Balkans to impact the government with the hope of the
Gospel. Missionaries with Greater Europe Mission teach English to members of Parliament, and sometimes the
conversations turn to spiritual matters.
In one lesson, Boris (all names
changed for privacy) suddenly asked Miranda whether she believed in God. He went on to say that it was too late for
him to believe, since he's 50 years old.
According to Miranda, the influence of the Orthodox Church leads many to
think that religion is about doing good works.
"They believe if you've gone so long without
following God, it's impossible to make up for a lifetime of not doing good
deeds–which are often considered essential for earning salvation," she
The conversation later turned to the issue of
corruption in politics. Boris said he
believes the government needs to teach people about right and wrong, and
Miranda had the opportunity to explain that only God can change people. When the lesson was over, Boris and his
colleague invited Miranda to see their office, according to their custom.
They showed her family photographs and talked
to her about their culture. "God
must have given grace," Miranda said, "or else I don't think Boris
would have invited me back."
20-40 members of Parliament have studied
English with Miranda and another missionary colleague. Parliament pays for them to do so, because
English is the international business language.
The missionaries plan to continue taking turns teaching for a week every
Miranda plans to network with
more government officials by studying European social work at a local university. 3,800 students attend the school, and all the
faculty are government employees.
"This will put me in a position to be offered
an internship in a government or nonprofit role," Miranda explained. "I may get to be involved in systemic change,
and hopefully try to influence the direction of politics."
If Miranda's experience goes well, the team
would like to recruit more missionaries to pursue similar projects. Pray that God will use Miranda to spread
the Gospel message in a corrupt political system.