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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Balkan Connect Conference

Mid June found us in Ohrid, Macedonia, named one of the top 30 places to visit in the world in 2010 by the New York times. We gathered from many different countries for a three day conference connecting churches in the Balkan region. There were people from Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Finland, Greece, Sweden, America, England, Portugal, Canada and New Zealand. We met to pray and worship together, and to build connections between the churches in the Balkans.

The balance of scheduled teaching time and fellowship time was perfect. When we worshipped, you could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. It was beautiful to listen to testimonies, and teachings and hear how God is moving, to get the bigger picture of His plan for this region and to see the vision He has placed in each individual. The last night we had a prayer time and took turns focusing on each Balkan country and praying over the people representing the church there.
The presence of the Holy Spirit was powerful, and as we prayed in unity for healing, for doors to be opened to the gospel, and for the Spirit of God to move, it was as if I could feel things shifting in the spiritual realm. I look forward to seeing the answers to the things we prayed for.

Equally wonderful was the time we spent building relationships with new friends and old. We spent time sitting at an ancient church together, worshiping and praying at night on a large boulder overlooking the lake.
We found respite from the intense heat by swimming in the lake, enjoying the incredible beauty of Ohrid. So many memories were built. Sitting on the dock at sunset, feet dangling over the clear water, talking about our purpose, and encouraging each other. Drinking coffee together in a little restaurant below some cliffs, with the blue water of Ohrid Lake at our feet, an almost ethereal setting.
Laughing and singing, praying, playing, talking late into the night, sharing our lives together, building friendships that will last for years. Through it I gained a bigger perspective of God's heart for the Balkans, and the relationships built will, I am sure, play an important role in what God does in the future. I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of what He is doing here during this season.