Tuesday, October 24, 2017

3.14 Collective tours Kosovo

From 23 September to 7 October 2017, we were on the ground in Kosovo for the first time in 6 years! In the past we had great tours there and were sad when local partners moved on, leaving no one to organize events. A new worker moved into the country and through patient wisdom, he has built great relationships with many Kosovar pastors who actually asked for the UniShow to come partner with them in ministry!

Our group of 9 from Australia, England, USA and South Korea presented 9 shows combining unicycling, dance, music and drama for over 2,000 people. We chose 3.14 Collective as our team name because Colossians 3:14 says, "Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." Unity in the church and beyond seems to be under attack in Kosovo so we made it a prayer focus and God did bond our team.

Some shows were in cities with no believers or church, where pastors used our events to connect with locals and expand efforts to plant churches. For some shows we partnered with small existing churches, helping them connect with and invite others to their fellowships.

We spent a full day presenting at Prishtina High School (which is not just a high school). Though he couldn't share about God, Dustin challenged students during our elementary assembly to use their abilities to help others. We heard afterward that students said, "This was the best day of my life!" and "We were so inspired!" Dustin shared more in the 4th and 5th grade class. When he was asked "why you do what you do", he was free to share openly about Jesus. One boy asked incredulously why Dustin wasn't happy when he achieved his World Champion medal. The student was very impacted, even saying he was going to cry and got teary-eyed when Dustin told him that only Jesus can fill the emptiness in our lives, no matter how much we have or what we accomplish.  We also presented to the high school Arts Society.

Dustin was able to be totally open with the Gospel message in most of our shows. During several he was even allowed to lead in a prayer of surrender to Jesus. After an event, one of our partners told us that our kind of show, open Gospel presentation and public prayer had never been done in that city before. A local pastor thanked us for coming out of our way to share hope. He said no one special ever goes there to encourage people.

In another city, a local church member has been building a friendship with the hodja (the Muslim cleric of the city). He invited the hodja to our show and was surprised that he came! The hodja was excited afterward and said he felt a Power that he had never felt before. He wants to meet with local believers and talk about working together on projects!

Dustin had the opportunity to share in a live interview at a radio station, which was also broadcast live on Facebook. Since the secular station is run by a believer, he was able to openly share about the hope, unity and fulfillment Jesus offers.

Katie met a girl in a coffee shop because they had the same kind of hair style. Katie invited her to our show the next evening and she came early and stayed till the end! They talked afterward and Katie was able to share more about the Gospel with this student and her friends and pray for them. This student was very thankful, saying no one has ever prayed for her before and she was going to think about all that she heard.

One of our partners who has been a foreign worker in Kosovo for 4 years, told us he was amazed and inspired by our shows because he had no idea believers could be as open and share the Gospel as publicly in Kosovo as we did. Another pastor thanked us for coming to his city, saying we were able to reach more people in one hour than he would be able to do in many years.