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10 November 2020 | St Albans, UK [TED Communications]   

With a population of 250,000, the city of Priština, Kosovo, has one of the youngest populations in Europe, on average aged 25 years old. Located in the south-eastern corner of Europe, just north of the Goljak mountains, the majority people group are Kosovo Albanians. With freedom of belief and conscience explicitly guaranteed in the state Constitution, Christianity maintains a low-profile presence, where mosque and church are seen together in the city landscape.

The local Adventist community is ageing and few in number – but their commitment to being a beacon of hope is not impaired. Not least is to find a renewed purpose for their existing church building, open for just a few hours each week for sabbath worship.

Pristina town centre

From January 2021 – a new opportunity arrives as they are joined by Adventist Frontier Mission workers (AFM), Edney and Carolina Miranda from Brazil. For the first year, the Mirandas will build networks and make friends with both congregation and community, listening, learning, training, and seeking to understand the unique people group they will serve.

1,500 miles north of Priština, at the offices of the Trans-European Division (TED) in St. Albans, England, Pastor Raafat Kamal (President) shares how this new opportunity has arisen. “One of my roles requires me to chair numerous committees”, he says. “But if there is one I find particularly energising, it is the TED Mission Board, which considers new projects to advance the work of the Church in our territory.”

At the October meeting of the Mission Board, a plan was approved for an Urban Centre of Influence (UCI) to be strategically located in downtown Priština and operated out of the current church building. Finance for this joint 5-year plan is provided by the General Conference (GC), the Trans-European Division, the South-East European Union, and Adventist Frontier Missions.

With Priština’s young population, the plan includes the creation of a children’s day-care centre, classes in English, health education, and the formation of Discover Bible study groups. Eventually, the aim is to set up new home-based congregations around the city, with the church building as the hub.

Pastor Dragan Grujičić, President of the South-East European Union, supervising the project knows there are going to be challenges ahead. “What interests me most, is the possibility of Priština’s small church family extending their arms of loving friendship to youth and young families from a very different background.”

“To date this will be the 9th Urban Centre of Influence the GC and TED have provided support for”, says Dr Daniel Duda, TED Adventist Mission director. “Since 2015, the TED fields have initiated 8 Urban Centres of Influence within its territory in the countries of Albania, Croatia, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, and Ireland.”

For the Priština members, the new Centre will bring added value to the life of the church. With the plan to open the doors of the church most days of the week, the worshipping church also becomes a serving church.

“That’s good news for both the church and the community“, says Dr Conrad Vine, President of Adventist Frontier Missions. “I am delighted that we are able to partner with the Trans-European Division to support the South-East European Union’s plan to bring hope and healing to the people of Priština.“


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.




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