The nation of North Macedonia is located in Southeastern Europe in the Balkan Peninsula. Known simply as “Macedonia” until 2019, it gained its independence in 1991 with the breakup of Yugoslavia. It is a picturesque, landlocked country and its geography is characterized by a central valley bordered by two mountainous areas.
Tamara Henkes, an Assemblies of God missionary to Romania for 13 years, was attending a conference where she heard about the need for Christian workers in the country of Montenegro.
Montenegro is about the size of the state of Connecticut and has a total population of about 620,000 people. Out of those, perhaps 200-300 are evangelical believers. There are only 6-8 evangelical churches in all of Montenegro. And none of those evangelical churches in Montenegro are pastored by a Montenegrin national.
As Emily Armstrong headed to college at the age of 17, she was a perfectionist, wanted to be an adult, and desired to assert her independence. For her, the ultimate statement of such independence was joining the Bahá’i faith, a religion she believed would ensure perfect order in the world — “no more war, poverty, or racism. One language, one currency, and equality of the sexes.” A “perfect” faith for a perfectionist.
When we hear sermons and conversations about how we should be involved in missions, we often think of three different avenues: 1) we can go to the mission field; 2) we can provide prayer support to those who go; and, 3) we can provide financial support to those who go.
The evangelical church in the nation of Ecuador has experienced dramatic growth over the past 60 years. According to the book Operation World, Ecuador had the lowest percentage of evangelical believers in Latin America in 1960 — 17,000 believers. By 2010, that number had skyrocketed to 1.2 million Jesus followers! Today, between 8% and 11% of Ecuadorians are evangelicals (Operation World, Prayercast, and Joshua Project).
And yet, there is a crisis brewing in Ecuador. The country has experienced serious political upheaval, and this turmoil has complicated the church’s capacity to train the next generation of ministers.
In this article, I review Dr. Carolyn Knight’s book In Search of Persons of Peace: Inspirational Stories of How Ordinary People Influence Multitudes for Christ and share whether I believe it would be a valuable addition to your library of world missions resources.