Imagine for a moment what it would be like if North Korea, perhaps the country most closed to the gospel, suddenly opened to the outside world and even allowed Christians to come and plant churches. After 500 years of Islamic rule under the Ottoman Empire and 45 years under Communist and atheist rule, Albania’s situation was similar. In 1991 when the Communist regime fell, Albania was the most closed country in the world, with zero churches and few known believers. Four years later missionaries Kurt and Stephanie Plagenhoef arrived in the country and got to work. Today there are 200 evangelical churches and more than 20,000 believers!
Missionaries Steve and Christina Walent have served in Europe for more than 33 years, and in that time, through their ministry Church Basics International (CBI), they have partnered with numerous churches to help them implement positive change. The Walents are passionate about their calling to help churches “rediscover their reason for being and become a church that lives the Great Command and Great Commission.”
On a cold winter night in Madrid, Spain, a small group of Christians sought a spot protected from the bitter, blowing wind from which they could preach the gospel, as they do each night in the Puerta del Sol, a popular destination in the center of the city. However, this night people had fled from the cold and the plaza was unusually empty. As Maritza began to sing her testimony song, people seemed to appear from nowhere and gather around, listening intently. As missionaries Kevin and Karen Prevost commented, this was “a glimpse of God’s glory on the street.” And it’s exactly what they’re praying for more of every night.