So Christmas is over and 2014 is already showing its colors -- bringing renewal and a sense of well-being. Gabe, Olivia, and I have had a wonderful break, enjoying each other, family, and lots of NYC-style foods. But now, it's time for our busy schedule, as GCMI missionaries, to resume. And here's a glimpse of the next few months and what they have in store for us as a missionary family in New York City.
Following the school break in the Bronx, Gabe and one of our ministry partners have plans to begin tutoring Albanian children with homework and whatever else they need help with. While our team is definitely hoping to see new relationships form with Albanian families, Gabe is in prayer that we can reach "R", the Albanian gentleman who is in charge of the Balkan Center where the tutoring will take place. They have been able to form a relationship with him so far, but still have not had much opportunity to speak about Christ.
Right now, Gabe and the other missionary trainees are involved in a three day coaching seminar provided by the Equip training program. When these training sessions end, we plan on starting English conversation groups this semester -- specifically Albanians. We have already received a few phone calls regarding interest, but we will hopefully be able to really start forming groups in the next couple of weeks. By doing conversation groups, we hope that the opportunity will arise to also invite some to participate in a Discovery Bible Study. Simultaneously, English conversation groups and Discovery Bible Studies will continue with Chinese/International step into 2014.
The Balkan Center (where Gabe will be tutoring) is connected to a local mosque. Gabe has been reaching out to the Albanian Muslims here, and has a meeting scheduled with "B", a high-ranking member of the mosque. Gabe has been able to share his faith with him, and this next meeting will likely be cover why each believes what they believe. "B" has been very open to hearing about Christ and is very interested in understanding why Gabe believes he has found truth in Him.
In April, Gabe is hoping to fly back to Missouri to visit and reconnect with our supporters. We hope to continue raising support and have plans to continue ministry in the Bronx well beyond 2014 and build on the foundation that has been laid. As a family, we're also looking forward to flying back to Missouri in July as well, again reconnecting, visiting mission supporters, visiting with family, and even taking part in a wedding.
In the midst of our busy-ness, we are continuing our ministry to Gabe’s friend from Yemen and to my Serbian friend, and we are also continuing to walk the neighborhoods and develop relationships with our Albanian neighbors.
We hope you'll join us in prayer. There are so many prayer requests that we name, but here is a brief list to lift up to our Father. Please join us before the Father's throne and petition Him for this ministry.
1. Pray that Albanian English Groups will get started and will lead to Bible Studies
2. Pray that the Lord leads us to persons of peace in the Albanian community.
3. Pray that Bible Studies with the Chinese will continue to reveal truth, and that God will be able to reach into their lives, bringing them to Him
4. Pray for our neighbors (specially our Yemeni & Serbian friends), that they will seek truth and discover it in Jesus the Lord.
5. Pray for an increase in support for our family (the Brazles) and other GCMI missionaries.
6. Pray for the Bronx as a whole, that the people will be unsettled with their way of living and will seek a greater joy only found in God.
7. Pray that we will grow in boldness and faithfulness as witnesses to the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
8. Pray for openness to the Gospel among leaders of the mosque and Balkan center in the Bronx.