February 13-23, 2023 we will make a groundbreaking trip to Pristina, Kosovo (the smallest country in the Balkans) to partner with the Protest Evangelical Church of Pristina under the leadership of Pastor Artur.
Kosovo is a Muslim country where the majority of the population are Ethnic Albanians who are Muslim and the minority are Serbians who are Orthodox Christians. Our partner Pastor Artur is the son of the first Albanian convert to evangelical Christianity. He was saved through reading a Bible. He started the church in Pristina 35 years ago and this is the church that we will partner with.
Today this church holds a very prominent position among the evangelical churches in Kosovo, and was the home church of the last US ambassador. Even though Kosovo is a Muslim country, it is very pro-American. They have gained independence and peace due to American involvement. Most people in Kosovo speak English.
Very few missionaries have come to Kosovo. The local church needs our help and support. They experience difficulties and persecution and need our support and encouragement. Together with our partner church we will hold evangelistic meetings, children’s and youth ministry, women’s ministry, outreach in Roma (gypsy) communities and medical missions. The medical clinic plays an important part in evangelism because it will bring into the church people who would not come otherwise. Pastor Artur mentioned that the church tries to reach out to people in low-income areas. He anticipates many of them coming to the clinic. In addition to medical services, we plan to provide a soup kitchen to serve them hot meals. If you have a specific calling in one of these areas or a heart for Eastern Europe – we still have spots open on this team.
We need people who have a heart for kids and youth and are ready to engage them with games, sports, but also the Word of God and spiritual mentoring. We need women who have a desire to pour into women who are mistreated by the Muslim culture, and we need those gifted in intercessory prayer.
Even though we are visiting Kosovo in the middle of winter, the average temperatures during this time of the year are in the mid-40s. It could be colder at night.
As always, one day will be reserved for exploring the sites and the cultural heritage of Kosovo, sampling local foods and souvenir shopping. Pristina is rich with architectural monuments, museums and other sites that will help you connect with the country and better understand its people.
A Facebook group reserved for those who are both committed to and also seriously considering being a part of the WMA mission team to Kosovo has been created.
This is the perfect place to stay up to date on information about the mission as well as get acquainted with the WMA staff and other team members prior to the trip. Please feel free to have conversations, post questions and give each other feedback.
We highly recommend you join. To do so just click the button below which takes you to the group page then you will need to click on the “Join Group” button and wait for notification that your request to join has been approved.
Click the link to request to join the Kosovo 2023 Facebook group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/484708329761446
The cost of the Kosovo trip is $1800 (Due by 12/30/22)
Includes: lodging, 3 meals/day, ground transportation, itinerary planning and translator services. This fee does not include airfare. Our office can assist you with booking your flight out of your home airport and connect you with other travelers along the way.
The price for this trip is currently $1800, however due to inflation, may have to be increased. If you’d like to hold a spot on the 2023 Kosovo trip, you can do so with a $200 deposit. As long as your deposit is received prior to any announced price increases, we will honor the $1800 price.
Click the link to make a trip payment https://rfwma.org/make-a-trip-payment/
A deposit of $200 is required to secure your spot on the team. Your deposit is nonrefundable, but will be applied to the total amount due which is $1800, due by 12/30/2022.
The price for this trip is currently $1800, however due to inflation, may have to be increased. If you’d like to hold a spot on the 2023 Kosovo trip, you can do so with a $200 deposit. As long as your deposit is received prior to any announced price increases, we will honor the $1800 price.
EXCEPTION: for first time travelers with WMA who are still in the application process please note, the deposit is refundable if your application cannot be approved.
Please read our full cancellation policy, including information about deposits and refunds
Click the link to make your deposit https://rfwma.org/make-a-trip-payment/
If you need to raise funds for your mission trip to Kosovo, here is how we suggest you get started.
1.Read Our E-book 10 Great Ways to Fundraise for Your Mission Trip. You can download it here
2. Send A Support Letter to everyone you know and ask them to send it to everyone they know. Remember to include a link in your emails and online posts to our “Give” page https://rfwma.org/give/ or to your personal fundraising page if you set one up so it’s very easy for those the Lord prompts to support your mission trip to give. We will send you updates on any donations that come in for your trip. Below is the support letter template we’ve written for the Kosovo 2023 trip. It’s completely editable and you may use it however you’d like to get the word out about the opportunity you have to join this mission and how anyone who wants to can support in prayer and financially.
Dear Friends & Family
I am very excited to share with you that I have been invited to be a part of a mission’s trip to Kosovo, February 13-23, 2023, with World Missions Alliance. Most Christians in Kosovo are ethnic Serbs, and they are the minority in that region. They live in segregated neighborhoods which are open-air prisons from which they cannot get out without risking a skirmish. They are regularly attacked, looted and pushed to leave. They live in great poverty; they are systematically discriminated against.
Serbian Christians are excluded from the health system of Kosovo. They can only go to a Serbian hospital, in the north of the province, or to another, in the south.
Our mission to Kosovo has the goal of strengthening the local evangelical church and equipping them to meet the needs of the Serb Christians but also to share the light of the Gospel with the Albanian Muslims who are the majority in Kosovo.
Medical missions, evangelism, meeting the needs of the poor and equipping local pastors and Christian leaders for more effective ministry will be the main areas of the outreach.
I am writing to ask for your help in 2 areas. First and foremost I ask you to pray for the success of this trip. We’ve already begun planning, getting passports, purchasing airplane tickets, etc. We need God’s guidance in every aspect of this trip. So your prayers are extremely important.
Next, I am asking you to consider helping financially if you feel lead to do so. I truly believe the Lord is directing this mission and your money will be sown into very fertile soil. Upon return, I will be excited to share with you about the Harvest that will be yours as well. I need $1800 for expenses there (hotel, food, transportation, cost of interpreters, etc..) and my flight cost of approximately $900.
Your gift is tax deductible and checks should be made out to World Missions Alliance (or W.M.A.) and designated to my missionary support. You can send the funds to me or directly to World Missions Alliance at: P.O. Box 1067 Branson West, MO 65737. You can also make a donation by credit card on the WMA website: https://rfwma.org/give/. Any amount will be a huge help and will make you a vital part of winning souls for Christ in Kosovo.
Thanks for taking time to read this and thanks in advance for your support. You will be a vital part of everything God will do in Albania. I can’t wait to share with you the incredible account of this mission!
(YOUR NAME HERE)
World Missions Alliance
PO Box 1067,
Branson West, MO 65737
3. Online/Social Media Post Template
If you’re interested in running an online fundraiser for your trip to Kosovo, here is some info that you are welcome to use. You may edit the below paragraph any way you’d like or use it as is.
Friends, I have been invited to join World Missions Alliance on an urgent and timely mission trip to Kosovo February 13-23, 2023. Our mission is to partner with the local church to reach the most vulnerable and underprivileged segments of the population through evangelistic outreach and medical clinic ministry. I will need to raise $(fill in the blank with the amount you still need to raise) to go and want to give you the opportunity to get involved in what God is going to do in Kosovo on this mission. I invite you to touch the heart of God today with your love and generosity. No gift amount is too small. Giving on the WMA website is safe, quick and easy. Just click here https://rfwma.org/give/ and remember to put my name, (Your Name), in the notes section. All donations are tax deductible. You can also support by praying for me, the team, and the mission as well as sharing this opportunity with everyone you know. Thank you in advance for your quick response and generosity. I’m so excited to see what God is going to do!!
4. Personal Fundraising Page on the WMA Website
With an approved application and $200 deposit you will be given a direct link to a personal fundraising page on our website which can be easily shared in your letters, emails and social media posts regarding fundraising for your mission trip. Please contact Denise at 417-231-4131 or email@example.com to request a personal fundraising page.
Get acquainted with the country God’s called you to.
Here are some fun and interesting facts you may not have known about Kosovo:
1. Kosovo is the second-youngest country in the world, declaring its independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, 2008. The only country to declare its independence more recently is South Sudan, formed in 2011 from Sudan.
2. While Serbia and a handful of other countries – including Russia and China – do not recognize Kosovo’s independence, the International Court of Justice ruled that Kosovo is a sovereign nation in 2010.
3. Kosovo, a landlocked country slightly larger than Delaware, is the smallest Balkan nation. About 40 percent of its land is covered by forest, and slightly more than half of its land is agricultural.
4. With a median age of 29.1 years, Kosovo has among the youngest populations in Europe. More than 40 percent of the population is under 25.
5. Kosovo is also the poorest European nation after Moldova, with a per capita gross domestic product of about $10,400 in 2017.
6. The majority of Kosovo’s population of nearly 1.9 million is Muslim, with Albanian and Serbian serving as the country’s official languages. Kosovo means “field of blackbirds” in Serbian.
7. The Ottoman Empire ruled Kosovo from the mid-15th century to the early 20th century, during which Islam grew in prominence and the number of Albanian speakers significantly increased, leading to tensions between the new Muslim ethnic Albanian majority and Eastern Orthodox Serb minority.
8. Tensions boiled over into conflict in the 1990s, when Albanians opposed both Serbs and the government of Yugoslavia – then a recently dissolved federal state – in Kosovo. Hundreds of civilians were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced before NATO intervened to resolve the conflict, though several thousand peacekeepers remain in the country today.
9. A statue of former U.S. President Bill Clinton stands on a street that also bears his name in Pristina, the capital. Clinton helped end the conflict in the late 1990s, and former President George W. Bush, who also has a street named for him in the capital, recognized Kosovo’s independence in 2008.
10. Pristina is also home to a Roman Catholic cathedral named for Mother Teresa, who was Albanian and lived in a small village in Kosovo as a teenager.
Practical travel tips to help make your mission trip smooth and efficient:
1. Is your passport up to date? Do you have a passport? I personally believe that once you have asked Jesus into your heart, you should follow up with water baptism. After you have been baptized, you should be given: a towel to dry off; and a passport application. If you are a US Citizen and don’t have an up to date passport, start by filling out the proper form. Detailed instructions are found at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/how-to-apply.html
- Does the country you wish to visit require an entrance visa? (Remember visa requirements differ based on the passport you are traveling with. If you are living in USA but hold a Bolivian passport you will follow the procedures for a Bolivian citizen).
- Once you have completed the proper application process for your travel documentation you will need to get there.
Air Travel Tips
Most places we travel require air travel. This can be tricky, unless money is no object. We will go over some basic tricks to get a comfortable flight. Know this, the best procedure today may not even work tomorrow. Nothing we say will be in stone. This will just get you started. Creative thinking is the key.
- Start with a flight search engine that searches many airlines. I use Kayak.com and google.com/flights. There are many others. None are always the best. Anyone can find the best route at the lowest price on one itinerary. I have found Kayak and google are consistently good, so I would start there and experiment with others as you go.
- Where do you wish to end up? If you are flying to Paris or Moscow scheduling is pretty straight forward. Start with your local airport and enter the airport you wish to fly to.
- Small airport destinations become a little tricky since major carriers don’t fly there. Trick, find the airport website. Small airports generally list the incoming and departing flight schedules. Work backward. Find out from which airports flights depart to arrive at the airport you wish to go. Then look for flights into that airport. You may have to buy two tickets. A round trip to that intermediary airport. And the second-round trip from the intermediary airport to your destination. There are many variations here. Including open jaw (where there is a gap somewhere in the round-trip itinerary. Example: ORD to AMM outbound and BEY to ORD return. Here you have another flight from AMM to BEY. This can get complicated but can save some money, with a risk. If the flight on your first ticket is delayed or canceled and causes you to misconnect to your flight on your second ticket you are at the mercy of the airline. They can have mercy and book you on the next flight, charge you a change fee and book you on the next flight or force you to buy another ticket. If you chose to use two or more tickets be sure to get insurance. Some credit cards cover you automatically. But verify before you purchase the ticket.
- Search with the three-digit airport code used by IATA (international association of travel agents) you can find the airport code list here http://www.airportcodes.org/
- Be careful of what countries you transfer in. If you change planes in a country that requires a visa and you get stranded, you will not be allowed to leave the airport. For U.S. citizens Russia and India are two that require visas to leave the airport. It is a good idea to check if there is a hotel in the terminal. Find out where the hotel is located and how much the rooms are. Sometimes they are reasonable.
- There is no apparent logic for the airline prices. If you find a good schedule with a fair price book it and don’t check prices again. Airline prices change faster than the stock market. I have had an airline ticket go up $800 during lunch. I have also had a ticket go down by almost that much after I purchased the ticket. Don’t let this fluctuation stress you out. It is a fact of life. Your goal is to get to your destination safely.
- Check all airports you are willing to drive to. Sometimes very surprising fares or better schedules come from the unexpected areas
- Schedule. This is a person preference. I prefer a two to four-hour layover in an overseas connecting flights. You will go through security which takes time and planes are often late. When returning you must clear passport and customs. Allow a minimum of 90 minutes for a connecting flight.
Packing tips (remember less it better).
- Try to get everything in a carry-on. For a 10-day trip it can be done but takes some planning. I have some recommendations for you.
- Clothes hamper for dirty clothes. I have one I bought at dollar tree. It is like this one from amazon. I really like it. https://www.amazon.com/Mesh-Pop-Up-Laundry-Hamper-Eliminate/dp/B00HZ0IOJ2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1519268074&sr=8-3&keywords=collapsible+laundry+hamper
- Clear zipper bag for electronics. I use the following: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Modella-Transparent-Black-Make-Up-Bag/10315324
- Travel adapter. I designed and made a travel adapter I thought met all my needs. Left out in a German airport then discovered this adapter which is better than my design. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Travel-Smart-TS238AP-All-In-One-Adapter-with-USB/23499900
The travel adapter above is great for a reason that is not readily apparent until you stay in some foreign hotels. I have stayed in many hotels that have no free electric outlets. So, if you want to charge your phone you must unplug the lamp. Remember their plugs are different so you can’t plug in the lamp in the USA extension cord. The plug above is universal. Unplug the lamp, plug in the adapter, plug the lamp into the adapter and you still have two more plugs to use for your extension cord or computer.
Transformer changes voltage. Example a stepdown transformer will drop 220-240 volts to our 110-130 volts.
Adapter only allows you to put your plug into a socket not designed for your plug. Example an American plug (using two flat blades) into a German socket (one using two round holes).
An ADAPTER WILL NOT CHANGE VOLTAGE!!!!
- Extension cord. Minimum 6 foot. Generally, there are no outlets near your bed. If you enjoy having your phone charge while on the night stand near the bed, then the extension cord will allow that.
- Travel iron. I really like this iron. Steam Bug Travel Steam Iron https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001EXJ20G/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apa_wqoJAbP4CABP8. There are other brand names that look the same (and may be the same). It’s size and function make it perfect for travel. Many hotels overseas do not have an iron in the room.
- Hair dryer. (and curling irons). Buy a hair dryer that is 220v if you travel overseas. (Save Japan). DO NOT WASTE TIME AND MONEY BUYING ELECTRIC CONVERTERS. they generally don’t work. The ones that do work are unlikely to last the entire trip. If you have one that works well, you might consider buying a Powerball ticket also. (ha, ha!) You are that lucky (blessed and highly favored) person, (and probably have a pet unicorn!)
- Curling iron. See hair dryer above.
- Chargers. Most phone, camera, computer chargers are world voltage. Verify to be sure. It will say on item or on the plug or the transformer something like; input 100~250v 50~60 hz. These you can plug directly into the wall without an electric converter (step down transformer). You may still need an adapter to get it to fit into the electrical outlet.
- Bring a backup phone charger. (Yours could quit or, more likely, get lost).
- Mix and match clothes. Appropriate for the people you are ministering to. A little research is helpful. You will generally be surprised by the real situation. You need not dress like a local but dress appropriate (non-offensive) for the locals.
- Medicine. All personal medications need to be packed in your carry-on not your checked bag. Many are of faith and rightfully believe that God is a better healer than medicine. You are 100% correct. My experience is, you will find many areas to test your faith while on the mission field. If an aspirin will get you back to the mission quickly than take it. Maybe you need to help another who has a headache. If you pack a painkiller you can bond over providing a help in time of need. Items I think are of vital importance.
- Pain killer, (Excedrin, Tylenol, ibuprofen etc. What works for you.)
- Imodium. (Bathrooms are not that nice to spend your whole trip there.)
- Any prescription medicine you take.
- Allergy medicine.
There may be other things you may want to bring but these are important. Generally, you won’t need anything, but it is nice to have it just in case.
The big challenge of short term missions is reflected in the term itself. It is short. What can and should be done in a short period of time in a nation to make a lasting impact?
Another question that is frequently asked – am I qualified to make a difference?
Being called by God for a specific assignment is very humbling. We don’t want to mess up His plan. We don’t want to embarrass ourselves trying to achieve something we don’t have the ability or expertise to do.
Setting a realistic objective helps to eliminate the initial concerns. God chose you because He has determined that your life experience, your gifts, your story are going to be useful for this place and time. Do you lead a Bible study in your church? Do you enjoy playing with children? Do you have a beautiful voice, play instruments, love to worship? These natural gifts and affinities will be used during your time in the country. From the moment you have felt the call start asking God what is the subject that He wants you to prepare to teach on, what songs you should rehearse, etc. Always be prepared to share a personal testimony. We all have many experiences in our lives of God’s favor, provision, deliverance, rescue – these are your best tools to introduce someone to Jesus. Pray and seek which story you should share during the trip. You may not know all the people you will encounter on your journey but God does. He prepares divine appointments for us – if you consult Him in advance, He will help you be prepared.
In Luke 10:1 Jesus had several practical reasons for sending His disciples in teams.
1. The power of the message you proclaim on the mission field is solidified by having at least one more person who is an agreement. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 2 Cor 13:1
2. Being able to agree in prayer with at least one other person creates God’s presence and activates His answer. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
The power of being a team is something that we have witnessed through the decades of doing missions work. It creates a pool of multiple talents, personalities, ages groups and makes us relevant an appealing to a larger segment of the local population. It keeps each person challenged to maintain the focus of big vision and willingness to sacrifice personal needs for the sake of the success of the entire team. In short, it creates a favorable environment for God to move and perfects the vessels that he has chosen to use. The people who have traveled with WMA missions teams make life long friendships during the trip because the desire to spread the Gospel is an excellent common ground for a lasting quality relationship.
An important aspect in setting your objectives is recognizing that in missions work there will be a time to sow and a time to reap. The first should always the objective of a successful missions trip. The second is more of a reward that God grants us to encourage us to continue.
“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:35-38
Reaping is rewarding, sowing is done by faith. The fruit of your sowing may become someone else’s reward, but the Lord of the Harvest rejoices over both – the sower and the reaper.
Three key elements to prepare for your mission trip are:
3. Enlisting partners to cover you and your mission in prayer
FEB 13- Traveling day
FEB 14- Arrive in Pristina, our partners will be at the airport to pick you up to take you to the hotel
– Orientation for the team
– Discuss mission opportunities available
– Travel home day
Our staff is happy to assist you in finding a flight and coordinating your flight itinerary with other team members when possible. However, generally, the team members are responsible for booking their own international flights. Download our free FLIGHT BOOKING GUIDE for a step by step guide to booking an international flight. Included are important and helpful instructions, reminders,tips, suggestions and more.
FLIGHT BOOKING ASSISTANCE REQUEST
WMA and the staff at WMA are not licensed travel agents and only offer flight booking assistance to help those who are not seasoned travelers and need assistance with navigating the flight booking process. Click the link to request assistance with booking your flight https://rfwma.org/flight-booking-assistance-request/
SEND US YOUR FULL FLIGHT ITINERARY
You can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or email your booking or confirmation code (6 letters or letter/number combo) and the airline you are flying with and we can look it up online.
MANDITORY AIRLINE REQUIREMENTS CHECK
You are required to call the airlines you will be traveling with to verify if there are any special requirements such as a QR code on your physical PCR test results or a stamp on your vaccine card. These may be different requirements from the country’s you’re traveling to.
MANDITORY FLIGHT CHANGE CHECK
You are required to go onto the actual airline website a day or two before you are flying out and check to make sure there are no flight changes before you actually leave for your trip. If you do have a flight change or will be arriving at a different time than originally stated in your flight itinerary we received, make sure you text Helen or Chuck so we have someone to pick you up at the airport. Their numbers are on the trip packing sheet.
ARRIVAL FLIGHT VERIFICATION
In the image below you will see the last leg of your arrival flight. (image coming soon)
1. You are required to verify that your arrival flight and time are correct. This will help our staff in Kosovo pick you up at the right time.
2. You can also see who else will be on the same flight with you arriving into Pristina.
Arrival and airport pick up intructions coming soon
Hotel information coming soon
Kosovo does not require an entry visa
- Vaccines and covid tests are NOT required to travel to Kosovo or back to the U.S. at this time
KOSOVAN EMBASSY – https://xk.usembassy.gov/coronavirus/
Please bring with you at least 2 masks as back ups for any places that may ask or require you to wear a mask.
Packets will be mailed out to you containing your badges to be worn at time of pick up and during the trip as well as a packing list and printed responsibility form for you to keep for your records.
Team meeting link coming soon
Click the link to fill out the responsibility and emergency contact form. We must receive your completed form prior to the trip for you to be eligible to attend.
MEDICATIONS FOR CLINIC
The medication for the clinic has to be purchased in Kosovo, we are not able to being the medicine in with us this trip.
We are looking for donations to help us be able to purchase these medicines. If your family, friends, church, etc are looking for the ways they can help, this would be a great need that can be fulfilled.
MEDICAL ITEM LIST
(Many items can be brought by non medical team members if you want to help with supplies for the clinic)
• otoscope (and covers)
SUPPLIES TO BRING
• hand-sanitizer (lg pump-style bottle)
• index cards
• plastic containers (to hold liquid meds, topical creams)
• scotch tape
• sharpies (thin and thick point)
• wall organizer (clear plastic ‘over-the-door’ shoe organizer…great for meds, etc)
• writing pens
• zip locks: small, snack, sandwich (to hold all meds given to pt), gallon (to organize pharmacy), extra large zips ($Tree…3/$10)
***Several printed copies of the WMA drug formulary***
MEDS TO BRING
• Folic Acid
• Iron supplements
• Kaopectate / Pepto-Bismol
These medications are sometimes not as easily found or are more expensive in foreign countries.
SUGGETIONS FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL:
• Monitoring # of patients that are checked in according to number of providers available to ensure that all patients can be seen and given quality care from the beginning to the end of clinic
• Having a short medical team meeting before starting clinic to get to know each others clinical strengths, determine assignments: intake, triage/people mover, pharmacy, provider assistant, to discuss flow, etc
• Asking translators (at the beginning of the 1st clinic) to please not use their cell phones while translating (unless it is an emergency or for translation purposes)
Team meeting recording link coming soon
UPLOAD & SHARE YOUR PHOTOS FROM KOSOVO WITH THIS SUPER EASY APP!
Available for both IPhones and Androids. It is free, easy to download using the link below and then you can quickly and easily upload your photos for all the team to enjoy.
The app is called Celebrate and has an icon that looks like this:
Click on the link below and it will take you to where you can download this app if you don’t have it already.
I use the album “2023 Kosovo” in the Celebrate app to share photos and videos.
To join my album, please click on the following link: https://join.celebrate.app/kg9M/70860c41?af_force_deeplink=true&code=XBIZLC
If you don’t have the Celebrate app yet, the link will take you to the App/Play Store. Once you have downloaded the app, you will automatically be taken to my album via the code “XBIZLC”.
Once you are in the album you will see a button towards the bottom of the screen that says upload. Click on that and it will take you to your camera’s photos where you can upload your Kosovo photos.
If you want to make it even easier, before using the app to upload the photos, put all your Kosovo photos into an album in your phone so you only need to upload the album and not individual photos.
Feel free to call or email Jamie at the office if you have any questions. 417-231-4131 or email@example.com