It is exciting to see the hand of God at work through faithful servants. We would call him an itinerant evangelist, serving in a country that had denied God for over half a century. Yet he knew his calling.
Like the call the Apostle Paul received to come to Macedonia, Xhimi (Jimmy) Baraku knew what he was to do. The Lord wanted him to travel to the many small villages of central Albania and share the Good News of Jesus with the mostly Muslim population. And Pastor Baraku did just that.
It could not have been easy in the early 1990s, sharing Christ in a country that had just emerged from Communist rule. A country that had been the most closed country to the outside world, much like North Korea is today. A country that had been officially atheistic, with that tenent written into their Communist constitution. Yet, with all that against him, Xhimi Baraku remained faithful to the call of God’s Holy Spirit. Tell the lost about Jesus.
But there was a growing challenge. Xhimi Baraku’s health was not good. And soon it became so bad that he could not travel from town to town, village to village. Pastor Xhimi was led to another plan. Take the Gospel to the people by way of radio. And, after several years of prayer, planning, and dealing with the government…patient endurance. Radio Emanuel was born in Korce, Albania.
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT)
His tasks apparently finished, God called Pastor Baraku home at an early age. But the Lord is never without a plan. At the age of 19, Xhimi’s son, Meritan was called to lead this fledging broadcast ministry. Before long, a young lady joined the Radio Emanuel staff, and soon Meritan (Tani) and Eftali (Efti) fell in love, and began a journey of growing and serving in what had to be a challenging ministry…Radio Emanuel.
My first visit to Korce and the radio ministry was over six years ago. I found a dedicated staff, several faithful volunteers, and a broadcast facility that was painfully small for what they were doing. I encouraged Tani to begin to think about having a new facility someday… one that would allow them to produce today’s programs, and adequately serve them in the future as well. I’m sure Tani and Efti had thought of this before. Of course, the big questions was, “Where will we find the money?”
By God’s grace, faithful support was cultivated over the ensuing years. First, a building was found. Old, but in a good location. The one selected had 34 owners, and each one had to agree to the purchase. Quite a task. The original plan was to remodel the old building, which is very near the vibrant city center. It soon became obvious that the building needed to be torn down to its foundation and all new construction begin.
Several key donors took part in the dedication time. Judy and I were honored to be there, and I was privileged to speak briefly at the dedication program. Now, a faithful ministry has a beautiful new home, fitting for the critical work begun so many years earlier…to take the message of hope found only in Jesus Christ to the lost of central Albania and beyond.
Our friends at Galcom International, with great encouragement from its director emeritus Alan McGuirl, have been instrumental in getting the facilities up and running. They are due a big thanks.
Congratulations to Meritan and Eftali Baraku for your faithful service. God has rewarded your patient endurance and your dedicated service in a great way.
I’ll soon be visiting a ministry in a Middle Eastern country, assessing how we might help them be more effective in sharing the love and hope found in Jesus. This ministry has faced some hardships and persecution, but has been faithful to God’s call as they impact lives throughout this region.
Please pray for the ministry and those who serve there faithfully. Christians in this country have endured persecution through the years, but God has also brought about great victory. Pray for the Lord’s wisdom as we spend time with these faithful servants. More on this later.
For the seventh year, we will be helping our Christian media friends in India with their amazing media conference. This year we will be in New Delhi September 27-29, assisting 400-500 attendees in expanding their understanding of media, and how to effectively use it for the Gospel.
It seems like every month we hear of new challenges in India for those who are following Christ as their Lord. This land is largely Hindu. Media is a powerful tool to reach beyond any cultural barrier to present Christ to India.
MEDIAlliance has a team of instructors who teach television, social media/internet, church media, and media management. Pray for these gifted Christian media professionals as they travel and prepare for the 8th Kingdom Media Conference. Pray for the Indian Christian Media Association as they prepare this significant event.
In October, MEDIAlliance will again host approximately 45 key Christian media leaders in Dallas for our second International Media Leadership Summit (IMLS). The inaugural event last year was a wonderful success, due to the prayers and support of many of our MEDIAlliance friends. This invitation-only event is for ministry leaders from their own countries. The IMLS is designed to provide insight in leadership, media, and spiritual growth. And it is for the personal refreshment of these great servants who are impacting their culture with God’s Word through Christian media.
Pray for the funding needs. Our budget for the Summit is $100,000. At this point, about $60,000 has been committed. Anyone wishing to donate to the IMLS can do so by clicking here to give online. Or a check can be mailed to our ministry office:
3309 Shellbrook Court
Arlington, TX 76016
Pray for the speakers as they prepare to share insight and wisdom with our Summit attendees.
Radio Shema is growing, and has changed their ministry name to reflect that. With three stations and other media initiatives, the new name is Shema Media Group. In addition, they are reorganizing their staff to oversee the various media ministry facets. We are praying on how we can best serve them as they grow the impact of the Gospel of Christ in this country.
Turkey is often listed among the largest of the unreached people groups. There are only a few thousand evangelical Christians among the 80 million Turks, who are largely Muslim.
Pray for Shema Media Group as they deal with the new structure, and for the finances needed to keep the ministry strong.
Some of my early involvement in international media work was in Indonesia about 16 years ago. Now, our friend Paulus has asked MEDIAlliance to consider providing some training for the various media ministries operating Christian radio in Indonesia. We are looking at the summer of 2018 to begin this connection.
Pray for the wisdom we need as we evaluate how we can help these Christian broadcasters in this part of the world. As always, there are financial needs for such conferences. Pray that God will supply what we need when we need it. He is always faithful.
MEDIAlliance will also return to Haiti in 2018 to hold another media training conference. Our ministry partners at Radio 4VEH anticipate having a much bigger group than the 75 we had two years ago. We enjoy the opportunity to help strengthen the work of Christian radio and television throughout Haiti.
This poor country needs the light of the hope that Christ brings to all who put their trust in Him. Christian radio reaches into jungle villages, into the midst of a voodoo culture, and, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, transforms lives for all eternity.
Novomedia will hold their annual Forum for journalists in Ukraine in November. We have had the privilege of speaking to this group, which is a mix of top secular and Christian journalist in radio, television, and print.
Next spring, MEDIAlliance will be back in Ukraine to hold another media training conference. This has grown over the past three years, and we anticipate the largest group attending in this next conference.
We rarely use these newsletters to ask for funds for our ministry work. God has been so good to us through faithful supporters. However, as these new opportunities continue to come, we need to expand our budget to be able to do what the Lord is placing before us.
We have set a goal of $200,000 by the end of 2017. Due to some wonderful financial gifts, our need is now down to $140,000 to be raised by year end. This amount will allow us to accomplish what God has for us in the last half of this year, and to begin 2018 in a strong way.
If you would give, you can do so online with a credit card by clicking on the button below. You can make a one-time gift to the ministry through our secure website.DONATE
I would also ask you to consider giving monthly to MEDIAlliance. As our ministry grows, our monthly needs grow. We have a very small budget for a ministry with such global impact. We have chosen to work from our home, with our assistants working from their homes as well. Our virtual offices allow us to be good stewards of the funds given.
Monthly gifts usually allow people to give more than they might be able to with a one-time gift. I hope you will prayerfully consider that. The donation page on our website will allow you to designate a monthly gift. Click HERE to find out more.
Almost 30 years ago, a handful of us who were serving as media ministers in large Baptist churches formed the Metro Media Ministers Association (MMMA). I am delighted to say that the group is still going, and is stronger than ever. This gracious group of men and women recently awarded me a life membership to the MMMA.
At their recent gathering in Naples, Florida, they asked me to speak to the group. We shared with these media ministers about our calling to the international work of MEDIAlliance, and about the joy and the value of mentoring others. This plaque from the group will hold a special place of honor for me. Thanks to the current MMMA president, Bryan Bailey, for giving me the opportunity to be with this great group.
Again, thank you for your prayers and your support. May God continue to bless you…and may He continue to guide MEDIAlliance International as we help others share the promise of hope found only in Christ Jesus.