Will’s and Doreta Niven’s Newsletter

 

Niven’s News
(October 2017)

Dear friends,

We are so thankful to God for His sustaining grace throughout this time. August saw us returning to the UK. Two weeks on the Isle of Arran in Scotland were wonderful for us as a family to relax and have time together in spectacular scenery. We enjoyed renewing fellowship with churches in Hertfordshire and Stirling and of course being with Will’s Mum and the rest of the family.

We returned to Albania to situations which provoked mixed emotions. On the one hand we were overjoyed to welcome back Taulant and Monda after three months of training with the Child Evangelism Fellowship in Sibiu. They have both benefitted greatly from this time. Please pray that God would help them to put into practice things that they have learned there and also give them guidance as to their future. Pray especially for their discussion with the CEF Albania board on the 16th of this month. On the other hand we bade farewell, for now, to Geoff and Shirley Townsend. No words can describe how grieved we were to see them leave. However it was touching to see the high regard that they are held in the Fier and Patos churches as we sent them on their way. Please pray that they might know God’s guidance and blessing in Canada.

The last week of September saw a gathering of over 100 Christian workers in the town of Durrës for a conference celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This conference was the result of cooperation between the Fjala and Shepherd’s conferences here. Phil Heaps covered the 5 Sola’s of the Reformation and their application to us today and we also had 6 talks on the history of the Reformation. Will was part of the organizing committee and handled the program as well as giving the closing sermon from Revelation 2 illustrating the Reformation principle, “The church reformed, always reforming.” Praise God for all that was taught at the conference and pray that church leaders in Albania will be faithful to the Biblical truths that were recovered during the Reformation.

We also had the latest module in our Biblical counseling training that week. This module focused on counseling married couples. The teaching was practical and helpful but it raised many pastoral issues. Pray for married couples in our churches that they might break free from the mould of their culture and live as God intends. Pray that we might be able to follow up this teaching with couples and encourage them to apply what we have learned.

Will was asked to preach at the 25th anniversary service of the Way of Peace church in Tirana. It was so moving to look back and see how God has opened a door for the gospel in Albania and guided this church during the years. We met many old friends and were able to spend time with people from Fier and Patos after the service. The next week Will was preaching at the Baptist church of Vlora where Ylli Beqiraj is pastor. It was a privilege to renew fellowship with the believers there and to spend time with the Beqiraj family. Please pray for these churches that God would build them.

We have been able to begin work in the Fier prison once again. Another Christianity Explored course has been launched, led by Ylli Beqiraj, and Will is once again leading the follow up group with help from Bledi. We are looking to go through the gospel of Mark in more detail together in this study. However there are very real problems with the administration of the prison who do not notify the guards as to who would like to come both to these meetings. Pray that this problem might be resolved and that God would work mightily in the hearts and lives of those who come to our meetings.

Pray for Bledi and Bela’s families who have a number of health issues that are bearing down on them. Pray that God would sustain His servants in a hard time. Pray for the new meeting that we are establishing in Patos for those who come home late from work. Praise God that two couples are seeking to come to midweek meetings but pray that God would work to revive the church.

Please pray for God’s guidance for Doreta as to what to study with the ladies in our neighbourhood who meet weekly at our home and also with the ladies in the Fier and Patos churches. She and Diana are also looking to the Lord as to how to organize a regular meeting for ladies in the neighbourhood of the Patos church who have been reached by Shirley and Diana. Pray also for Doreta and Donika as they go to Suk and resume Bible studies with ladies there. Pray that God would guide their choice of material and also that He would guide us as to children’s work there. A few people have expressed interest in helping with the children but we need wisdom as to know how to organize this. Pray also for the resuming of work in the village of Ferras. We want to visit families that we have contact with and to build up Beni and Flutra in their understanding with a view to having an outreach at the end of December. Pray that God would open the hearts of people in Suk and Ferras to receive His gospel.

Please pray for the children as they face pressures at school. Ester has now started high school but faces a hard situation. She was initially excluded by her closest friends and began making friends with others but now her old friends are trying to include her back. However they do not want to know Ester’s new friends. This places her in a real dilemma. Samuel has been struggling with peer pressure in his class. Lidia misses her big sister being there at break time. Pray for God to give all three wisdom and strength to stand for Christ at school.

Please pray also for Doreta’s family. There are a number passing through deep troubles. Pray particularly for her youngest brother who is passing through a time of deep trouble. Pray that God would save souls and would intervene powerfully in these situations. Pray for wisdom for us as we seek to counsel and help the family. Pray for Harley, Will’s cousin’s daughter, who has been critically ill in hospital with a burst stomach abscess. Although she is now at home physical problems persist. Pray also for physical strength for Will. A new oil refinery has been opened in Fier and its pollution has added to the already polluted atmosphere here! This is a great challenge to Will’s asthma.

Wishing you God’s richest blessing.
Will and Doreta

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Responses

  1. You know how I think of you all and I will pray and try to remember your needs.
    Very exciting about the church basement and they have sorted the river at last!
    I have fond memmories of my visit to Fier and so want to come back at some point perhaps next year? Let me know how and best way to help.
    This year I’m revisiting SA for a different charity. It’s 13 years ago and what I’m doing is far more near the mark. Orphans and care workers.Going into homes as we did with you and listening. So excited but arms are not, as renewed vacations yesterday in both arms. Then there’s malaria treatment.
    The Gospel is growing and your ministry seems blessed. PTL for that. Lesley Geaney.


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