In 2016, we were part of a team that was sent to inquire of the Lord
concerning His plan to use The Orchard in the Balkan region in the years ahead. We had no idea what the Lord might do and even felt some guilt that the church was sending us on a “vacation.” Since then, each of the people who went on that trip have been involved in another missions trip. Mike and Trina Young have led three teams to run a children’s Bible week and university student outreach in Durrës, Albania, and are committed to continue to lead teams there. Dan Benson serves remotely and twice a year on-site with a team in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Albania. His wife, Karen, was part of a team that spoke at a women’s conference in India in 2018.
Since that first trip, we have served on several teams in the Balkan region and have twice led a Bible distribution team in Greece. We have witnessed God’s glory! The blessings have been many: fellowship with Christians from around the world, sermons about saving grace in Jesus, worship with talented musicians, safety while traveling to distant villages, joy-filled work with Christian brothers and sisters, and conversations about Jesus with villagers. It is clear to us that our praying with that team in 2016 is what knit our hearts to others and has prepared us to embrace the Lord’s plan to serve every summer in the Balkan region along the Via Egnatia (an ancient road nearly 700 miles long stretching from Durrës, Albania, to Istanbul, Turkey). We never thought missions was for us, but the Lord has changed our hearts, and it started with that first trip to the Balkans.