Do you have experience in project promotion, proposal writing or financial development? Are you interested in contributing to a communications platform, which will facilitate transformation of lives in one of the poorest and most densely populated municipalities in Europe? Are you a writer or photographer with a heart to come alongside the poor and represent strategies or stories of hope to the wider world?
North Macedonia is situated in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. It is a country roughly divided between an Orthodox majority of ethnic Slavic speaking Macedonians and a large Muslim background minority of Albanians (also Turks, Bosnians and Roma.). In one way, North Macedonia is a socially warm, colourful and exotic environment with sun-baked mountains, rivers and gorges. It is a crossroad between East and West, where Belgrade and Beirut seem to meet in one city. At the same time, the country is marked by its history, and a legacy of ethnic tension and parallel existence of two communities. Perhaps even more felt today is the common experience of all people in the country: economic depression, wide-spread unemployment and stagnation – particularly following the impact of Covid 19.
Spiritually, all ethnicities are largely lost in religious traditions. Ethnic identity is felt to determine one´s religious affiliation. Amongst the Albanians, there is not one established church in the entire country. Islam functions as a cultural preservative against assimilation with the Macedonians, whose cross and icons are more symbols of ethnic exclusion than inclusion for Albanians. Miroslav Volf´s comments on the missional task in the former Yugoslavia are relevant here: “We do not start at zero…”
Nonetheless, a series of disasters have created an open door among this unreached community of 700,000 Albanians. The European Refugee Crisis, floods, earthquakes and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic, have created a unique corridor of opportunity of access deep into the heart of this closed community – many of whom feel they have been forgotten. This is especially so with vulnerable women who suffer gender inequality in terms of human value. Holistic mission, starting with joining that community, being a healing presence and working from the outside in towards worldview in a context of trust is the trail we are blazing – touching lives now and making a road the Gospel for eternity.
We are looking for communications personnel with a heart to interface between the urban poor of a closed, unreached community and the wider world of sponsors, prayer supporters and recruiters. Story-tellers, web-designers or project proposal writers are all relevant skills for this role. A capacity to present to a group or individual donors is an asset. Someone who can grasp a big picture of human/logistical resources and needs. Preferably, a candidate should have some kind of specialization or masters degree, which can facilitate their visa platform in-country. Living in-country, the capacity to culturally adapt and learn a new language would also be necessary.
Personal and Spiritual:
This is where we are now. Do you feel like North Macedonia is calling you? If you want to explore this possibility and talk some more, please contact us.