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Joan and Kenny McKee flew to Tbilisi, Georgia, to record in several languages including Georgian and Mingrelian. After planning the recordings for over a year it turned out to be an amazing and blessed time.
The country is beautiful with amazing mountains, lakes and wonderful scenery. Georgia is a small eastern European country of five million people. It was part of the USSR from 1921 until gaining independence again in 1991.
Pastor Charles and his wife Nina welcomed them at their church. The couple oversee and reach out to a local congregation within which are many who have escaped their own countries because of persecution. Many don't have jobs and find it difficult to survive, but this church brings them under their care. Many who attend have become Christians since joining and have been encouraged in their new faith.
The majority of churches are Georgian Orthodox and around 80% of the population would say they were Orthodox. Most don't attend services except for special occasions. Tensions at times can run high against the evangelical churches which many call cults. Opportunities to build or expand evangelical churches is difficult because of this. The church Kenny and Joan met is very proactive in lots of different ministries and this was wonderful to see.
The church allowed Kenny and Joan to use their basement Sunday School room as their recording studio. This worked out really well. They were able to make seven new recordings in five different languages. They said it was a great thrill to record with these lovely people in their own languages. It was also great to hear of God's faithfulness to them.
Another highlight during their time in Georgia was visiting a local village where the Church runs a kid's club two days a week. The poverty is evident, but the people are so welcoming and generous with their hospitality. Kenny and Joan loved meeting them all and were sad to say goodbye to the many friends they made. They hope to visit again in the future to do more recordings. Praise the Lord for taking Kenny and Joan there and home again safely and for all the lovely people they got to meet. Pray too that the recordings will prove useful in outreach and building up the church.
(Kenny McKee is the GRN UK Director)