Paul & Sue Johnson


Grateful! That’s what we are when we reflect on how Christ Presbyterian Church has so faithfully and generously partnered with us in ministry for over 2 decades. First, it was with Cru’s Executive Ministries in Greenville SC, and then in 2006, we split our time between there and Poland. In 2017, we moved full-time to Albania and thankfully you moved with us. Thank you, CPC!  Another reason we are grateful is that God has been so very gracious this year! I will share just one testimony out of several stories of His amazing work among leaders in Albanian to illustrate this. 

But first, let’s briefly return to December 2019. As we anticipated 2020, which would have been our third full year of ministry, we were praying for breakthrough. “God, we haven’t had any converts yet. Please let this be the year that one or more lost leaders get found!”

Well, instead of breakthrough, the pandemic nearly broke all our plans for 2020. But He was faithful, and allowed us to pray, trust Him, and keep in touch with our contacts the best way we know how, and in some ways that we had to learn. First, it was phone calls while we were in lockdown. Then we started learning how to Zoom which eventually allowed me to restart my business owners and executive’s small group. Both LeaderImpact Global, and Eastern Europe, helped organize and train us how to do webinars, which even generated a handful of new contacts. 

Were there any conversions? No. But that was simply because God’s timing for that development was to be 2021!

Here is the story: last October we had 2 US business leaders with us for meetings with small groups and appointments with individuals. One of these businessmen, Matthew, had visited Albania several times over the past 11 years. He became friends with the owner of a factory, Keno, in 2010. This 1100 employee firm produces shoes for brands in Italy and other European countries. Matthew shared the gospel with him then, and again in 2012 but both times Keno wasn’t ready.

Over the years, our Albanian Cru colleague with Momentum Europe, Avni, has brought other American business leaders to meet Keno. Last May, two more were visiting and had lunch with him. This time Avni included me and I had the opportunity to share my testimony and the gospel. While Keno found my story intriguing, he still wasn't ready.

On October 28 it was such fun to watch Matthew and Keno’s reunion. Keno smiled when he asked Matthew “Where have you been for the last 9 years?” They had a lively conversation that jumped back and forth from business to family to Jesus Christ. After a tour of the factory, he let each of us pick out a pair of the shoes of our choice as his gift “souvenir” from Albania! 

Over lunch, which Keno generously insisted in paying for, the conversation went spiritual yet again. Matthew shared “Pascal’s wager” with him which stimulated an interesting discussion and then asked, “Who is Jesus Christ to you?” Keno replied, “The Son of God.” The follow-up question was “Are you ready to receive him as your Savior and Lord?” “Yes” was his affirming response! So right there with 5 other people at the table, Matthew led the prayer, one phrase at a time, which Avni translated into Albanian, with Keno praying along “in his heart.”

Two days later, we visited Keno at the 8-story hotel he had recently opened on the coast. I gave him a Bible and the book More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell. We enjoyed the pleasant weather, delicious gourmet food (again, his treat), and sweet fellowship with our new brother-in-Christ. 

Some people come to faith in Jesus quickly, but for others it can be a long process. Prayer, patience and persistence were part of what God used to draw this influential factory owner to Himself.

That makes 5 new believers so far this year which absolutely humbles us and prompts us to praise the Lord! 

Christ Presbyterian Church, thank you again for the key part you have played in bringing these 5 business leaders to faith in Jesus Christ. Sue and I deeply appreciate your consistent prayer cover for us and faithful financial support. God is blessing your partnership together with us to produce fruit in the lives of Albanian leaders