An update on the ministry of Jason and Kristine Stryd 
View this email in your browser

I don’t like weakness.  I dislike the feeling that what I am, or have, or do is not enough.  I fight against not just accepting, but actually embracing, that I or what I do is lacking.  

Our culture is certainly no different.  We are always striving to be in control, capable and equipped, sufficient and strong.  And even when we are not, we pretend we are, unwilling to admit or fearful of acknowledging it to others.


But I continue to run head on into two realities.  I am weak.  God chooses and uses weakness.  


During COVID some of our collective experience and my personal experience of weakness has been even more profound than usual.  Our technological, super powered society has been brought to its knees by a tiny, invisible virus.  We are unable to control our destinies, let alone such things like our summer plans, school openings, schedules and work. 


In other personal ways I, like many others, am experiencing weakness in ministry.   

The normal ways of gathering are out the window and we are left searching for alternative ones.  And those alternative ones certainly feel like weak and feeble substitutions.  Zoom meetings are awkward and just not the same.  Worship socially distanced, with mask and various restrictions lack’s the same power we remember.  

I am experiencing the weakness of losing my main ways of engaging Albanians like in a coffee shop, teaching English or visiting a home.  There are substitutions and new options, but they feel weak especially in a relational culture that thrives in face to face, warm hugs, and strong hand shakes.  

I continue to encounter the weakness of language.  Though my Albanian proficiency is good, it often feels cumbersome and less than ideal especially on a phone call or in a virtual gathering.  I just can’t communicate and convey what I could if it was in English.  

Yes, there have been open doors to share through weekly videos I do on facebook, online bible studies and various mercy ministry opportunities.  But I also encounter the reality of our complete weakness of impacting people with spiritual change.  I can’t create hunger for God’s word, I can’t convict of sin, I can’t convince of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

And personally these months of pandemic parenting have stretched us and humbled us, continuously demonstrating the things we can’t control and can’t make happen.  

Yes, I am weak, profoundly weak. 


But isn’t that just where I and you are supposed to be? Feeling the on-our-knees, despairing of our ability and strength and skills type of weak.  Because in weakness God shows up.  
Doesn’t God make crystal clear in his Scriptures that he chooses weakness to demonstrate his power.  The words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:6–10 are familiar, but their real application and meaning cuts against so much in me and our culture:

"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."


The story of Gideon in Judges 7 also makes this clear in narrative form.  God makes sure that Isreal is weak so they don’t boast in themselves but in him.  Yes, God chooses weakness.  He chooses weak methods, weak men and women, weak programs and weak people very intentionally.  Last year while reflecting on these things I wrote this quote that is stapled to my office board: “ God has chosen me in my weakness and chooses to use me in weak ways precisely so that I experience his power and presence and so he gets the glory” 


So I am trying to continue to learn to live and minister in weakness.  Embracing it and leaning into it to see and savor God’s power. 


I think this reality relates to where we as Christians find ourselves in our culture.  Let’s face it, Christianity in its evangelical form is growing weaker and weaker.  Though some may argue we win a political fight here and there, the decline of Christianity in our culture is obvious especially in a big city like Boston and among millennial and younger generations. I believe that for too many this is creating panic and fear.  Because we as the church are used to political power and influence along with favor and respect from our culture, we seem to be flailing, trying to grasp and hold onto that cultural position no matter what.  And when we are fearful about our loss of power and desperate to keep control we are more easily angered and anxious, conflict prone and ethically compromised.  But entering a historical season of weakness should not be met with fear and panic, but by embracing God’s work in us and through us precisely in that weakness.  


Historically the church has never been its best when it is powerful.  When it has power politically and culturally we are ripe for pride, hypocrisy, compromise and blindness.  But when the Church has been weak in persecution, oppression, or simply in a minority position, it has been at its best.  On behalf of it, God has moved and shaken.  This is true in history and in the experience of many Christians around the world today.  That power of God may not be evidenced immediately in obvious ways, but slowly in lives changed and mustard seed type beginnings.


Weak. Believe it or not. It’s a good place to be.  


Would you pray with me that I would embrace my weakness and that precisely in it God would do a work in me and among the Albanian community?   



Fall Ministry


Though some of the normal avenues for ministry aren’t feasible during the pandemic, we are finding other ways to engage Albanians.  

-This month the 4 Albanian families who are part of our leadership team started a discipleship program with me, taking some more intentional steps in growth and mission together. 

- I am in the midst of advertising for a virtual parent support group for Albanians - an opportunity to serve families who are walking through difficult situations with their children not just from the pandemic but from issues like ADHD and ADD.  

- In September we started a monthly Bible study and a monthly fellowship time over zoom for the various Albanian families and individuals who have been part of our gatherings over the last couple of years.  We had a lively discussion about hope last week during our fellowship time.  
- I have recently connected with two additional churches in areas of Boston that have significant communities of Albanians and they are interested in learning and serving.

- Interconnected with all of these things are the phone calls, texts and occasional face to face meetings with Albanians, seeking to encourage them and serve them during these strange days.  

Would you pray that God uses these programs and relationships to sow the gospel and grow it up in the hearts of many Albanians?

Thank You for your prayers and support during these important days.  God is on his throne and ruling, and we pray that you and your families experience rest and power in that reality! 

Love in Christ
Jason, Kristine, Caleb and Evette
God provides for our ministry through the generosity of churches and individuals like you.  If you are interested in financially supporting our ministry you can mail your donation to:

Mission to North America - PO Box 890233
Charlotte, NC 28289-0233

▪ Please make your checks payable to Mission to North America with a note accompanying the check or money order indicating Christ the King and Jason Stryd


You can also make  donations online by credit card and/or set up a recurring donation


Copyright © 2020 Jason Stryd, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp