In the 19th century, US-missionaries led the cornerstone for Protestant work in the territory of what is now North Macedonia. Of enormous significance for the further growth and development of the work and its large social effects was the committed service of the «Biblewomen», who, in the face of great difficulties, visited remote villages and sharedthe Gospel in word and deed. However, the United Methodist work in North Macedonia also went through times of war, repression, and isolation. Today, outreach ministries among people facing difficult situations (e.g. elderly people, people with special needs, or people belonging to the Roma minority) are important parts of the church’s work. The Miss Stone Center with the «Meals on Wheels» program, the Home Care Ministry, and education programs is a far-reaching ministry operated by people from the UMC. A project of particular significance for the peaceful future of North Macedonia is the endeavor to promote interfaith contacts and understanding. Other priorities include the production of Christian literature, programs for children and youth, activities for women, and the education of new lay and clergy leaders in order to help with the challenge of building a church for future generations with an impact on society. Despite political separation of their countries, the local churches in North Macedonia and Serbia still belong to the same Annual Conference.
Population: 2.07 millions
Area: 25,333 km2
UMC Churches: 10
Active Clergy: 5
Strumica, a town in southeastern Macedonia, is far from any sea. Nevertheless, the Miss Stone Center, a social diaconal institution with close ties to The United Methodist Church, is facing big waves.
The joint Annual Conference session for the three countries Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania took place from 11 to 15 May 2022 – for the first time in Albania. At the same time, the first ordination of an Albanian pastor of the UMC was celebrated in the closing service.
In many European countries, the media focus is on the rising numbers of infections caused by the Omicron mutation and the measures prescribed to combat them. However, a report from North Macedonia shows that other numbers are also rising.
Many young people in North Macedonia see no future in their country and leave their home because they hope for better prospects elsewhere. Despite this – or perhaps precisely because of it – Dejan Vasilev is committed to helping young people and young adults with a wide heart.