Welcome to the Albania Mission
The Albania mission team spends two to four weeks each summer in Tirana, the capital city of Albania, teaching English classes using Bible lessons. These lessons are published by the World English Institute, and they are the same lessons used in WEI online courses. Each teacher meets their students—one-on-one—for one hour each day, Monday through Friday. These students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some believe in God and some do not, and some have never heard of Jesus.
A Word from the Martins
A Mission Story
The mother of an Albanian high school student found an ad that read, “Free English classes with native American speakers!” In the student’s words, this “was very appealing for a mother interested in her son’s education”.
“This is how I joined the English classes provided by World English Institute, and I was very excited about it; but little did I know that this was a church-related program, hosted by the church, and it used Bible materials to teach English. I was a non-believer with a Muslim background. My grandparents believed in Islam, even though our family was not that dedicated. We would not go to mosques or prayers, but we celebrated important days that were also national holidays. The youth population tends to be more non-believers, and you rarely encounter people talking about anything related to religion. If you try to start a conversation with people about a religious topic, you will be called names like “weird,” you will be ignored, and you might also get in trouble. Anyway, I did attend the class and that is where I understood what the program was about. Its mission was to spread the gospel and help people in Albania get closer to Christianity and God. I did not expect to return, but as I thought it through and tried to be more open-minded, I realized that being hosted by the church and using Bible materials does not make the class less helpful in terms of learning English. Besides, why not get informed and learn something about the Christian ways and what is in the Bible? There is nothing wrong in learning new things, and no one would force me to engage in any church activities. Thus, I spent three summers in a row attending these classes, and at the end I was very satisfied with the result. Besides being better at English, I got to know a lot of people who also became my friends, mentors and teachers. I also learned the stories about Jesus, how a Christian finds his way toward God, and what the Bible teaches. I learned how most of the things that I considered ignorant are common-sense lessons that apply to everyone–not just to those who believe in Christ. Most importantly I confirmed that, no matter what, there is a God, and God is for all people. In the end, there was one inconvenient question that I needed to answer: How did a non-believer like me in the middle of a Muslim country go on to join a Christian community?
In one way or another, God helps people whether they realize it or not. Sometimes I get second chances or sometimes I get better opportunities, and none of those were a result of MY work. If anything was merited, then why would we get second chances when we fail? Some people call it “luck,” which seems to describe the possibility of getting a wanted but unlikely result. However, luck seems not to have any cause, or it is used as an excuse by people who say they lack it. I believe that possibilities in our life are given to us by Someone—Someone who cares for us and decides what we need. It is not hard to notice this helping hand. In my case, I was led to a Christian community that gave me a better idea of what is going on outside the almost atheist world that I was living in. It got me accepted to a school in America, even though I never thought I would accomplish it that easily. It introduced me to several American teachers who live close to the school, and they have all been able to help me in whatever I needed in a moment when I thought I would be alone.
There are many problems that result from living alone in another country far from home, and literally none of the solutions were thought of by me. Someone always seemed to pop up out of nowhere and offer help. Why? Well I would not think it was luck that hit me five times in a row! I think Someone who takes care of us wanted to give me a hand.”
“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6 NLT)
Welcome to the Kenya Mission
Ateiku Christian Ministry
Over 6 million people in Ghana live without access to clean water which can lead to health, safety and educational issues. Hardin Vallley supports this ministry through prayers, financial support, and in country support. Ateiku Christian Ministry
Christian Student Center – University of Tennessee
The mission of the Christian Student Center (CSC) is to develop a community of students who KNOW, LOVE, and SERVE Jesus. As a congregation, we support students through meal preparation and hosting events. To volunteer for this ministry, leave a message at Contact – Hardin Valley Church of Christ (hvcoc.org)
French African Christian Education (F.A.C.E.)
F.A.C.E. and the Bible Training Center located in Benin, Africa is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a board, constitution, and bylaws that primarily supports the Bible Training Center and graduate preachers. The emphasis is on training individuals to spread the gospel of Christ in French speaking Africa where there are an estimated 141 million souls who likely do not know about Christ.
Through prayers and support, you can help us have a stronger outreach to spread the gospel of Christ throughout the world. French African Christian Education (frenchafricanmissions.com)
Members from Hardin Valley work in conjunction with other area congregations to serve the needs of families in the Parkridge Community. There are many opportunities to serve. For children: assist with teaching Sunday School (Sundays 3:30p-4:30p), assist with pre-school activities one Monday/month, tutor elementary students (Mon-Thurs 3:15p-4:15p) and middle & high school students (Mon-Thurs 4:30p-5:30p), and mentor in one-on-one or small groups. For adults: assist with weekly Bible Classes for both men and women (Wed 11:00a-1:00p), family-focused prayer teams, partnership with parents, assisting with transportation and conducting workshops as needed (e.g. Financial Literacy, Mental Health, Nutrition and Meal Planning, etc.). Members also frequently provide meals for the weekly Bible Study. Additional areas of physical support include assisting with school supplies, season-specific clothing, supplies for special events and workshops and other neighborhood needs as they arise.
Isaiah 117 House
The purpose of Isaiah 117 Houses is to provide a safe and comfortable home for children who have been removed from their homes and are awaiting placement with a foster family. Placement can take hours or days. We, at Hardin Valley support this effort by raising awareness and funds through different venues such as: hosting lemonade stands during the July annual drive, providing donations of clothes, toys, and monetary contributions, supporting the local golf tournament that benefits Isaiah 117 House, and helping with various needs as they arise. For more information on the Knox County Isaiah 117 House contact Kristi Whitehead @ Knoxtn@isaiah117house.com
Construction on the The Knox County Isaiah 117 house is expected to be completed in May 2023. Opportunities to serve will expand at that time.
Knoxville Christian School (KCS)
KCS was founded in 1967 and is an independent private school dedicated to providing each student with the highest quality academic, spiritual, social and physical education in an encouraging, Christian environment. KCS serves students from 18 months old through 12th grade. Members at Hardin Valley serve the KCS ministry through individual and congregational financial support, volunteering in variety of positions, and serving as members on the board.
Southern Africa Bible College
Founded by visionary leadership in 1966 to equip a new generation of emerging world-changers for Christ who are growing to be Christ-centered servant leaders for the 21st century. Hardin Valley supports this Mission Field through prayer and financial support.
Tennessee Children’s Home (TCH)
TCH is a residential care facility for children in East Tennessee who have been abused, neglected, and/or at-risk. The campus includes an accredited school, counseling and case management services, and rehabilitation programs. The goal is to return children to their families. TCH was foounded by Churches of Christ in Columbia, TN in 1909 and relies on the support of Churches of Christ. https://www.tennesseechildrenshome.org
Timothy Hill Ranch
The Ranch provides Christ-centered residential and workforce development to troubled youth and young adults in need of a second chance. They strengthen character by modeling Christ-centered values and creating hospitable communities where lives are renewed and restored through love.
Timothy Hill Ranch consists of two distinct branches: residential campuses whose goal is to give a second chance to young men in need, and retreat centers that provide an alcohol and tobacco free environment for all to relax and rejuvenate in God’s nature.
World English Institute (WEI)
The World English Institute (WEI) is a Church of Christ sponsored mission to spread the gospel throughout the world and at the same time help students improve their English communication. The Hardin Valley Church is one of those sponsors.
Each month over 35,000, from 200 countries, register to become online students of WEI. There are usually 250 or more waiting for a teacher each day.
The WEI courses are an easy to use discipling tool and are free. Students come with a desire to improve their English but often become interested in Biblical principles, some learning about Christ for the first time.
To become a teacher, go to www.worldenglishinstitute.org/register/teacher. Contact: Woody Byars at 865-690-2723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.