July 12, 2019 – This past Sunday we were meeting our son and his family at a Boston Market in Toledo, Ohio. Diane was going to go back to their house to watch our granddaughter Faith on Monday and I...

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Al & Diane Mellinger's Missionary Adventure - 5 new articles

Unexpected Reconnecting at Boston Market:

July 12, 2019 – This past Sunday we were meeting our son and his family at a Boston Market in  Toledo, Ohio.  Diane was going to go back to their house to watch our granddaughter Faith on Monday and I was heading back to Jackson to finish preparations for our trip to Orlando for our General Conference meetings there.

We walked in and as I looked around I saw a lady who looked like a woman we met back in 2006 at a different Boston Market right after we were called to Bulgaria. What was interesting about that meeting is we found out she was from Bulgaria and so we met with her and some other Bulgarians who helped us with some basic language and culture before we went.  We had not seen her or had any other communication from her since we left 12+ years ago.

So, I asked my wife do you think that is Pepi? And Brad said yes that is Pepi why?  (They had been there awhile waiting for us and had struck up a conversation with her).  So we reintroduced ourselves to her and had a quick chat as she was working and couldn’t stop that long.  We are going to meet later this fall when we are back from some of our trips.

Pepi & Diane
She was excited to hear what God was doing in her home country.  We are excited to reconnect and realize that in God’s family we can pick up where we left off no matter how many years have gone by.  For us, it truly is becoming a small world!

Pepi at BM

This week pray for our time at General Conference:

Pray for connections with the right folks for current and future ministries.

Pray for good sales of the products from Marketplace Manna while there

Pray for safe travels of all those coming and going.


We're Back!

July 5, 2019 - We are stateside and have hit the ground running (what else is new).  First, we got to see and spend some time with our family. Especially our granddaughter Faith – after only seeing her in photos and through Facetime each week we got to hug and kiss and hold and love on her in person. That was a great treat.


Now we are getting everything ready for our church visits and travels.  This Sunday we are at the Dearborn Free Methodist Church – Dearborn, MI.  And then we are heading down to Florida to the General Conference of the Free Methodist Church in Orlando.

One of the biggest tasks is getting everything together and all the product and merchandise organized, tagged and priced so that we are ready to go.  We have been producing and shipping items that our livelihood groups have made for months and are creating a display that will invite folks to stop and take a look.  God has open doors for us to partner and engage, so many folks in need we can’t wait to show and share all the amazing things that are being made to help the poor, disenfranchised, persecuted, disabled and unemployed around the world.

We are so excited to be back for this season. We know God is up to something big and we want to be ready and to do all we can based on how He is leading.  We are not sure of what the end will look like we just know where we are now and are moving in the direction of where we feel He wants us to go. (So, stay tuned as we share what He does through our travels this summer and fall.)

Pray this week for…

… our travels and church presentations each week for the next 4 months

… our nationals as they too prepare to come to the US and General Conference – pray for safety in travels and a fresh outpouring of God’s spirit on them during their time here.

… the store and our product sales – pray God blesses so that we can take care of what we owe and can expand to help even more people in need.


A Pebble in a Pond!

June 27, 2019 - I am reminded of the image of a pebble dropped into a pond. We see the ripple of the circle moving out from where it was dropped in getting bigger and bigger.  That is how the work in the Balkans is. In April of 2007, we arrived with a few ideas and a couple of names of folks to connect with but beyond that, we were like a pebble dropped in a pond.


But we served where we could and the ripple effect is getting bigger and bigger and that is fun to watch and at the same time, it is getting so big that there are parts of the ripple that we don’t see now.  But that doesn’t mean the ripple isn’t going – it is just out of our site.

That is the reality of living. What we do today has a ripple effect on people and often we don’t see the impact.  We do not see the end result we only see the beginning.  That is why it is important to do all you can on purpose.  Live intentionally as best you can.  Do not let circumstance control you but make the most of them.  Paul says it this way in Ephesians 5:15-17 “Therefore consider carefully how you live – not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. For this reason, do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is.”

We hope and pray that we are living wisely and making the most of every opportunity.  We know that we are not perfect but we are trying to change the world one life at a time.  Knowing that how we teach and live, impacts how others teach and live who impact others as well.  Paul tells Timothy it this way – 2 Timothy 2:2 And what you heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well.”

We do not know what impact what we do will ultimately have.  What we do know is that we MUST be about doing what God has put on our hearts at this moment.   We must be about a holistic approach to serving people not only thinking about their spiritual future but the rest of their lives as well.  Jesus often started with a common physical activity and moved from there to the spiritual. May we copy the best teacher we have to fulfill what He has instructed all of us to do.  Make disciples by loving God and loving people!

This week Pray for…

... finances with Marketplace Manna - can't share anymore right now but funds are needed for some pressing needs and future plans - pray that God provides. I have done all I can and now it is in God's Hands.

… our final week of transitioning before our Partnership Building in the States

… our Denominations General Conference coming in a few weeks – many changes are coming, pray for God’s Wisdom and direction.

...a smooth trip stateside on July 3rd


Memory Lane

June 20, 2019 - In preparation for putting out stuff in storage until we return in November, I found some old photos of one of the last trips I took the youth on while still a youth pastor.  It was to Florida for Student Leadership University. A Week-long event to challenge and raise up the leadership potential in the youth.

This photo was of the Student Leadership University groups.


This was a breakout group for those involved in the Creative Arts.

Many of these teens I still communicate with and many I am not sure where they are now and what they are doing.  What I do know is it was great training and a good investment in the student’s lives.

I have used many of the basic leadership lessons learned here and at other training events, I have participated in over the years to launch our Pastors training when we arrived. Most of the training and teaching is passed on to others so we can focus on other new, creative, out of the box things.  I would not have it any other way.

For the students, I am still connected with they are doing amazing things! (as I am sure those who I am not connected with are doing)  That is what discipleship is all about helping folks reach their potential and beyond.

As I think back on this time and my time as a youth pastor I am thankful for all the students I was privileged to serve and invest in and love hearing what they are now doing for God and His kingdom!

This week Pray for...

...All the final details for our stateside adventure.

...the church planting interviews and the selection of the church planters

Praise God with us as the Sweet have finalized their adoption and are now adjusting to having twin 11-month-old toddlers in the house. (I guess that is a prayer request too!)

Bonus Video Explaining a new program to Marketplace Manna that we would like to invite all to watch and if right for you to participate in.





T-Minus 19 Days and Counting:

June 13, 2019 – As of today, there are only 18 days until we return to the US for our Partnership Building time.

We return stateside almost every year and that is pretty standard but this year we are not just leaving our home over here (for 12+ years) but are moving out of it, putting the stuff we are keeping in storage and downsizing.

Prayer Card 2019 - FHL
When we arrived and began our work we wanted a large enough place to for the church to meet and room for the ministries to grow.  That has happened and so most things take place elsewhere beyond our home.  We no longer need this much space and are moving when we return to a smaller location that is being renovated. (see early post for more on this) Do you know how much stuff you collect over 12 years when you have space to store it?  Last Sunday we set up tables in the extra room at the church (like a garage sale in the states) but instead of charging we just the folks from church take what they could use.  For many, it was like Christmas! (We have more stuff for this week as well)

We are also working on all the details for our time stateside – scheduling of meetings, appointments with leaders, arranging vehicles to get around in and many more details. (If you would like to see if we could connect with you please let us know) We will again be traveling to 12 states sharing at 18 churches as well as conferences and denominational events.  This too is normal for our annual visits.  This year is also an all-church meeting (happens every 4 years) that we will be attending but not just as missionaries with visiting nationals with us but also as entrepreneurs.  Now that we also manage a couple of companies we are needing to get the word out about what we do, have product around for purchase and cast the vision of what we believe God is wanting us to lead

These are all exciting things but they are very tiring as well.  We are sharing this so you will know better how to pray and better understand what we do.

Add to all of this finding the money to pay for this and fundraise for the ongoing ministries like church planting and the safe home it is a busy life.  One that we feel called to live.

Please pray for us as we work each day getting ready for the next 5 months.

Pray for the details to all come together of meetings, transportation, people and product.

Bonus Materials & Links

If you would like to see our travel Schedule click here https://almellinger.typepad.com/partnership/

If you would like to know more about how you can help with extra funding for our ministries click here  https://almellinger.typepad.com/marketplacemanna/2019/06/why-you-should-consider-a-donation-to-marketplace-manna-inc.html




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