John Wesley may never have visited Macedonia, but Boris Trajkovski, president of that Balkan state, hopes that Methodist-inspired servant leadership, combined with military action, will keep his conflicted country from joining the list of former Yugoslav states traumatized by ethnic cleansing and warfare.

Trajkovski won't go it alone, however. He traveled 4,000 miles in January from the Macedonian capital of Skopje to have breakfast and pray with fellow Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Trajkovski lives out his Methodist faith in a country of 2 million people that barely registers a Protestant presence. Most Macedonians are Orthodox and more than one-fourth are Muslims of Albanian descent.

Despite the worries of being a head of state, Trajkovski has guileless eyes and a ready smile. During a lengthy interview with Christianity Today, Trajkovski laughs on hearing that some American supporters refer to him as the George W. Bush of Macedonia. "There are some similarities. His faith is very important to him."

Elected president in 1999, Trajkovski shares power with Ljupco Georgievski, the prime minister. Trajkovski directs all of Macedonia's security matters, including the army, police, and intelligence services, as well as its foreign policy. The more politically powerful prime minister executes the day-by-day domestic policies through the country's Parliament.

"I feel lonely sometimes," admits Trajkovski, who is almost 45. "I really struggle, and so I read the Bible. Isaiah 54 is my favorite for encouragement." The prophet's words remind the president that God's compassion extends even to tiny Macedonia and its fractious people.

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From Lay Pastor to President
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May 21, 2001

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