The title was Ann's suggestion! We seem to spend our time buying bottles of water and trying to keep cool. The Italian ice cream here is wonderful 2 big cones for 70p! On Sunday we were here in Elbasan. We had good worship led by Ilir above, and then I spoke again about Joseph and wearing the jacket/dress God has given us. Two guys in particular responded. They had both been working abroad and had almost as a consequence, (there are very few Albanian speaking churches in Italy or Greece), been away from God. They were pleased to be back with God's people and knowing again Gods love and restoration. They wanted to be the men God wants them to be. It was a good time. Afterwards Ilir and Arjana, (Ariana), took us out for lunch. Ilir is one of the musicians I wanted to come to us but he was unable to get a visa. Arjana is involved in childrens work and works for a living with Home of Hope with 15 teenagers who live in and 20 day care children. Then tea at the home of Gazim amd Adriana and their 3 children. It was hot in the house, vap as they call it here, whilst we had tea and Ann ate ballakuma, a cake that Adriana makes for Ann when we come. It is made with maize flour and something that traditionally is made only in Elbasan on 14th March. We feel it is a great privilege to be part of their lives and be in their homes and be called their friends. We love them lots. The first photo shows the main street in Elbasan. Does it look different from Bracknell? It is now a paved pedestrian precinct and was formerly part of the via Egnatia, the Roman road from Rome to Constantinople, now Istanbul. The wall on the right is part of the remains of a Turkish fort. This is where people come in the evening when it is cooler for their giro, promenade, to walk and be seen and chat to friends. It is a deliberate daily social event, year round! Now tonight I speak with the leaders about their church building and the plans for what they will do in it. Photos to follow... Will keep in touch, Ken and Ann
Some of the varied Books I've read recently in no particular order....
The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. Another one of those books I wish I could have read 20 years ago. Excellent about how to achieve organisational health.
The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware. very helpful in helping to understand Orthodox history and thinking. The Orthodox Church is the main church in Serbia and Macedonia.
Austria-Hungary and the orgins of the first world war. Helps with the historical background to the Balkans. The Powers at work then are still at work today, politically, economically. Samuel R Williamson Jr
Bradt Guide to Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia etc (excellent and sometimes the only guides avaiable for lesser known countries)
Jesus through Middle Eastern eyes. Opened my eyes to see the Gospels in a new way. Kenneth E Bailey