The last couple of days has seen Ann and me visiting a whole number of people. We have been back to Librazhd to a prayer meeting where we met a number of ladies who we first met a year ago. It was at that first meeting we mentioned our Youth Camp. 5 lives were changed from this church because of it they look to have double the numbers go this time. Then a meal with Donika and Valentina. Here we are with Ilir. Both of these ladies look to be at our Ladies REAL Conference in July.
Saturday was cups of lemon tea then a visit to Luan and Yola who run a general store and a cafe. This was followed by a visit to Ardit and Violca and their family that led to us staying for lunch. Here is Violca with her little boy Kristian so named as he was born on Christmas Day, with Ester.
After a brief siesta, yes people here have lunch and then a rest, we went to see Ilir and Arjana. The photo is of Arjana with her little boy Mikea (Micah). Arjana was born in a Macedonian speaking area of Albania. There everyone speaks Macedonian and no Albanian is spoken at all. The villages get financial help from Macedonia not Albania! and so Arjana has a Macedonian passport.
This morning Ken spoke at the morning meeting here in Elbasan, when we remembered Simon and Andy running their half marathons in Bracknell. The church building here is coming on a pace with the basement almost finished, and with some tiling and the toilets to finish off on the ground floor. Another 4 weeks say and they will have the beginnings of an excellent facility. It was time to say farewell to almost 50 of our friends, write this blog and then have an evening meal out with another family tonight.
Tomorrow Lee will come from Korca, where he is in Edi's church today, we have a brief lunch, say cheerio to yet another family, and then head for the airport where we fly home volcanic ash permitting.
We will miss the people we know here in Albania, seeing first hand what God has done, new friends we have made, and the warmth! See you all again soon.
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