Sunday morning saw us at the church we go to in Elbasan. Lydia spent time with the children whilst I spoke with the rest of the church. Here are Ann, Lydia, Keta and Rudina. Rudina with her husband Ilir lead the church. We have invited Rudina to the Ladies REAL conference at Bracknell in July. Keta is studying at university in Elbasan and came to the first Alpha course the church ran that started last November. Keta and 3 of her friends became followers of Jesus through the course and are now involved in the life of the church. You have seen the room they use at present in yesterday's blog when Robert was speaking. Their building is a work in progress! Here is what will become the main hall. All four walls are up and the roof on! The rest will come. The church building in Elbasan is already something of a centre that other churches gather to because of the city's strategic position and the quality of the building they have. We are helping to equip their kitchens. After the meeting we headed here for coffee. This is known as Skampini which is a restaurant and coffee bar and hotel inside the old walls of the original Turkish fort built on this site. It is stunningly attractive especially when all the flowers are in full colour and it is decked out for a wedding! This afternoon Lydia and Ann met for 2 hours with six ladies from the church who are involved in the Children's ministry. Lydia has the photos of them all together. From what I hear it was a very worthwhile and enjoyable time that left Lydia excited at the prospect of all that could happen. Then a walk through town to the home of Beni and Bardha who now have 2 children, Joel and Jeremiah who was born on 30th December last year. Some of you may remember Bardha who came last year to the REAL conference. Another wonderful Albanian meal and now to the Internet Cafe to write this up and bring another busy day to an end at now 10.25
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