Vera and Mira, Ida's mother and sister.
Now back home I thought just to round it off I would add a postscript. The team all got home safely and some shared on the Sunday. I believe there will be a brief article about the Youth Camp in our next Link magazine.
On the Sunday I spoke at the Elbasan church who with our help have installed a good screen for worships songs, and we also left with them a computer with song software on as well as the usual programmes. All this adds quality to what they are able to produce and reflects well on them as a local church and on God's Kingdom.
Monday we had coffee with Ilir and Aryana in Elbasan, then followed by lunch with Ilir and Rudina the church leaders, followed by another coffee with Ilir and Donika the leaders from Librazhd followed in the evening with crepes and coffee with Blerim and Rudina whose apartment we rented for the team. You can see Albania is a coffee culture!!
On Tuesday morning we had a call from Besnik (who comes to our church) and Valentina, and whose wedding we attended, saying could they have coffee with us? So at 9 in the morning we were sitting outside the Skampa Theatre talking about their wedding. We mentioned that we were then on our way to Tirana by minibus. A few minutes later Besnik had arranged for a friend Alex, who we met at the wedding and who has been to the Kerith Centre once, to give us a lift to the capital. Alex was driving back to the UK. Alex took us to our hotel in Tirana. We were met there by Berti who took us to his home in Kruje to meet his wife Ema and their 2 children and have lunch together. Berti used to run a small church in Kruje and I wanted to catch up with him. Then back to Tirana by local minibus and on to meet Shaban and Elvira who lead a church in Tirana. After a while with them we went see Xhelal and Vera, the parents of Ida, the Albanian young woman in our church, and her sister Mira. (See photo above) As you may imagine there were hugs all round, and we were treated to Albanian hospitality in the house followed by being taken to a fish restaurant for a wonderful meal.
On Wednesday we met with Peter, a Dutchman, who is working at getting the Freedom in Christ course translated into Albanian. In the evening we met with Ladi and Ornela, Ornela came to the REAL conference last year. They took us out for yet another meal whilst we talked about their gathering of young people from Librazhd who have come to Tirana to the University.
In virtually every conversation we were hearing good feedback about the lives of young people changed at the Youth Camp, and of how we will need 2 Camps next year and ideas as to how this might happen. All very exciting and very challenging as we look forward to next year!
Ken and Ann