Ann and Ida and I are now in Elbasan in Albania. We travelled on Wednesday with Liam Parker, Dave Betts, Josh Grimmett and Ben Weeks arriving at 11.30pm to our usual hotel in Tirana. Ida, who is from Tirana, was met by her mother and went home to stay with her family overnight.
Tani, a son of the church leader we know in Tirana was at the hotel when we got there to greet us. After a wonderful nights sleep and breakfast Liam went with Tani to pray for his mother who is seriously ill with cancer.
Liam, Dave, Josh and Ben then headed off to Korca to be with Edi and Artina and their church. Liam will be focusing on 3 days of evangelism on the streets. Do pray for them. Korca is strongly Orthodox. Edi has a growing church full of young people and we pray and look forward to hearing their stories when we meet up with them again at the Youth Camp next Tuesday.
Ann and Ida and I travelled separately to Elbasan along a new piece of road that includes a loooong tunnel! Where the journey was 90 minutes, full of twists and turns, it now takes 30 minutes on a smooth, flat new road. Bliss!
We are really excited about having Ida with us, as she is part of our church, knows our church ethos, but now for the first time is travelling with us in her home country meeting the churches and the people that we know.
After lunch we met Ilir and Rudina who lead the church and introduced Ida who with me will be teaching Discovery Workshop to some of the church today, Friday and Saturday morning. Ida is still busy typing away on her laptop as I write this, translating some material before we get it photocopied.
Meanwhile, Ann and I have been to the pazaar, to get food for lunch, fresh lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cherries and figs. Yes it is that time of year! The fruit and vegetables are always wonderful here.
Do pray for us. Apart from a 10/10 at Kerith, (10 speakers each have 10 minutes), this will be the first time for Ida to speak in front of a church and speaking in Albanian. Already they have told her that she sounds like a foreigner who has learnt Albanian!! Not totally true but I will encourage them to encourage her!
Looking forward to a brilliant time,
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