Monday, 25 July 2016

Albania Weekend Away, Tushemishte

Sunday morning saw our final sessions after breakfast. Firstly Liam led a session on letting the Holy Spirit work in your life...

which the young people took to heart.
Then coffee, cold drinks and yet more cakes.
This was followed by Heather and Liam leading a Question and Answer session. Questions ranged from How did you get into church leadership and what advice have you to give? to How do you find the right marriage partner for your life?

The whole Weekendwas also a great time for friendship making, meeting some people for the first time and renewing friendships with others.


Time for our last meal together which we eat outside under cover from the heat but by the side of Lake Ohrid. Here are Heather, Sarah and Dan about to sit down and have lunch.

It is simple food but very good. First it was spaghetti with butter topped with cheese, followed by soup,

then a salad of grated cabbage, tomato, cucumber, cheese, lettuce and olives and finally qofte (home made beef burgers without the bun) with meat gravy.

The whole Weekend was great. I know they all enjoyed being in a more adult setting as befits their age, a good hotel by the side of the lake with just 2 or 3 to a room rather than the dormitories we have at Youth Camp. Real time between sessions to make friends; topics more suited to their age, and hearing from young leaders such as Liam and Heather not just speaking at sessions but answering questions and being open about themselves. All these things combined together with bringing biblical truth and prayer I believe will help these Albanian young people make God more real in their every day life but also help build the Kingdom of God in Albania. Ann and I really enjoyed it too!!



Saturday, 23 July 2016

Albania Weekend Away, Tushemishte

After a night of rest and a wonderful breakfast it was time for our first session today Saturday in the Hotel Millennium. Here is Ann outside the Hotel.

Heather, on the right, spoke at the first session and challenged us to get out of our comfort zone and be on an adventure with God.
Coffee break came with wonderful cakes.

Here is Dan after coffee with some of the young people from Librazhd.

Our worship times are led by Mirjana Herri from Bethel church, Tirana.
And then our second session was led by Ilir Koçi from Elbasan, here on the right. Ilir spoke about the key decisions we make in our twenties especially finding the right partner in life.
in the afternoon many of the young people walked across the nearby border into Macedonia to Sveti Naum, Saint Naum, a picturesque small monastery where peacocks roam free. They returned from their walk in the afternoon heat just in time for our evening meal. This consisted of salad, then soup of rice, lemon, yoghurt, and egg, followed by beef and potatoes, finished off with a plateful of melon and watermelon. At lunchtime we had salad, soup, freshly cooked local trout and creme caramel for dessert.
Here are Alice, Sarah, Heather and Ann recovering after the meal.
Liam took our final session today challenging us to know afresh the power of the Holy Spirit so we are enabled to impact the world around us. A wonderful finish to a wonderful day!


Tushemishte, Albania Weekend Away for 18-30's

This weekend we are holding our very first Albania Weekend Away. For 8 years we have been holding a Youth Camp in Albania for the young people from the churches we have contact with. But last year I took a look at some of them and thought, this is sad, but you are no longer teenagers!! It is time to hold a separate weekend event for those who are 18+, and so this weekend was planned.

Ann and I with Heather Pocock flew out on Wednesday of this week and Liam Parker our Youth Pastor and a team of four, Sarah, Alice, Max and Dan flew out on Thursday into a hot Albania. We met up in Elbasan and once settled into their hotel we went for a meal together.

A good night's rest and then we were on our way with Ilir Koçi the church leader and their 18-30's from Elbasan to the Millennium Hotel, Tushemishte. Half way and it was time for a break and a cold drink. Here are Alice and Sarah.

and here is Dan, looking suitably cool and Heather.

Here are Heather, Liam and Dan in the Hotel reception. It is a really nice place. Air conditioned, right by the side of Lake Ohrid, very nice rooms and our evening meal was eaten in the shade outside looking over the lake, with mountains in the background. What's not to like?

Here are all of us from Bracknell before our Friday lunchtime meal. From l to r, Max, Ann, me, Dan, Sarah, Heather, Liam and Alice.

Here are Paola and Arselda from Librazhd who were at our very first Youth Camp and have been every year since.

Our meal time was a time for reunions; some of the guys we had not seen since last year, but these girls from Tirana were at UNIKE in May this year when Catrina Benham and some of our ladies spoke at the Conference in Tirana.

And below, some of the young people we know from Elbasan.

Our evening meal consisted of Greek salad, chicken soup with pasta in it, chicken fillet with potatoes and vegetables and finally a dessert called three milks. I have a picture of it here. It is like cheesecake without the biscuit base only it's not! More like a milky scrambled egg, only it's not! I give up. But it' s nice.

Time for me to go and get ready as I speak at the first session this evening. God spoke to Ann and me in a life changing way when we went to an 18-30 Weekend away when we were 24 years old. May God speak just as clearly this weekend!

Please pray for these young people. The future generation of the church in Albania depends on young people such as these.

Ken and Ann