Kampi Veror!

Shaking the last bit of sand and sea salt from our hair, we have finished Kampi Veror (Summer Camp)! We spent three days at the beach in Spille running camp for 40 kids from the Way of Peace Church. We engaged the campers in chapel, we played with them in recreation, we splashed around with them in free time, and we fellowshipped with them over meals. It took a lot of energy out of our team, but we loved pouring Christ’s love over the kids. 

In each of his captivating messages, Doug shared with the campers about God’s presence and desire to dwell with his children. Tracing God’s presence with the nation of Israel through the Old and New Testaments, we learned how God has come to dwell in the temple of His believers through the Holy Spirit. After each chapel, our team got to meet in small groups to encourage the campers to think about how Doug’s message affects their own lives and their own relationships with God. 

In recreation we were able to share some games we love to play in America, like Kajabe Can Can and the Human Knot. On Saturday night we taught them how to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. They loved them!

As our time of service in Albania comes to a close, I look forward to a few days of rest, fellowship, and debriefing with our team. Tomorrow we will visit Apollonia, the oldest city in Albania, a site Paul the Apostle likely visited on one of his missionary journeys. We can’t wait to tell you all about it!

- Laceyann 

Last Day of Teaching, The Gospel Shared, & Now...Camp!

This morning our team gathered together before our last day of English classes and spent some time praying about the final day of classes where each teacher would share his or her testimony and then present the gospel to their class.  We remembered the truth that we get to partner with what God has been doing all along - drawing people back to Him. We can plant the seeds, perhaps the Way of Peace Church and the local Christian community can water the seeds, but it is only God who can make them grow. Please continue in prayer for the students who heard the truth of God’s Word today!

Later on this evening we had our last activities session with the students. We played a few games and, as usual, ended the night with dancing. I’d say we are getting pretty good at these Albanian dances!

Tomorrow morning we have an early start as we head south to the beach for Spiritual Emphasis camp! Camp is from Friday-Sunday and we are anticipating a great time! Please keep our team in prayer as we need energy and flexibility for the long weekend ahead. Pray also for the students attending camp that they are ready to receive what the Lord has for them this weekend at camp. We are all excited and can’t wait to see what he Lord does. May His name be made KNOWN this weekend! 

- Eryn

English Classes, Birthday Celebrations, & Fútbol

Hello from Albania!

Today was day three with teaching our English classes and boy was today a qef (Fun) filled day! In today’s class lesson, we talked about culture in America and Albania. We got to learn about Albanian traditions and teach them about traditions we have in America. The team has been doing a great job keeping up their energy and getting their students to feel more comfortable and to connect with them.

After classes we had some time to ourselves to rest and then headed out for the afternoon activities with the kids. As always, everyone had a blast and danced until the very last minute. We also went out to celebrate Holly’s birthday by getting some celebratory dessert for her! And to end the whole night, we went out and played a friendly game of soccer with Pastor Berti and some of the Albanian students. It was a great way to end the night while connecting with our Albanian family.

The team has been doing an amazing job and I have no doubt they will continue to do so! We’ve been having such a great time with the kids and appreciate all your prayers for us and the work we are doing here and would love if you would continue with it. Some of the major prayer requests would be for everyone’s health and safety, so that we won’t be held back from doing God’s work. Second, that our team’s hearts would be open to any lessons God might be trying to teach us in this time. And lastly, that we would continue to have the energy to keep up with the kids and be fully invested with our time here.  Thank you again for all your prayers!

Signing off,

Emily

English Classes Began Today!

Mirembrema! Good evening from Lushnje, Albania! Today our team has hit the ground running after a few days of recuperation and has begun to serve whole-heartedly. We began our first day of English classes, filmed some of our students in our music video and ran some evening activities with students from our classes and the Way of Peace Church. At the end of our busy day, our hearts are full of service and our stomachs are full of buke (bread). I am looking forward to good night’s rest to prepare for another great day tomorrow.

Teaching in pairs, we all teach two English classes. Today we discussed “Me, My Friends and My Family.” We shared a little but about ourselves with our students and they shared with us in return. This was a great way to break the ice and begin friendships that will stretch across continents. To close class we shared Isaiah 40:28-31 to begin to introduce them to the Bible and to our faith. These words from Isaiah both astound us with God’s unfathomable power and comfort us with his renewing strength. We hope to continue to introduce uplifting scriptures until we share to full Gospel message on Thursday.

After classes we filmed some of the students, along with our team, dancing for our music video. The kids love to be on camera and we love to dance with them! I am looking forward to seeing how the video turns out. It is sure to be super qef! (fun)

This evening we invited our students to join us at the church for some activities. We taught them some games that we all played as a whole group and we ended the whole thing in a big dance party. We showed the Albanians some American dances and they taught us some of their traditional dances. It is a beautiful picture of the unity of Christ’s church when those who may not speak the same language can come together for fellowship and fun. Until tomorrow, ciao! 

- Laceyann 

Day #1 - Orientation & Bitaj

Today was a great day! After a long day of traveling, most of us got a good night's sleep, but many of us were wide awake with the rising sun. Today we had orientation, attended a church service in the Bitaj village, and did various activities with the youth out there.

In church we sang worship songs in Albanian and heard a sermon by Uncle Lloyd about the importance of choosing to walk daily with the Lord and giving Him the heavy loads we carry. 

Once the church service was done we played a few games with the youth, danced, and ended with a game of soccer! Overall, today was a great start to our time here in Albania. Tomorrow we will prepare for our English classes and participate in the church service here at Way of Peace Church. 

- Eryn