It was the last day of our English Camp with students mostly from the University of Skoder in Albania. Our team of fifteen sat together with the Albanian team of just less than a dozen Cru workers who had invited us to partner with them in this venture. We gathered now to reflect on God’s kindness in drawing students to himself through our week together and to consider any ways that our ministry might be strengthened for camps like this in the future.
There were lots of praises and some good ideas shared, but one thing we all enthusiastically agreed upon was that this is a unique time in Albania’s history where there is a sweet openness to the gospel. As such, it is a real joy to be among those who get to share the truth of God’s salvation with these bright young high school and university students. God is doing His good work in the minds and hearts of students, and we were given the privilege of being His fellow workers in His vineyard.
Some question the value of going half way around the globe to take part in a costly short term venture. But our Albanian team members are quick to say how vital it is to have native English speakers partnering with them, they cannot do this kind of a ministry without us. And our English team is quick to share how spiritually refreshing and even life changing our experiences with these students have been.
The following is an excerpt from one of our team members returning home from our trip this year:
“Today we leave Albania. The time here has been more than amazing. We came to teach English and to share Christ with 30 young college/ high school students. Lives have been changed, but probably none more than my own.
The people of Albania are so loving and kind. Life here is a struggle. There are few good jobs and it is hard to make ends meet. These young people are the 1st generation not to be growing up in communism. Their parents came out of communism in 1992. The people of this country are still finding their way. They have a deep history and heritage that is just amazing. Their language is one of the few languages that is its own. It does not stem from any other, such as Germanic, or Latin or Greek. It's its own and it is ancient.
The people here make friends easily and are quick to love. They are emotional and laugh easily. They love to dance traditional Albanian dances. And they love to have coffee and just sit and talk. They are a relational people with a deep heritage of families pulling together.
The students left with a deeper understanding of God's love for them. I am leaving with a deeper understanding and love for other people, and a deeper desire to share God's love with others. I will never be the same.”
Isn’t that good?! Thank you for praying for our team and for the hearts of our Albanian friends. We stayed healthy, we loved working together and we were stretched every day to depend on the Lord. The results are several new members in God’s eternal family and many other students on the path to trusting in Christ.
Now please join me in praying for good follow-up by Cru members with those who put their faith in Christ as well as with those who are on the path to trusting in Him. Many students go back to challenging home situations. And pray, too, for each of us who went that the things we experienced will impact our lives in such a way that we will live more vibrantly and boldly for Christ.
To a person, everyone who travelled with us on our mission team agrees, every dollar and every day invested was well worth it. God was honored. Students’ hearts were changed. And we were blessed.