The Lord provides unexpected graces and humbles expectations as our week continues in Durres, Albania. God never sends us where His grace does not follow. The Lord is drawing a people to Himself and we have seen further glimpses of that yesterday and today.
Tuesday brought the joy of meeting more Albanian believers as well as unbelievers. The Evangelical Church of Durres joined the church in Sukth for a day of outdoor activities and fellowship; it felt very similar to the church picnics I experienced growing up. There was a competitive volleyball tournament and a rousing game of capture the flag. Variations of “tag” continued on for hours amongst the forest while a kite flew next to the tree line. We learned the universal language of laughter and shared in it for hours.
After our muscles were sufficiently worked, we came together in one group where Paul was able to clearly share the gospel through his personal testimony. We praise the Lord for translation and for many who know both English and Albanian (and thereby heard the gospel twice!) A brief walk to a restaurant ended the day with people eating and patiently conversing around a very long table – a dim reflection of how I imagine the Lord’s table to be in heaven.
Wednesday entailed continued work on the building itself through a few different projects. The church opened its doors in the afternoon to welcome in high school and university students from the community. In preparation, we brought invitations to the streets in hopes of spreading the news of this new church to more young people. Carla and I were not having many students cross our path. In Carla’s beautiful understanding of ministry, she suggested we pray boldly for the Lord to bring more people to us. The Lord heard our prayers and we soon encountered many more students. Specifically, two girls who came back that very night to play games, practice English, hear the testimonies of Viola and Dan, and watch a movie (God’s Not Dead) in a church they never knew existed before our conversation.
We are thankful for those the Lord drew to the church and pray for many more to come into contact with the true Gospel.
Pray for the gospel to spread and for the encouragement and growth of believers in Albania.
Pray for the people in Durres: to find His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God (Isaiah 18:30-31)?
Pray for all glory and honor and praise be unto His name.
For Him and by Him,