This has been a full day. The Orchard Balkan team started the morning at the Durres Evangelical Church (DEC) with Pastors Arvid and Kujtim and their team for prayer and planning of this week’s activities.
DEC is offering evaluations and sign-ups for conversational English classes starting in October as well as several sports, games and worship events this week geared for youth and young adults. DEC is strategically located near several large schools and focused on serving that age group.
In preparation for our morning assignment to invite students to these classes and events, we were told that giving and receiving invitations (ftese) in Albania is a formal matter. Wedding invitations for example are delivered in person by a family member officially selected for that responsibility. Recipients (at least traditionally) highly value receiving invitations. Emphasis is placed on taking time to speak personally with each invited guest. This was a good reminder of the personal nature of Christ’s invitation extended to each of us to come to Him.
In the afternoon we were taken back to the Village of Sukth (about a 25 minute drive from Durres) where we had attended church on Sunday morning. The Orchard team together with several DEC pastors and staff put on our work gloves and joined the Sukth Church in energetically weeding the church grounds and clearing out large amounts of accumulated garbage and weeds from a local elementary schoolyard. We were all pleased with the transformations and pray that our efforts will help strengthen the relationship between the Sukth Church and its neighbors.
As a team we are grateful for this chance to get to know our Albanian partners, their environment, opportunities and challenges and to support their efforts to grow the church in this beautiful country.
We would appreciate prayer for the following:
– Good attendance by students at the Tuesday and Wednesday night DEC youth events. Hearts of those who attend will be open to the Holy Spirit’s movement and the Gospel of Christ.
– Tuesday night women’s event for DEC, Sukth and The Orchard women. Transparency and open sharing among the women, illuminated by Biblical truth.
– Good physical health for The Orchard team members and the Rushiti family.
Wow, a lot of these places and names are familiar to me. The customs of invitation- totally not!
It is so impressive that you rolled up your sleeves and went to work over in Sukth, of which I read during Brad’s prayer journey with the friends over there.
May God wonderfully draw the people to the English classes and also to our Lord and Savior!