We are so grateful to have arrived safely in Albania. After traveling for 15 hours, the team was greeted warmly in Tirana on Saturday afternoon by our good friend Kujtim Rushiti who took us to our hotel in Durrës. Our gracious hosts insisted on feeding us a snack before we headed out to explore the city. Durrës is a study of contrasts – new buildings are towering over run down ones, cobblestone streets mix with paved ones, steepled mosques mingle with Christian churches tucked into buildings here and there. We were able to see a second century, Roman-inspired amphitheater as well as the King’s Palace, where NATO was headquartered during the Kosovo War. Kujtim and Alexander later headed off to a soccer ministry in Tirana while Dan, Claire, Kendra and Darcy went to dinner at a restaurant which encloses the end of the Via Egnatia.
Today (Sunday), the team was blessed to attend services in two church plants. In the morning, we headed to the village of Sukth, about 20 minutes from Durrës. Besi and Miriam lead a small congregation of faithful believers. We were blessed to have Kujtim there to translate the service for us. We also participated in the Lord’s supper with them. Upon returning to Durrës, we dined with Kujtim and Lauren and their family in their home. We heard about their ministry and prayed over them for all the work they’re doing in Albania. In the evening, we attended the service at Durrës Evangelical Church. It was wonderful to worship with them to many of the same songs we do – although trying to recall the English words while others are singing them in Albanian was quite the challenge! The church had an American pastor as a guest for the evening, so we were able to understand the sermon without a translator.
In the evening, the girls attended a birthday party for a local missionary with Lauren while the boys hung out with Kujtim and the kids. We are looking forward to Brad and Kari Mullet’s arrival tomorrow as we move onward to Greece.
Thanks for praying!