The first two days have gone very well at the camp here in Durrës. They have been full of meeting new kids and developing relationships. We start our mornings off by welcoming each child through the door. Today was especially fun because we knew the kids’ names and cheered as they entered the room. They are undeniably happy faces that walk through that door. They give us hugs and high fives as they walk in. Next comes Bible and song time. One of the coolest things for me is to see the children singing and dancing to all the songs. We sing some in English and some in Albanian. They get so excited for both. Some may not yet understand what they are saying but they sing This Little Light of Mine like no other group of kids I’ve seen. Their excitement for the gospel is so encouraging.
After the Bible lesson, we have small group discussion and then a competition between the teams to see who remembers what we just learned. The small group time is a really influential time to have intentional conversations about Jesus. Today we learned about sin, so in small group we talked about how much our sin keeps us from God, but Jesus died on the cross so we can be with God forever.
Game Time is a fun time of day for the kids to just let loose and be kids. Today we played a ton of different board games that they don’t have here that we brought from America. The kids were so interested in learning how to play the new games.
While God is constantly moving all around us, one way I specifically saw Him move today was in one of my students, Denis. Denis wasn’t at camp yesterday so today was his first day. We were going over our memory verses in large group, and students started standing one at a time to say yesterday’s verse. All of a sudden I look back and Denis is standing and saying yesterday’s verse. He had been listening to all the other kids saying it and learned it just like that. The kids here are listening and wanting to learn. I was so encouraged by God moving in Denis’s heart to say that verse.
With the language barrier sometimes it’s hard to communicate with the campers, but I’ve been learning the power of a smile or a hug. That’s another thing about Albania, everyone hugs everyone. These simple things make people feel seen and loved. We taught the kids to sign “I love you” in Sign Language and my group always does it to me now. Simple acts can hold such a big impact. When I see a child’s eyes light up because I look across the room and smile and say I love you in sign language, I see what God does to us everyday: a simple, I see you, you are important, you are loved. This is something I never want to forget, and something I want the people here in Albania and everywhere to believe with their whole heart.
- Health of our team.
- That each child will feel welcomed and loved.
- The campers’ hearts will be open to the gospel.
- The team members from Albania will be encouraged in their faith and continue the great work the Lord is doing through them and this church.
Thank you for your support and for praying for us. God is moving here.
Thanks for the news about the camp in Duress. It is full of joy and hope. We are praying for God to draw them to Himself. Love them!
Denise and Steve
This makes my day! It’s like I’m over there watching the work!
Cool story about Denis memorizing the scripture!
I love that you all have a heart to give a boost to the local Christians.