He [Christ Jesus] is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:28-29)
The Albania Team resonates with Paul, recognizing our energy is not our own, but comes from the powerful works of Christ in us! Our days are long, hot, tiring, and strenuous. Our first full week had clearly exhausted our student leaders by the end of camp Friday, some of whom were taking well-earned naps on the bus ride home from a long, sunny and sizzling afternoon at the beach with campers. Being physically spent to advance the Gospel has been worth every smile, praise and bit of Biblical truth retained by the children we are serving. The campers are excited for visits to the beach, praise dances and making new friends, and are eager to learn about Jesus, answer questions and recite Bible verses.
Fernando is an adorable kiddo in elementary school who loves sharing secret handshakes, back-flipping off counselors at the beach, and joyfully shared a Bible verse to me yesterday without any prompting. Esina is an inspiring young teenager whose Christian parents both come from believing families, met at Church, and raised her to follow our Lord. Her story is a rare one for Albania, in which only a few thousand Evangelical Christians barely make a dent in the total population. Her maturity in faith, others-oriented service, helpfulness in translating, and intent study of languages and music are inspiring. I pray and hope the Lord fulfills her dreams of becoming a professional translator and interspersing Christian messages into Albanian pop radio.
This weekend the team looks forward to resting up for a second full week of camp. I am looking forward to worshipping again with brothers and sisters in Christ at Durres Evangelical Church this Sunday. We are one body in Christ, though very different members; we share in the same mission, birthright and adventure – to make disciples of all nations. It is truly a gift to be emptied for the sake of the Gospel; where we once felt our own strength, we are now filled with the Spirit, power and joy of our risen Lord Jesus, working out of our secure rest in Him.
- This weekend our team will be responsible to feast on God’s Word, pray for one another, deepen our friendships, catch up on sleep, and enjoy exploring Durres.
- For our team to stay united, physically healthy, and for healing for those who are feeling sick or emotionally and spiritually drained.
- For the Gospel to take root in those we minister to. For children to be saved and rise up as the next generation of Christian leaders for the advancement of the Gospel in Albania.
- For the multiplication of believers and ministry outcomes among Durres Evangelical Church. For the expanding outreach into educational services and planting Churches along the Via Ignatia to be affirmed and prospered by our Lord.
Kurt Pazdra II