After a refreshing weekend of sleeping in late (9 am!) and touring the city, our team was ready to come back to the camp energized and excited for a brand new week.
Today we learned about how to find peace through Jesus, and we discussed how Jesus calmed the storms. When we asked the kids about why Jesus would not be afraid and could sleep through a storm, a camper named Arijanit raised his hand and responded, “God created the wind and the waves, and He is powerful, and Jesus is God”. It’s very evident that our lessons are beginning to take root thanks to God’s love and power.
In the afternoon, we took a trip to the beach–something we do three days a week. Our bus ride was filled with 40 children singing Albanian music at the top of their lungs. I was amazed at how they all knew the lyrics and was so happy by these creations made in God’s own image.
As I was taking in this “live concert,” I realized that happiness is a universal language. These kids have such diverse and different backgrounds than ours back in the States, yet we all can come together to sing, shout, and dance.
This joyful experience reminded me about the unity and joy we can find in Jesus. That’s why I’m so grateful for this opportunity to teach the campers about Jesus and his ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy eternal peace and joy.
After 13 roundabouts, three times having to wait for a cow to cross the road, and 3 one-way streets that we discovered were actually two ways, we finally made it to the beach. Today, we planned to have a Beach Olympics event involving different relay races and team games. We buried each other in sand, raced to fill up bottles with sponges soaked with water, and tried to keep water in cups poked with holes. We had a blast cheering on the campers and working together to accomplish silly things.
Back home after a long day at the beach, it’s so rewarding to see the kids beaming to their parents, displaying the crafts that they made during the day. After the kids leave, we debrief our day offering encouragement to one another and expressing how we saw God working throughout the day. This offers us the chance to improve the next day and be built up by fellow teammates. Then we go back to the hotel to take much needed showers to wash the sand out of our ears.
As we continue our week, please pray that we:
- continue to preach truth from God’s Word
- stay healthy and excited so that we can best serve the campers
- work well together and help each other especially since three of our team members head back to the States
- encourage the church here in Durrës by working alongside them