Filled with children and their parents, the church was hot, stuffy, and difficult to move around in. Praise God! It was a packed house.
This was the Saturday after we completed our ten days of summer camp averaging well over 40 children a day. The church was full as the children and their families had returned for a special program. Each group of children took a turn reciting a memory verse they had learned in camp and either sang one of the camp songs or performed a skit they had created to convey one of the Bible lessons they had learned. The teenage camp counselors from The Orchard handed out certificates for each camper celebrating something uniquely special they had seen in each child. Plus, we watched a video montage of our camp before having some snacks and socializing.
After much laughter, hugs, smiles, tears, and goodbyes, the church eventually cleared out. We gathered our team together along with our Albanian church family, grabbed a couple of guitars, and belted out some heartfelt worship to our great God. “What I have just witnessed here is amazing. You have no idea,” said Kujtim Rushiti, referring to the love between campers and teenage counselors and the joy of the camper’s parents. God had graciously worked through us to produce fruit as we depleted ourselves teaching and living out the love of Jesus. Please pray that our work these past couple of weeks will bear eternal fruit in the lives of the children to the glory of God.
One final story. Trina came down with pink eye immediately after we arrived in Albania. While Kujtim took her to the local pharmacy for the appropriate medicine, he struck up a conversation with one of the pharmacy workers about the camp. She ended up enrolling her son, Marko, in our camp and was there last Saturday at the parent program. Marko was there for the duration of the camp enthusiastically participating in everything. He heard biblical teaching on topics such as “Who is Jesus?”, “What is faith?”, and “What is a Christian?” Trina’s ailment brought Marko to a place where he heard the Gospel and was loved by Christians. What a reminder that none of these children were at our camp by random chance.
- Praise to our sovereign God who brought 48 children to hear His word.
- Praise God for teenagers from The Orchard who gave it their all to let their light shine.
- Praise God for raising up a local church with passionate and faithful leaders in the spiritual desert of Durres, Albania.
- Praise God for the multitude of ways that He worked in us and through us on this trip.
Thanks for your partnership in this ministry!
We are thrilled to hear about how the Lord has worked in Albania to draw people to Himself! It is wonderful to be a part of it and see His great love for people. Thank you for your willingness to go and serve.
Wow, Mike. Just wow! God had his hand on you all, and we’re going to keep praying for Trina, Marko and the other kiddos.
My heart leapt with joy for the Rushitis (and Arvid’s family) for they were reminded that their labors are “not in vain in the Lord.”
Thanks for providing godly, caring gospel leadership!
Mike, thank you for this awesome update. It is amazing when you are on the front lines of watching God work. I especially love the “random chances” that are all specifically orchestrated by the Lord.