[hr]Not too far away from our apartment in Tirana is a major city round about. Last week we noticed a new addition to the landscape in the center of the round about. Someone in the van piped out, “It’s the American flag!”. Of course, the next day we walked back with our cameras to show everyone the new design. We find it so great that another country shows our country so much respect. Thank you, Albania.
Editors Note: The monument in the middle of the roundabout is in honor of Woodrow Wilson. After WWI several countries had their eyes on absorbing Albania into their territories. President Wilson spoke up for the autonomy of Albania and included them as their own nation state in the League of Nations (pre-cursor of the United Nations).
[hr]It has been on the list for a long time to make some better accommodations on the second floor of our Tirana guest apartment. Now with Cydil and Nathan making plans to live there we have decided to get some work done. Today we had the floor cut out to make way for a spiral stairway to go back and forth from the second to the first floor. Also, we cut out a doorway to make the kitchen accessible from the living room. When it is all completed it will make hosting guests much easier. In the photos we didn’t capture the dust that flew when the jack hammer was working. I’ll just say that the workman was grateful when I handed him a mask to wear.
[hr] Albania had a special guest from America yesterday. The news covered Hilary’s visit with great enthusiasm. Government offices excused their employees so they could be in the city’s center to greet her coming. Albanians always know how to make visitors feel special!
Planters’ Albania staff sent us the news and photos of the Luis Palau crusade that was held last weekend. The estimated crowd for each night was around 3,000 people. Not only did they hold evening services but there also was a kids camp where there were other activities. Genti said there were over 750 commitment cards that were turned in after the services. Praise God for these individuals that recognized their need for a Savior.
Special thank you to the staff for sending us these photos. Pictures tell a thousand words.
In just a matter of hours Tiranafest will commence. There will be thousands of Albanians that will hear the gospel for the very first time. Pray with us that God’s spirit will rain down upon that assembled body and open the hearts of those attending.
Last evening I was reading 2 Corinthians 4-6 (The Message) where it summed up life so well and how this truth needs to be heard and felt in the hearts of those attending the Tiranafest.
“Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messaih that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore . Now we look inside, and what we see is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives, God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him and who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” (Paul, the apostle)
There have been months of preparation for the Louis Palau crusade that is on September 22 and 23. The church is excited in how the future of their country can be impacted through this event. Many activities are being scheduled for the political leaders to be a part of hearing the testimony of Luis Palau and the story of redemption in Jesus Christ.
Please pray for Albania during this time and for a country-wide moving of God’s spirit. Please pray for Genti and Shpresa as they lead the churches in making this crusade a powerful impact for years to come. (for additional information for this event ) mnnonline.org/article/17577
Here are some great pictures of the Easter celebration that was held on Sunday. The evangelical organization sponsored the march with all of the city churches. It is a wonderful display to all of their country to show that Christianity is alive, well, and is here to stay. To put a face or should I say, a thousand faces to the Christian church tells the government that Albania is not only Muslim but Christian as well! Enjoy the story of photos.
Today was a day off for most business and schools. It is a muslim feast day and so we thought it best not to do any home visits when families are getting together for a special day. We took the opportunity to get some more paper work done and meeting with friends for coffee.