[hr]Today our guests arrived in Albania from Vermont. We were so thankful they were able to make connections out of Boston in spite of all the complications from storm “Sandy”. We have several work projects that will keep them busy. It’s too bad they had to arrive with temps in the 70’s and plenty of sunshine. Let’s just hope it can stay this way for 2 weeks.
The bleak hard life in Darshen has been sending most of its inhabitants to the city in order to find a better standard of living. Only the least fortunate are left to live their subsistance style of living. Last week Mandi’and Xhina delivered a van load of goods to the people in Darshen . They were so grateful for this assistance.
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)
It is always a privilege to share our heart with others about Albania. This past Sunday we were at Dillon Mennonite Church, about 10 miles from our Green Valley home. It was extra special to introduce Cydil and Nathan to our friends and to explain their upcoming role of ministry and partnership with Planters and World Gospel Mission. This, also, was Dillon’s mission’s emphasis day and so there were various times of sharing and fellowship with everyone which we enjoyed very much.
Look at all of the minitries Dillon Church is supporting! It is great to see their missions heart!
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
(photo taken this summer during a kick-off rally)
Not new to many of you , and certainly not new to us, Planters is excited to announce that Nathan and Cydil Waggoner have joined our staff. Their current role is raising their support in order to live full-time in Albania. As soon as they reach their financial goal, they will be headed to Albania to learn the language and to serve as church planters in the village of Vlashi. Pease join us in praying for God’s timing for their departure and for provision of their needs.
Managing is a nececessity for all businesses and unfortunately there is no difference for Planters in Albania. Sarah’s summer trip focused mainly to set up details for two upcoming fall and winter teams. But thankfully there was more that happened than just business. Genti planned a baptismal service which is always a highlight. Witnessiing youth placing their faith in a lifetime commitment to God makes our hearts dance with joy. Seeing God working in these young lives encourages us to continue and to be so thankful for what God is doing in this post-Communist land.
Sarah joining with the Albanian staff, Arjan, Mandi, Sarah, Shpresa and Genti
By the picture you can tell we’re in the mountain village with our new friend, Dr. Tom. He has volunteered to help in the villages of Planters. Our neighbor lady to our children’s club meeting place had dental issues that required extraction. So in the middle of the street, outside of the club and beside the gristmill we set up our clinic and proceeded to see another 38 patients. In a rather public viewing, Dr. Tom got his tooth, the crowd was pleased, and she went away with less pain than she had before.