In all the journeys I’ve ever taken, the one from Tirana to Elbasan certainly ranks amongst the best in terms of beauty. It’s a slow meander through the mountains and yesterday, with the sun shining and the cloudless sky resting unobtrusively on the horizon, it was possible to see the snow-covered peaks in the distance. In a word, it was breathtaking. It’s hard to travel along roads like that and not feel a sense of awe and wonder towards our Creator. How anyone could see these sights and genuinely believe it arrived by chance is beyond me! I also found it funny how the further away from the pollution of human creation and the closer to the magnificence of God’s creation I get, the closer I feel to Him. I’m realising more and more that I meet with God through his glorious creation.
Once we arrived in Elbasan, we got to see some familiar sights. Back to the same old apartment we stayed in with the band for the last two years and food in the same old restaurant, there is definitely a more casual feel to these trips now. We know the area and its roads; the mystery it holds is dissipating and the novelty of being in a new place has all-but vanished. Memories are strewn across the city – the roundabout where we prayed for a stranger, the radio station we played on, the theatre we led worship in and of course, the church, each a dot that connects to another and helps us navigate to where we need to be. We know where we’re going and now, it’s all about getting on and doing what we’ve come to do.
Colin led the meeting last night as teams arrived from Tirana, Burrel, Korche and of course, Elbasan (apparently, the team from Librazhd are arriving later on today). He talked about the important role of honour in worship and also spent a little bit of time honouring the long-serving worship team members that had joined us. Colin is particularly worthy of honour himself, having utterly transformed the corporate worship times at Kerith Community Church and worked tirelessly in order to get us to the point we’re at now. He is an incredible pioneer for the kingdom of God and whilst it was a shame that Colin celebrated his …th birthday yesterday away from his fantastic family, it was a real privilege for me to see him clearly in his element and I’m pretty sure Colin quite enjoyed spending his birthday talking about his passion too. Happy Birthday C-Bo!
We then went into a time of spontaneous prayer and worship, encouraging teams and playing a whole range of songs together before finishing for the evening. Today we’re hitting the practical, technical issues that worship teams face which is something I’m passionate about. I’m seriously looking forward to this training day in particular, but I’m sure you’ll hear all about it tomorrow!