It’s incredible how only a few hours on a plane can take you to places that are staggeringly different from the environment in which you live. Tirana is a bustling, exciting city but it feels so different from home. It’s interesting to see how a city in a nation without the same restrictions on health and safety as we have grows; six-foot deep holes in the pavement, monstrous curbs and dubious-looking buildings fill the scene. The buildings themselves are much more colourful than home and the mountains on the horizon certainly add to the atmosphere of the city in comparison to the concrete, uniformed disaster that is Bracknell.
It’s a place utterly different to what I’m used to, but it’s so comforting to see that the church is still gaining ground…and fast.
Tirana isn’t the only city we have connections with as a team, but it was fantastic that on our first day in the country we got to see some of the youth workers and the building in which they worshipped. It’s in the middle of a housing block…apparently when they gather to sing it’s quite loud, so lots of people living in the houses surrounding the church can hear them. I think that’s great! The guys assured me that there have been no complaints just yet though…It’s an amazing and sobering thought that whilst we are incredibly blessed with resources, people, equipment and buildings at Kerith, God can meet with you wherever you are, regardless of circumstances, resources or people.
What excites me most is seeing familiar faces from a few years of making these trips and more importantly, the impact they are having on their communities. I can’t wait to get stuck in today. If you are into prayer, pray for us. Pray that the teams we meet with would leave completely transformed after the next few days. Pray that revival would break out in Albania in ways that we couldn’t possibly imagine. Pray that despite everything we do, Jesus would firmly be at the center of all of it. Pray that people would change their eternal destinies this week. Come on God!