We arrived as a few of the band members were setting up; Colin and I watched the guys rehearsing briefly (taking notes) before getting stuck in with the training. I was reminded once again how blessed we are to have the facilities that we have, the teams that we have and the leaders that we have. Korce has a fantastic team and a brilliant leader in Edi and are doing an astounding job at their church. What they do with what they have is miraculous; only God could make it happen. However, it pains me to see small things like faulty cables affect the meeting when God is so clearly in it, purely because the funds aren’t available to buy new ones. I feel humbled about this when I think about my frustrations with some of the facilities at home – they might not be perfect, but they are exceptionally good by any standard and seeing the Albanian church soldier on regardless was a stark reminder that our responsibility is to do the best we can with what we’ve got. As Colin said in Elbasan, it’s about going for whatever ‘excellence’ may look like in our context. The Korce team certainly were.
We spent a good few hours working on playing together as a band together yesterday. It was amazing how quickly the time flew by as each member was hungry to improve and to learn. I wish I’d recorded the difference in the band from the beginning to the end. Nothing short of spectacular, not because of our input but because of their desire to give their best to honour God. As the evening meeting arrived, I was feeling the tension that I feel before Revolution lead worship. After so much time working on songs with them, I’m desperate for them to lead well…and they did. I felt so proud of them as they not only lead musically well, but God really met with us in worship. I cannot stress enough what a privilege it is to get to do this.
Liam preached brilliantly; within around three minutes I was called up to watch the back of his head, providing accompaniment from an acoustic guitar. Many people came forward to be healed; around five people were miraculously healed. I wish you could have seen for yourself! Then Vasso the acoustic guitarist vanished, leaving me to play an Albanian version of ‘Our God’ with the band. Having played that in so many different contexts back in England recently, it was an incredibly odd feeling to play it entirely in Albanian, but it’s always an amazing feeling worshipping the same God in different languages. A celebration commenced…much dancing and even a conga line before a lady decided to become a follower of Jesus. All in all, a good night.
Technically, we have accomplished all we came to Albania to do and are simply waiting for the first available flight home, which is tomorrow night. However, we’re not going to simply laze around…we’ve got plenty of time to cram some more stuff in if we try hard enough. Next stop, Librazhd!