Thursday, April 29, 2010

Elbasan Internet Cafe

I'm with Ken in an internet cafe in Elbasan and having read the BBC news now feel in touch with the outside world once again! It's strange that the whole election campaign in the UK must be coming to some sort of finale with the final leaders debate tonight yet we have no contact with that world.

It's fascinating being in Albania. Under communism it was declared the world's first atheist nation, and any sort of religious practice was banned up until May 1990. Until then church leaders were killed and all religious buildings were either demolished or turned into shops. What that means is that pretty much every Christian you meet is a first generation Christian. My stock question has now become "how did you become a follower of Jesus" which produces some of the most amazing stories I've ever heard. From people going to the library during communism and asking for the best book in the place and being given an illegal Bible to people seeing angels to conversations with a Christian on a train to someone hearing a Christian band playing in the open air and being convicted of their need for Christ. God is at work here as much as He is in Bracknell or anywhere else I've been in the world and it's faith building to see it happening.

Ken & Ann are excellent guides and Andy Jackson is a great travelling companion. For some photos of some of the people we've met check out Ken & Ann's Blog. Tonight we're going to meet the leaders of another church, Ilir & Donica who I've already met in Bracknell, and then tomorrow off to another church to meet the leaders there.

Its' so useful for me to see first hand the work that is going on here, to meet many of the leaders I've met in Bracknell on their home patch and see some of the great things they are up to. The impact of Ken and Ann, the youth team we sent out last year and the money we have given here is tangible and so exciting to see. Please pray that we might be an encouragement to all the leaders here and be able to bring some wisdom into the situations they face, as well as learning from all they are doing.

I do miss Bracknell though, and for me being here just reinforces that my primary role is building Kerith at home so that it can be a resource base from which many others will go and impact nations.

I hope you're all doing well - I'm praying for you all.

Simon.

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