Friday, May 16, 2008


My week in Albania went well. It's amazing how much you can get done hanging out with some Albanian pastors and a few people from the States. I think that everyone had a great time together - I know I did. Pastor Joe Bubar and Dick Stepanian from Grace Bible in California and Pastor Steve Freeburne from Grace Fellowship in Kentucky all taught during the week. They brought devotionals, teaching on decision making and various issues faced by the church in Albania. We had time for hanging out on the beach to get to know one another, plus a much anticipated soccer match. Actually, the Albanians were anticipating it, the Americans' emotion might have been closer to dread. We all survivied and had a good time. (See the imprint of the ball Besi drilled into my arm.) A Hungarian friend of mine told me before my last visit to never drive in Albania. The drivers there are a bit crazy and it's just plain dangerous. Well, when we were heading to the soccer game there was a quick discussion in Albanian and I ended up with the keys. I thought I was supposed to lock something up at first, then I discovered that it had been decided that I should drive the van. We made it to the soccer field without incident and everyone was duly impressed with my skills. It had been a while since driving a vehicle with the gears on the column!

Overall, the week was great except for the lack of internet access. I was able to use an internet cafe that had just opened the week we were there, but the connection was slow. That meant that the time was taken up with meetings, formal and informal. These pastors (Albanian & U.S.) are a great group of guys. They are working hard to figure out their relationship and how they can partner to best benefit the Church. They are also courageous in sharing of their lives in getting to know each other. Truly a group of men our Father is blessing.

The location was just south of Durres on the beach. Awesome! One dog didn't like me running on his beach in the morning, but he didn't tell me until he had snuck right up behind me. I didn't have any trouble keeping my heart rate in the target zone that morning.

Please pray for these men and women in Albania. Especially remember Emi (sounds like Amy) and Roxanna who are ministering in Polican. There are few believers there and they can easily become discouraged by the circumstances. They are due to have their first child in November. Ask our Father to encourage them by displaying his mercy and power in their lives, in Polican, and in Albania.
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Jeff said...

I hope you caught that ball, it would be a shame if the elbow got charged with an error.

Todd said...

Yeah, they told me I was a great goalie. I explained that it's all in the diet, making myself as wide as possible... =)