Monday, August 18, 2014

Albania Part 2

After the first week in Albania, actually when I first set foot in Albania, I felt like I belonged there. It felt so welcoming and like home away from home. The people are very friendly and loving. The country is a developing country but I think they have something that is so important in their culture. They want to invest in your life and have you invest in theirs. I'm talking face to face real conversation over coffee without cellphones. SAY WHAAAA??? That doesn't happen often here anymore. Unless you demand it.

During the weekend after the VBS camp and before English camp we were able to experience an Albanian wedding. {The man} has been going to Albania for the past few years on this same trip. He has connected with many new friends but this couple in particular has become very close to him and now me as well. Renis and Alba are an inspiring Christ-like couple that were married this summer. Matt was in the wedding and through their friendship with Matt they asked me to be their photographer! An ALBANIAN WEDDING?? I mean really...Who gets to capture an Albanian wedding??  God opened that opportunity and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it all.  {More to come on this event in future posts...stay tuned}

After the weekend we headed to another town outside of the capital. We were met with 20+ college students from the city of Tirana at a resort. We spent 5 days in the resort teaching them about English and about Jesus. Everyday we taught English class from 9am-12noon. There were three levels; beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Being the English teacher that I am, I taught the advanced class with two other lovely ladies from my church. The afternoons were for beach/pool and building relationships with our new friends. We met up as a group each night for an hour and a half to teach parables from the Bible. Matt and I taught a small group together. This was followed by a night activity of some sort. Dancing, movies, games, food, you name it... we did it.

A main purpose for our trip, to teach about the Gospel. It was also the scariest part of the trip for me. That probably sounds ridiculous since I knew thats exactly why I had signed up to go. I feared that I wouldn't have the right words to say or that I wouldn't have all the answers to speak about Jesus to students that haven't heard much about Him, this was also the area that I grew the most. I found myself in many conversations with student about Jesus and my faith. I also found that when I spoke, God was clearly leading the conversation. My goal was to speak truth in a loving way to the students. I shared my testimony and told how God has changed my life and heart. I learned that although I don't have all the answers or even close to all of them I can still impact the lives of others through trusting God and allowing Him to use me to greater His kingdom. Many great friendships were made and I had the opportunity to pray with two girls who accepted Christ.

The camp was life changing in one way or another for each of us. New friendships were built, people were saved, and a good time was shared by all.

There are so many more words I could write to tell you of this experience but as always I prefer my photos tell a bigger portion of my story.

Not related to camp, but just to give you an idea of how beautiful the country is! 

Also not related to the camp. Just loved that these two men were playing a game. :)

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