This is an update letter from Logan Hall, a student at VMI from Salem who we are financially supporting to be a missionary in Albania for 11 weeks this summer. Check out how God is using him this summer and how you can pray for him:
Hello Brothers and Sisters,
I now have one month left here in Albania! That means I have been here for about six weeks. It is amazing how time flies.
It is also important to note that the church has also been open now for one month!!! It opened June 8th and it is amazing how many people God has brought into this place.
What is it like to have childlike faith? Children have the ability to walk up to a pantry and know food will be in it. This is faith. Children see their parents and they expected to feel loved by them. This is faith. Children expect to have a bed to sleep in each night. This is faith. Children hear and believe in Bible stories such as Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, and Moses parting the Red Sea. This is faith.
Children want to feel loved, compassion, and comfort. They want to have fun, be active, and rejoice. When children are taught stories from the Bible and from other places they believe what they are told without question. Matthew 19:14 states, "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" What does that phrase "such as these" refer to?
Children are innocent and full of faith. They want to do what is best for people. The Bible also states in Matthew 18:3, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Each day going forward we need the kind of faith in God that a child has. We need childlike faith.
This is what others have expressed and I have begun to see in the faces and emotions of the children here in Albania. It is truly breathtaking to see how God uses all of these little children.
NORTH CAROLINA CAME TO HELP
This past week a team of seven from North Carolina came to help support the work being done here in Albania. Their support was tremendous as they brought a VBS program to allow the kids to paint, do crafts, perform in theater, and learn more about Jesus. They were able to create an atmosphere that was full of love and they built great relationships with the kids. There was even a surprise earthquake in the middle of the week! The team was able to remain calm and flexible. They were able to keep doing activities outside with the kids which helped the children remain relaxed. (Earthquakes are a rare occasion in Tirana and it is possible this was the first earthquake some of the children felt. In Albania, due to the structural integrity of the buildings, they are taught to evacuate outside during such an event) They taught the kids about Creation, sin, the birth of Jesus, and His crucifixion and resurrection. The kids were then able to perform in front of their parents. It was a great event!
The North Carolina crew is show throughout the photo: Steve (far left) Becca, Mike, JD, and Mia (Teresa and Mary Alex were not shown in this image)
While the North Carolina team was here they also helped with the adult classes in the evenings. They were great support! Each class we focused on having conversations with the students and gave the opportunity for each student to come get coffee or a meal with people from the team. A few took us up on the offer.
Wednesday night we celebrated July 4th! We had the opportunity to teach the Albanians about America's history as it was built with Christian values. Afterwards we had time to get together and talk to everyone while enjoying a few snacks and drinks. We even learned some traditional Albanian dances!
Everyone is making double headed eagles representing the Albanian flag
THE NEW TEAM
The North Carolina team has now left and they will be greatly missed. This past weekend a team of three gentlemen from Oregon joined us. They will be with us for another two and a half weeks. They are taking the opportunity to teach the kids how to play some basic chords on instruments, how to better present themselves while acting, doing some arts and crafts, and once again learning more about the Bible. The children will be doing a play based on Luke 15 (The Prodigal Son.) We ask for prayers that God will continue to work in this place and give this new team a fire and energy to pour their hearts out on all that are here. They also hope to do some more outreach to the community. We pray that God will begin to open more doors so that opportunities will present themselves.
- Good health moving forward.
- Energy to keep working with the kids and adults so that we can continue to develop relationships and allow God to use us to plant seeds.
- God will always be the focus as we go forward in all that we do.
- The wisdom and knowledge necessary to approach any problems that arise
- The continued pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the people in this community
- More opportunities to share the Gospel whether it is on the streets or with students approaching us with questions.