What is Albania?

For many Americans, Albania is a country they know very little, if any, about. It is a mostly unknown country, because so much of its past is shrouded in turmoil and confusion. Even to Albanians, some of the history is a question mark. When Mitchell and I first started praying and planning this trip to Albania, we knew very little about the country. Even when we would tell people about our next adventure, most did not know where Albania is located. The most we knew was that the country had a turbulent past, there is a great population of Roma and Gypsies, and apparently the country is very beautiful. So far, we have found all of these to be true. But we have also learned a whole lot more.

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Abounding Creativity

As we’ve been exploring these first few days in Albania, we’ve seen a culture which still creates. A lot of the markets feature handmade goods, and it is beautiful. There is a lot of color, from the buildings to the people. In a culture which is still developing as a country, having been free for only a short time, it is beautiful to see the people coming into their own.

A glimpse at some of the buildings here in Albania. They are colorful and a joy to look at.
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Introduction to Albania

The mission statement of Nehemiah Gateway Albania.

Today was our first full day in Albania. We got settled into our room and immediately began the introductions and meeting the staff at Nehemiah Gateway. It was all about learning the mission of the organization and seeing how each of the pieces fit together to form the bigger picture. We got a tour of the Nehemiah Campus, and then we went to one of the local schools for the Roma children. We discovered that the school is much more than just a school, but rather it is a place of relationships within the community and a truly safe place for families. We learned about the history of the organization, and a few stories of key people within the organization at different levels, and it is an awesome testimony of the faithfulness of God to His children. We are excited for the events to come for our time here.

Nehemiah Gateway vision statement in the three core languages of the organization:
English, Albanian, German.

A New Adventure

Hanging out at the USO in DIA before the start of our next adventure.

It’s been a bit since I’ve updated this site, but life is beginning a new path starting today. My husband, Mitchell, and I have been praying about our life path and ministry together. Recently an opportunity came up through our church in Estes Park for a mission, and after praying we felt a nudge to go and see what God has for us. We have felt a call into missions, and this is our vision trip to see what it might look like.

So we are off to Albania.

We will be posting brief updates during our trip, and we appreciate your prayers for us along the way. God has something big planned, and we are so excited to see what it is.

1.9.19 – Seeing the Rainbow

*This devotion was first published on Pastor Jess Mahon’s (Rocky Mountain Church) daily blog Fresh Bread. I am a contributing writer when he is away. The original post can be found here.

In Genesis 8 we read the story of Noah and his family and all of the animals on the ark. The rain has stopped pouring down, but the waters still cover the earth. They are waiting for the earth to dry out. It’s about seven months later, but finally, the mountain peaks are beginning to poke above the water level. Noah released a raven first, and it flew back and forth until the earth dried up. Then he also released a dove, but it returned to the boat when there was no dry ground to be found. Seven days later Noah rereleased the dove, and this time it came back with an olive leaf in its beak. This was a sign to Noah that the floodwaters were almost gone and the earth was drying up. Another week later, Noah released the dove again and this time it did not return. The earth was drying out, but Noah was still waiting on word from God for when he and his family could leave the boat. It would be another two more months before Noah would hear God say “Leave the boat, all of you – you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. Release all the animals – the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground – so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.” (Genesis 8:16-17).

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