My final day, and am now heading home for Tollesbury on the 19.20 flight from Rinas Airport. This has been my 6th Albanian trip since Mar 2007 when Andrew Eastham and I were invited to present a training session at the RrKK Conference for groups involved in summer camp work with children.
That first meeting was the beginning of an exciting journey of friendship with Albania. Rachel Wilson and the Shkendije Foundation feature highly, and so do folk from Goni Çakrri’s family and also more recent friends from the Albanian Orthodox Church. It feels as though every visit adds the the rich tapestry of friends — long may it continue.
God is blessing Albania. After 40 years of oppression, people of faith are experiencing new freedom. My prayer also is for a growing reality of true democracy in the wider community, and for the balance of attention to be on the poor and marginalised.
But finally have a special thought and maybe a prayer for:
:: Vali as she continues to lead the children and young people’s work in Shengjin — it’s maybe the beginning of a new worshiping Christian community.
:: Spark the Urban Outreach, the Van that came from Tollesbury. It’s a means of serving unchurched children in the capital city Tirana. And a way to encourage churches to look outside of their doors and be better trained in children’s ministry.
:: A permanent campsite for Shkendije, maybe on a lakeside setting in the north. A facility that will serve children and young people all the year round.
:: The Shkendije team: Marko, Matilda, Rachel and Vali — they work incredibly hard, financial resources are meagre (there’s not enough for next months office rent) — they deserve our thoughts, prayers and gifts.

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