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HEART Christian newspaper | July 15, 2019

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All smiles in Albania

All smiles in Albania

Back row (left to right): Artan Ramaj, Mina Mall, Mark Allwright, Miljard Gosturani, Denise Mazzoleni, Julie Williams
Middle Row: Aurora Sang, Giovanni Siragusa, Hannah Howgill, Jackie Gray, Genevieve Fox, Yasmin Frampton, Rebekah Tonge, Joy Dawes, Karin Smale
Front row: Melchiorree Ficano, Thomas Curryer, Michele Steffieri, Daniele Gremito, Genzi Zeka, Ergys Gjoka, Tyler Evenson

Mark Allwright reports on an exciting joint venture between Sussex and Albanian churches

In September a combined team from Centre Church (from Burgess Hill and Brighton Campuses) and from The IBTI (International Bible training Institute) went on a mission trip to Albania led by Tyler Evenson. Ultimately, the aim of the trip was to support and encourage a church and church plant, in the areas of Institut and Bathore in the capital, Tirana.

While there, the team ministered in the local communities, visiting families in their homes and in the two churches. The team also put together a couple of evangelistic events in these towns and put on special outreaches for children as well as running women’s meetings and getting involved in the life of the churches. The desire and hunger of the churches to know more of God was contagious and inspired us as a team. Even though we were the ones out there to bless them, they blessed us! Although language and translation was difficult at times God still moved before our eyes and came through these difficulties. We saw many respond, particularly in the women’s meetings where they had an amazing time of prayer after the services.

When we were with the Albanian pastors and their teams, we saw their love for their community; for example, through their children’s ministry and weekly football outreach. One of their team would drive for over half an hour on dusty unmade roads just to collect a few children from an outlying village so they could go to Sunday school. Their commitment and love for God was so visible.

The exciting part is that it won’t all end there. On the Albanian front, the church is already praying and talking about planting another church in a more rural village. Back home in England, there are also plans and ideas going on in Centre Church as to what we can do in the near future. A couple of the team have been so challenged that they are making plans to return to Albania for longer periods.

In all this it is plain to see that God’s work is in progress. If you can, please pray for the churches in Albania, pray for the Albania pastors and their teams, for finance, but especially pray for the people of Albania; that they would all come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

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