If I were to ask 3 people to point to Albania on my world map arm, 1 might be able to, 1 would know the general location, and 1 would have literally no clue (it’s fine, I was that last one this time last year). It’s across the water from Italy and really close to Greece – that’s the only way I know how to explain it. Albania’s entire population is less than the population of Atlanta, GA. Big for a city, small for a whole country. However, great things come in small packages and holy moly is God moving in that beautiful country!!!
Albania was a communist country until 1991. Yeah, only 26 years ago. When I say communist, I mean hardcore communist. Like picture North Korea. Albania was just like North Korea is today only 26 short years ago!! They were the first and ONLY country to declare themselves officially atheistic in their Constitution. They were unreachable with the Gospel. In fact, when communism fell in 1991, there were only SIX believers. SIX CHRISTIANS IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY.
The good news? God can do A LOT in 26 years. And He did.
Even though, today, 70% of Albanians call themselves Muslims, they are not observant Muslims meaning they do not participate in the majority of Islam practices. Albania is a predominately Muslim country because that’s what their great-grandparents believed before Communism took root in their country. Because the country spent such a long time being forced to believe in nothing, the younger generations are open to so many things. This is why it is important that missionaries for Christ take the opportunity to travel to Albania and spread the love of Christ. They are intrigued by Americans and the story of Jesus Christ.
Campus Crusade for Christ is an organization that reaches high school and college-aged students on their school campuses. There are currently 120 Albanian nationals staffed by Cru who go to college campuses in the capital city of Tirana and spread the Word of God. Remember, there were only six believers in 1991… now, not only are there 100+ believers, but there are 100+ nationals devoting their lives to working for the Lord in ministry!!!!! YES – GET EXCITED!!!!
I told you God could do a lot in 26 years.
This is my friend, Pellumb, from Albania. Pellumb is on staff at CRU in Albania and is currently in the United States on furlough trying to raise funds so he can continue to do his work in Tirana. I asked Pellumb why he chose to spend his life as a missionary even though his degree is in teaching. He showed me Revelation 7:9 which says, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…”, Then he said, “My wife, Eli, and I devoted our lives to serving Christ because we did not want to be alone when that time came… we didn’t want to be the only Albanians standing before the throne.”
I wanted to share all of this history because I am so appreciative of each and every person that has supported me the past two years and helped me get to Albania – whether it be financially or prayerfully. The work the Lord is doing in Albania is above and beyond anything I, or anyone, could fathom and He is not done yet.
I also wanted to share the history of Albania because I am in awe. From constitutionally naming your country atheistic to developing 120 missionaries in twenty-six years seems impossible. But, you guys, what is impossible to man is possible with God. I challenge you to remember Albania in your prayers, and as you pray for them, I want you to pray for breakthroughs in other countries too. Countries like North Korea – a country that everyone has seemed to give up on and lost hope in. Because I’ve seem Him move, and now that you’ve read this blog, so have you. I believe I’ll see Him do it again.
I am home from Albania and am still so blown away by how sweet Jesus is. I know that He doesn’t need me on His team, but He still pursues me and fights for me and asks me to join Him in the Great Commission.
Our English camp was different this year because we were with high school students rather than college-aged students, but it was still so so good. We had 13 students come to know Christ. All the glory to Him, you guys!! I made new friends and was able to reconnect with old friends from last year. Shoutout to social media for allowing us to keep in touch from so many thousands of miles away. I truly cannot wait to see how the Lord uses these students to elevate His name and I pray we are able to reconnect one day!