Albania Update # 1

So we made it safely to Albania, as we stay in the city i have access to the internet.  It is now Sunday morning, our team is preparing to go to the International Church here in Tirana. 

Friday, our arrival date, was a day to regroup from the travel.  One bag didn’t make it, which had most of our ministry things, so pray if you will, not so much for the bag, but that the team will express God’s heart even without all we had planned to use in our time here.  It would be great to get the bag before VBS begins and before our scheduled time at the Jonathan Center, but even greater than that would be to simply glorify Christ through all circumstances with or without intended tools.  Friday was a rough day for me emotionally, the loss of the bag stirred much within my soul, there was a lot of crying and trying to be reconciled.  i love the way God shows up in my life, i’m not sure i get it, i’m not sure i can comprehend the vastness of His love, mercy, and grace in my life.  As i prayed and cried on Friday i asked for a verse to hold on to for this trip to be a reminder of what my focus should be, and i received His truth.  i opened My Utmost for His Highest, i was a few days behind and the first verse was this: 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

(Matthew 6:33 ESV)

It has been absolutely perfect and a reminder each moment about what my heart should be centrally focused upon…seeking His kingdom and his righteousness firstly…His kingdom is here and it is now, it is not a faraway time.  He is real and He desires us to be seeking His kingdom and righteousness.  This verse, in fact, has completely altered how i was approaching this trip.  i am in awe with the goodness of God, how no matter what state my heart is in, He is a faithful companion, who draws me out of myself into a place of humility and hope, He sees beyond my wretchedness when i can’t.  i love that.  i love that he loves me in my brokenness and he loves this world we live in, in all it’s brokenness, with love that wants to redeem and restore the current state of our brokenness and fill it with hope that surpasses our current circumstances.

Yesterday, was a day of sightseeing and becoming more familiar with the culture of Albania and the life and history of this country.  i felt much like a tourist, but it was needed a bit, coming off the heels of an emotionally charged day.  The end of the day was spent enjoying dinner and conversation with some Albanians doing ministry here in Tirana, and my excitement runneth over as i talked with Ada about the Jonathan Center for children with Down’s Syndrome.  

Continue to pray for our team and for the country of Albania and seeking the kingdom and his righteousness!  Thanks for that.

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