June 23, 2019
Two English Languages camps done! It was amazing! Great kids…wonderful local hosts…a fantastic ministry team from Alpha Omega Church here in Peshkopi…a gorgeous country…and a special team from Latvia and America. It was truly international, multi-lingual, and cross-cultural, and we are grateful to have been part of it once again.
Well, I’m behind by a couple of days already! Today is already Sunday! Uffda! Our Moses journey has taken us from the burning bush, through the Red Sea, the giving of the Ten Commandments, and the journey to the Promised Land. Along the way, I introduced the idea that the Moses story is a “preview” of what God has done for us through Jesus – leading us out of bondage to sin and death and into an abundant life lived by faith in the promise of an eternal life with God. We finished Camp 1 with a great picnic at a beautiful spot down in the valley by the Drin River. It was a lot for the kids to take in, but a great week for all of us!
On Thursday evening we took a local excursion about a half hour away to visit two very old Orthodox Christian churches that date back to the 1200’s. Amazing! They had certainly aged, but we saw iconography on the walls and ceilings, and remnants of once-beautiful, rustic places of worship looking out over the gorgeous Drin River Valley.
On Saturday, our team and Albanian hosts/translators went on an excursion into Kosovo, visiting the city of Prizren and watching some wonderful traditional Albanian dancing that we were not expecting to see. It was a great day filled with seeing new sites, fun conversations and good humor, and amazingly beautiful mountain scenery that rivals anywhere else in the world. Very nice! Our American/Latvian/Albanian group truly has become a unified, cohesive team that works together to make Christ known.
Today, Sunday, we worshiped at Alpha Omega Church in the morning, and, as requested, I preached the sermon. I’m a little rusty, but it went fine, with the skillful translation of Pastor Ermal Lushi, our host pastor. The afternoon was spent setting up rooms for Camp 2, followed by a team meeting to coordinate our efforts in the hope/trust that the week will get off to a good start. That was followed by a fantastic dinner, hosted by the American missionaries, Dan and Dawn Hall. Yup, a great week has finished and a new week has begun. On to Camp 2 with the middle/high schoolers!
Pr. Phil & Carolyn Lee are the EEMN Albania Team Leaders. After serving as team members in 2017 they grew a true affinity for the people and for the stunning land of Albania. After faithfully serving Deny Park Lutheran in Seattle, Pr. Phil & Carolyn now spend much of their time serving in Arizona at Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat Center for pastors, spouses, and ministry leaders in need of emotional and spiritual support.