"I recentely traveled to Albania in Southern Europe on a mission trip late May into early June. I went with Oakton UMC north of Jasper. There was a group of about 18 of us. Part of the group left early to travel to Liberia in West Africa to construct a water tower system for an existing school. They were delayed a few days getting there but by the grace of God was able to pull together in the time they had to complete that mission. They then met the rest of us in Tirana, Albania. We did kids and youth events in the streets and the mountains. God was very good and gracious to equip us for the task that we had, as it was very challenging at times".
"I had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala City this spring with 3 oher friends of mine. While there, we ministered at Rhema Bible College for two days. We also ministered in various church services, seminars and classes. We saw God move in a mighty way, as there were near 1,500 decisions for Christ. I really was blessed by how much the people there desire to experience God. I learned a lot of new things on this trip, as it was a very different trip than I had ever been on. We were able to spend time with a few pioneers of the faith in Guatemala City, and that was exciting. I definitely have a desire to go back."
"I recently took a trip to Albania with a group from our church, Oakton UMC. We spent 11 days in Albania doing ministry work, at different places in the capital, Tirana. Then we venturd into the mountains for 5-6 days, of this time. We've seen good results each time we have went, and are anxious to return again. There are good things going on with the young men in the villages, up in the mountains. Some of my favorite times are spent in the small group settings, just listening to their hearts and concerns they have. Many are new believers, but they want to learn so much more. I always come back from Albania with the outlook of getting my life "more simple". I learn that, much of the time I make life to complicated, and see that many in this world have less than I do, but are happier... Food for thought.
Most of our time was spent with the kids and youth in the mountains. We did skits to music and also played a lot of games with them. Our goal is to reach out and show love to them. We've found through many trips that ministry is, a lot of the time, just being yourself to them, being real and showing you care. This was my 3rd time going, and each time I develop better and stronger relationships with a few of them there. The local missionaries there, who are native to Albania, Elvis and Beta Coni, have spent many years developing ministry, that is not an easy one. Albania has tradional Muslim history and it is not easy to minister there. Although there is never a feeling of threat to us, the old tradition is prevalent when we are there. Last year was a big year for the Albania mission. Several young men were baptized, and this year we baptized 11 more young men, as well as one teenage girl. This is not common or even heard of. We give God the credit for what he is doing in Albania. As the door remains open to continue to go. We welcome anyone who wants to come share this experience with us. We usually go the last week of May into the 1st week of June. We start planning the previous year so we can work out the details. These trips take a lot of preparation as well as prayer, for all going. If you have any questions or interest, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. "