Today Natalie, Chris and I met Manjola, Edita and Zamira for second breakfast to discuss how to do Vacation Bible School here next summer. We all agreed to call it English Camp. It would be clear to the parents that we would be teaching the kids about the bible, but that the children would be learning the songs, and stories and doing the crafts and playing the games in English. The main problem we see is that the week they want to have it (the week in June both American and Albanian schools end) is one of the busiest of the year for people at our church. We are running our own VBS and also because American kids are out of school, it’s harder for people without children to leave their kids for a week than it would be if they were still in school.
As I left the hotel today I thought “I’m going to take my passport and my toothbrush just in case, because I don’t know what the day will bring.” I’m such a planner, but there’s no way you can here, and I think that’s good for me. Zef showed up as the meeting was ending and drove us (The whole team except Jim and Jason, plus an Albanian friend Lorenc) to Durres, which Lorenc described as “Albania’s San Diego.” It is the start of the Via Ignacia which is the Roman road stretching from Durres through Greece to modern-day Turkey. The apostle Paul certainly took this road, and they believe Titus was martyred here. We talked, planned, and ate. Zef is really happy about the Leadership talks Chris has given, the medical talks Ted has given, and he is especially happy about the major construction and painting that Jim and Jason are heading up. Many people from Emanuel and a few paid workers have worked alongside these guys, and they have made the space so much bigger and more useable
It was good to be with Ted again. We’ve hardly seen him! We heard from Lorenc how Emanuel would like to start a high school, and would like to partner with US churches for the students to spend their last year of high school in America. The kids could live in our homes and attend our schools. They would go back to Albania with more understanding of what’s possible and if there were enough of them, they could make a huge difference in Albania’s future. People here feel so powerless and need good role models of how to take your power to achieve great things instead of being fatalistic and blaming corrupt leaders. Interesting idea.