Hello! I’m excited to let you know about a discipleship trip I’m taking to Albania in July! I have been given the opportunity to join a team through Watermark Community Church to lead a young professionals ministry in the Albanian capital, Tirana, from June 29th through July 9th. We are partnering with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ), who has a thriving ministry in Albania. Our vision is to build loving relationships with young professionals in order to teach them skills in the business world and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our hope is that their hearts will be stirred into a loving relationship with the Lord, so they may know the peace, joy and freedom from Philippians 3:7-8.
This year marks the 27th anniversary of the fall of Communism and the 19th anniversary of the end of the war in neighboring Kosovo, which included the deportation of 800,000 Albanians and the mass genocide of Kosovo Albanians. Today, there is still a need for spiritual healing in Albania. CRU has made great in roads in sharing the Gospel in Albania and surrounding countries. CRU Albania has 100 full time staff in seven distinct ministries located in 5 countries: Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia, and Italy. God is using Albania in amazing ways, and it has been the base for growth in other countries. Every month CRU hosts a seminar on a professional topic, which is attended by 50+ young professionals. These bring opportunities for staff and volunteers to make contacts and invite people to coffee. CRU also organizes training events for committed volunteers to help them effectively share the Gospel. Our team will help them host their big summer project that consists of seminars on a professional theme and evangelism. Then at the end of the week, we invite the believers to join us for a retreat where we further equip them to share the Gospel and live a Christian worldview in the workplace.
The past couple of years at work have been a series of valleys and peaks. Through those challenging times, God has taught me many valuable lessons about finding my identity in Him and trusting Him instead of trying to control the situation. I have also seen how easy it is to get lost in ambition by placing too much value on my career. Looking back, I can see how God has been working in my heart to minister to young professionals. Several months ago during a church service, I was convicted about how I use my free time and the opportunities God has given me to be a light in the workplace. My prayer for 2018 was that God would use me to share the Gospel with my work team. I was not expecting Him to open so many doors in such a short period of time. Although challenging and emotionally draining, I am thankful for the way God has shaped me the last couple of months and more importantly given me the words to comfort and speak truth to coworkers in crisis. As I prepared to go to the first Albania meeting, I was selfishly thinking about why I shouldn’t go on a discipleship trip since the last couple of months have been so challenging. I went to the meeting thinking I would at least talk to my leader and arrived to learn I had been placed on the young professionals team. I assumed I would be working with high school students in Albania because I have been serving in student ministry since 2012. I was so surprised that I forgot to tell them I was thinking about not going. During the meeting, I began to feel a peace about the trip and that my experiences at work have helped me be more equipped to talk to young professionals trying to find fulfillment without Christ. I know the training and trip will not only give me opportunities to share my faith in Albania, but further equip me to be a light at work and in Dallas.
Specific ways I am asking for prayer:
-For the Albanian people, that God would stir their hearts to be receptive to the Gospel message·
-For our team, that God would use this opportunity to make us more like Him every day and that God would be glorified in everything that occurs·
-For doors to be opened in Dallas to share the gospel and that our trip will present an opportunity for me to share about what God is doing in my life
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May God be glorified through this marvelous opportunity!