Tirana, Albania


Summer 2016
Written by Enri and Sylvia Nase - Albania
enris.nase@gmail.com

This week many children in Albania celebrated the end of their pre-school year with a simple ceremony on the June 1 - International Children's Day. As children of God, we can celebrate daily our reality while looking forward to that day of great celebration when we finish our years of preparation here and enter into the glory that is stored up for us. What a day that will be!
Assembly and outreach - It was five years ago at the beginning of May when we broke bread for the first time as an assembly. At that time we were just four couples but it has pleased the Lord to add new believers to the core group since then. These few years have been full of challenges, but we have been able also to rejoice in what the Lord has done. One of the founding couples has now immigrated to the USA. They were a great help to all the believers and our family. We greatly miss them and their contribution to all the assembly activities.


Tirana, Albania

In February we commenced another course of English classes with the sole purpose being to make contact with more young people and reaching out to them with the gospel. We have the classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening with around a dozen students attending consistently. A few of them are believers from the assembly who are also trying to connect with the non-believers by spending further time with them after the classes, going for coffee or socializing with them in another way. We are pleased to have seen some of them attending the Gospel meeting on Sunday morning or at our home for open discussions about spiritual matters. It is our earnest desire to see these souls won for the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray with us that the Holy Spirit would be at work and that these young lives would be saved for His glory.

We have just finished the children and teenagers meetings for this year as the exam season will be during these last two weeks of school, followed by the hot summer months. They come from Christian and non-Christian families, and it has been a privilege once again to teach them the Word of God.


Some of our teenagers

I now have the teenager group while Sylvia and two other sisters look after the younger children. Separating them and having a structured program for the teenagers has greatly helped them create an identity and to feel more responsible. Our structured teaching plan this year was: "This is My Word", "These are My Commandments" and "This is My Son". Investing in their lives is essential when we consider the challenges and pressures that they face daily. A few of them have professed salvation and we pray for their spiritual progress.

Individual Bible studies with several people are ongoing. Only a few weeks ago, during one of the sessions with Viktor (a 22-year-old nephew of one of our believers), we were explaining the new birth when he exclaimed that he had trusted Christ for his salvation and had decided to follow Him. It was a wonderful moment of great rejoicing and a real encouragement to both Mark and me as we have been meeting with him for months now. Currently, we are studying the topic of baptism with him and trust that in due time he will take this step of obedience too.

Prison ministry - Every Thursday morning we travel to Lezhe for the regular prison visits which are becoming more interesting. On the same day, we can share the Gospel with Roman Catholics, Albanian Orthodox, practising Muslims and a Russian Orthodox Jew, directing them to the same Person: the Lord Jesus Christ!

One inmate is almost at the end of his time and has had a lot of difficulty with his kosher diet so we have been helping him with food supplies. Soon he will be released, and we hope to keep in contact, pointing him to the real Messiah!

We have been able to visit the village of Gjegjan, in a very remote northern area, with the Gospel. We were asked to visit by one of the former inmates, who professed faith in Christ last year before his release. He had invited around 15 of his relatives and friends to join, and their interest in spiritual matters was encouraging. We were able to leave calendars and other literature with them for distribution in the village. They have asked us to return and we plan to do so in the next few weeks. When reporting on our warm reception back with our assembly, one of the Christians expressed his surprise as traditionally this area has been a stronghold of Catholicism. Please remember this work in prayer.

Bible exhibition - In March the Bible exhibition was on display in Tirana for the first time! We were able to rent the Gallery at the National Museum for ten days. It is an excellent location right in the heart of Tirana and a neutral venue for all. The opening ceremony was on March 18, and it remained open every day until Easter Sunday.

The reception was extremely encouraging. Those who visited appreciated the content and some of them revisited to spend more time reading the panels and seeing the displays. There were many non-Christians who visited, among them local historians who valued the information exhibited and expressed their gratitude. One section of the exhibition is dedicated to the Albanian Bible including information on local Albanians who helped translate the Bible back in the early 1800s.

During the ten days, I was interviewed by one of the national TV stations about the exhibition. Full liberty was granted to explain what it was about and its purpose.

This November is the 25th anniversary of the assembly work in Albania and along with another brother we are organizing a national conference to mark the occasion. Several of our Italian brothers who commenced the work here will be with us as we rejoice in the faithfulness of our Lord and look to Him for guidance for the years to come as national Albanians now shepherd and lead.

Summer 2016
Written by Enri and Sylvia Nase - Albania
enris.nase@gmail.com