Winter 2017
Written by Enri & Sylvia Nase - ALBANIA

A few weeks ago, we had torrential rains in Albania when many areas, both urban and agricultural were flooded. Several towns and villages were submerged and the government had to intervene to save lives. How wonderful to know that we can find security in our Lord and Saviour; though the floods, literal and spiritual may come, they will not harm us as our refuge is in Him.

Assembly life:
The assembly is entering another stage. As the responsibilities increase we have asked two brothers to work closely with us and share the burden of leading. They are not "officially" established elders but together we look for God's wisdom and guidance in this area.

The current premises where we meet are also getting too small for our needs, especially on Sundays when everyone is present, so we are considering a move though getting a suitable building in a good location and at a reasonable price is proving difficult as Tirana is the capital and commercial centre of Albania.

Unemployment is another challenge we have been facing. Unfortunately, a number of our families have either one or both adults unemployed. For some this situation has been on-going for more than four years and each month is a struggle just to survive. Please remember these dear ones in prayer. The majority of them are University graduates but due to corruption and bureaucracy they find themselves in this situation!

We are spending more time with the youth group, a mix of believers and non-believers in their 20's- 30's. With some of them we have one to one Bible studies and we plan to start more small group studies with others depending on their individual schedules. They often come over to our home and for Christmas we had around 16 present. We trust that soon more will be added to the assembly.

Bible exhibition in Tirana

Bible exhibition:
The Bible exhibition was on display once again in Tirana at the National Museum. As the end of October marked the fifth centenary of the Reformation we prepared additional panels with specific information relating to it and to the history of evangelicals in Albania. While researching this and doing a lot of background reading we gained a deeper appreciation of the enormous challenge that our forefathers faced, including martyrdom, for re-discovering the Biblical truth of salvation by grace through faith and how their discovery affected Europe and the rest of the world.

Several books are almost ready for printing while we are currently working on another for teenagers which has been written by two Christian doctors and considers the challenges they face during the teenage years. It is an excellent and balanced approach to growing up from both a biblical and medical perspective.

We were able to print again 30,000 calendars for 2018. They have been circulated among the assemblies and those we have distributed on the streets have been well received.

The Hiding Place, Gjirokaster(Children's Home)
We continue to support and visit the Hiding Place on a regular basis. Just last month we had a meeting of the board. The house is at full capacity with 16 children and we are pleased to see that the work there is going on well.

ABC Clinic:
The past few months have been difficult for the staff at the clinic. Our second-year intern was diagnosed in July with a brain tumour. She was operated on but biopsy samples showed a high-grade tumour with a very poor prognosis. Shortly after surgery she developed an aspiration pneumonia resulting in admission to ICU where she remained in an induced coma until she passed into the presence of the Lord on 23rd December. Her funeral was on Christmas Eve with a large number of her village in attendance. The family are not believers but they listened well to a short Gospel message at the graveside. It was a pleasure to have worked alongside Dr. Oltjana and her joyful attitude will be missed. She was a wonderful witness to those around her and we look forward to seeing her again someday. Meanwhile, we have been making some changes at the clinic to accommodate our growing service. Just last week we hired our first Christian physiotherapist. Entuela has spent the past year training with our part time missionary physiotherapist and shows great potential. We trust that with time and on-going mentoring she will be able to develop this service for the community.

While gaining new staff we will be losing others. Antoneta, one of our senior Drs and only full time fully specialized General Practitioner/Family Doctor will be getting married on the 13th January and moving to Pretoria! We will miss her wisdom and diligence but she has very kindly offered to help Sylvia train the junior Drs who are on their 3-year specialty programme via online media during at least the first year while she sorts out her own paperwork for practicing in South Africa.

At the beginning of September, one of the other assemblies in Tirana had a special week of children's meetings and we were invited to bring the Gospel message. There were a good number of children in attendance and the believers put their best into the effort.

In October we had a couple visit with us from the Italian assemblies. While here, brother Gianfranco had a weekend of teaching for couples with Biblical advice on confronting conflict within a marriage context. He then met with elders and leaders of the local assemblies to give advice on how to counsel other couples, particularly those in difficulty.

Many thanks for your interest in the work here, along with your prayerful and practical support. We are encouraged by your faithfulness and trust that you will experience much of the Lord's blessing in 2018.

Winter 2017
Written by Enri & Sylvia Nase - ALBANIA