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Tearful Goodbyes

I hate goodbyes. But I’ve been doing a lot of them lately.

Today, Nicole & I said goodbye to our family. We said goodbye to the Kenet. We said goodbye to Albania. We said goodbye to a life we have come to love. We said goodbye to people we care deeply about.

But Nicole & I know that we will make our way back in the future. We don’t know when or for how long. But our family knows this too even though we never made any promises . They never asked if we would come.

They kept telling us when we come back for a visit…

When we come back their gate would be open to us.

When we come back we have to come have a coffee.

When we come back, we must come eat dinner with them.

When we come back, we must bring our husbands.

When we come back…when we come back…when we come back.

It was a bittersweet morning. Nicole & I left one life we had built to go back a life we haven’t been in for two years. This morning we left one family we love to to back to another family we love. This morning we left a pretty big chunk of our heart in Albania. But this isn’t goodbye Albania. You can’t get rid of us that easy. It’s a see you later.

Uhhh mirupafshim // uhh goodbye
shihemi me vone // see you later

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Creative Camp

Last week, Burime hosted a creative camp. So of course I was even more excited when I learned that we would be making a film!

We had almost 30 kids who were separated into 4 teams.

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In the morning, we had a time of worship and games before a craft. The theme for crafts this week was superheros. We had villains (or baddies as learned they are called in England) & heros.

They made their own monsters.

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And capes & masks!

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At the end of each day, the kids split into 3 groups and we spent about a half hour. Each group had a part of David’s life to make into a movie. David is chosen, David & Goliath and David becomes King.

They came up with their own scripts and practiced hard all week. Then on Friday, we extended camp half an hour to make sure we had enough time to film. We still went an extra hour and a half on top of that!

It was hard because the kids had no idea how a film is put together and of course they were too excited to listen. Plus I realized I have never had to explain any film stuff in Albanian so there was lots of vocabulary I have yet to learn on that topic! So communicating was hard.

But we did it! The kids pulled through and we made it! Here is the life of David as acted by the kids at Burime. Check it out below (sorry it’s only available in Albanian!)

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The Burime Collection

I have enjoyed partnering with Burime and making videos for them. Not only are they open to any idea and encourage creativity but Albanian church resources are needed here. A lot of stuff is translated from another language to Albanian which is better than nothing but I can’t wait for the day when stuff is translated from Albanian to English because they are making such awesome things for God!

I have enjoyed being able to make videos for fun and to tell Bible stories with the kids from Burime. Below is my Burime collection of videos from over the past two years.

Burime (English)

Searching to Find (Albanian Only)

We Like Albania Because… (Albanian Only)

Who Is Jesus (English)

You can also watch these in Albanian.

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English Camp at Burime

Last week, Nicole & I helped with English camp at Burime. We had 30+ kids!

The theme for the week was Noah. They learned a little section of the story of Noah each day leading up to the rainbow at the end and the promise that God will never forget us and he has amazing adventures planned for our lives!

The memory verse for the week was Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Lucie kept the kids on the edge of the seat all week during the lessons.

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Elio did a great job translating!

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The kids had an amazing time. Jacob led worship which was awesome yetagain.

He even had dancers this time!

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Neil had some games planned to get some energy out of the kids.

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Some were messy

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Some required patience

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And the youngest, most energetic, never-focused-more-than-2-seconds kid won!!

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Some required teamwork

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Others required coordination

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Some were just fun to watch

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But the kids loved them all

Then the kids went to English class. Elio & Nicole taught the beginner class.

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James taught the intermediate boys.

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I taught the intermediate girls.

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Jacob & David taught the advanced class.

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Next week is the final week of camps and I’m happy to be ending on next week’s camp for 2 reason. 1) It’s with the kids at Burime 2) We are making a movie!!!

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English Camp

A team from the States came over to do a 5 day English camp last week. The kids came at 3. Camp started at 3:30 with an English class then a game/craft/skit time before the closing rally which had music and a message.

I wasn’t in any of the English classes but I heard wonderful things about them!

The games all looked fun (I was photographing/videoing so I didn’t get to play).

It was a fun week for the kids!

Two guys from the team spoke each evening with an amazing translator. The guys had awesome messages each night but the translator added an extra layer of awesome. He would change things to make them more Albanian and more understandable and more relatable to the teens. It was great.

God used all 3 of these guys and the other people who shared their testimonies throughout the week to work in the hearts of these kids.

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Quite a few kids already had a relationship with God but many other kids committed their lives to Christ by the end of the week. Next week, the kids are invited to come to a weeklong course where they will be learning the basics to kickstart their new active lives in Christ.

Please be praying for these teens that their passion and desire for Christ wouldn’t end with camp. Or next week. Or next month. Or next year. But that the journey they started this week would be continued throughout the rest of their lives.

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The Return of Ben Ji Min

I had another Ben Ji Min sighting at camp last week. I’m going to share some pictures at the risk of looking like a stalker.

His sister was attending & the poor fellow didn’t meet the age requirement. He was 5 & the camp was for 11-14 year olds. So they wouldn’t let him in even though he came at 7:30am knocking on the door ready for camp which started at 9.

So he and his brother had to stay outside. When the camp kids were outside in the afternoon, they came over…Beni came over on his little yellow scooter in his little yellow shirt.

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They really wanted to come in and get in on the fun!

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But they were stuck on the outside looking in…

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They wanted in because they knew what was coming…water balloons! So the boys on the balcony threw a few over the gate to hit little Ben Ji Min who shouted out, “Osama (his brother) come quick! They’re hitting me again!”

Then when his brother would look, the boys would stop throwing them as if nothing had happened. Though the wetspots and balloons on the ground were kind of obvious.

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Finally, little Ben Ji Min gave up and went home on his little yellow scooter.

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Next year little Ben Ji Min, next year. Camp will come again next year…

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