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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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CEF Camp [Week 2]

Last week was the second and final week of CEF camps. We had nearly 50 kids show up to camp!

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While the schedule was the same, nothing else was! The crafts were different. The movie was different. The lessons were different! Continue reading

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CEF Camp [Week 1]

Last week, I helped at a kids camp for 6-10 year olds hosted by CEF [Child Evangelism Fellowship]. Nicole & I took 12 kids from our neighborhood. Almost 40 kids attended the weeklong camp.

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Camp started at 9am with a devotional time followed by breakfast: byrek! Then we had worship, a Bible lesson & craft followed by lunch. Then 3 days we went to the beach after lunch and one day we played a variety of games before we played soccer. Friday we had a party after lunch (movie & games)! About 6 each evening we would take a sandwich and head home…physically tired but spiritually charged!

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would like helping at this camp because Continue reading

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The End of My Term & What’s Next?

Two years ago, I began an incredible journey that led me to Albania and you graciously joined me on that journey. I have been able to travel to Macedonia, Czech Republic & Austria to create videos for the missionaries serving there in addition to those in Albania. I have also been able to serve all of the Global Partners fields in Europe through a few design projects.

I have had an amazing time learning how to live in Albania, learning the traditions, customs & language of the Albanian people and attempting to become more Albanian every day.

Because of this cultural submersion, especially with language learning, I have been able to become more involved in ministries – especially at the youth center, Burime.

I was also privileged to organize multiple competitions where kids study passages of scripture before being quizzed. To God be the Glory for the growth and commitment we have seen in the children! This even led to the creation of a Bible camp for the kids!

Between the art & Bible classes at Burime, English & Bible lessons for kids in my and Nicole’s home and the Bible competitions, it has been truly amazing to see how much God is moving and shaking things up among the kids. I can’t wait to see what He has planned for their future!

It has been an honor and a privilege to have been a part of God’s work here in Albania. I’m thankful that you have supported me and joined me in the work God is doing here. But as many incredible changes as I’ve seen God make over the past two years, this is just a small part of what God is doing.

And God is not asking me to stay.

God is asking me to go. Go to many places where he is working in ways that need to be shared and told.

God has given me a passion for photography and video. And I hear him asking me to continue to serve him through those passions.

I am so thankful to Global Partners for allowing me to serve God these past two years as media tech for Europe where I have been able to use some of those passions. I am very thankful for the lessons, opportunities & experiences they’ve provided for me.

But I still hear God telling me to think bigger. Dream bigger. Because the work God is doing is bigger.

There are many people, groups & organizations around the world that are being used by God to do big things for the kingdom of God. And I want to share their stories too!

So July 24th is my last day as a full time missionary with Global Partners.

It will be hard to leave behind the life I’ve made here.

It will be hard to leave behind the friends I’ve made here.

It will be hard to leave behind my Albanian family who has truly become my family.

But I know God is asking me to continue the mission he has given me. Though it may look different and though it might not be typical or traditional, God has given me this mission and I will pursue it with everything I have.

Thanks again for helping me follow God to Albania through your prayers, support & encouragement. Please continue to pray for me as I continue to follow God’s call in the future.

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Bible Camp

Last year, we started having a Bible-bowl type contest. The kids really liked it and took off with it. For about a month and a half they would study a Bible passage. Then the teams would come together for a day of serious competition. I mean it was serious.

But even so, they were all good sports. They would memorize scripture & answer questions about the passages they studied. Then they learned the books of the Bible. Then we introduced sword drills to them (racing to find scripture faster).

Then we decided to kick off summer with a Bible camp for them. We had a week long Bible camp with 4 different stations and we studied Romans 12 all week. 28 kids attended and were put onto 4 teams: red, blue, yellow & green.

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Jacob & Corey led worship each morning before we got started.

It was amazing to be able to worship with these kids. They would sing loud and proud and it was great! Here is a taste of the worship time.

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Lucie practiced sword drills with the kids. I helped them learn memory verses.
They didn’t need much help. They learned them by the second day!

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For 2 days, Allan taught the kids basic fundamentals.
Who wrote the Bible, why and how we read it,
what it teaches us and some prophetic themes throughout.

This was a great opportunity to give some really good basic knowledge not just to the believers who came but also to the kids who are Muslim but don’t really know the difference between being Muslim and Christian.

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The other two days, Sheri taught the kids how to study the Bible on their own.
They even applied what they learned and wrote questions for the competition!

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Matt & Caryl went over Romans 12:1-8 with the kids each day.

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They even talked separately to the girls & boys
about holiness, modesty & relationships.

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Arba & Nicole went through Romans 12:9-21 with the kids.

On Friday, we had the competition they had all been studying for during the week. The kids had written the questions and you could tell they had been working hard all week. At the beginning of the week, some of the kids didn’t know Genesis was the first book in the Bible. By the end of the week, they were finding all the books of the Bible just as fast if not faster than some of the kids who had been practicing for previous competitions!

The kids had pretty much the whole chapter of Romans 12 memorized by the end of the week and I think they answered almost all of the questions right today! They blew me away!

After the competition, each team performed a skit. Each team was given part of Romans 12 to put together a skit to show what those verses looked like in real life today. They did an amazing job!

Then we let the kids share something they learned this week if they wanted. A couple shared some verses that they thought were hard to apply in life or how much they have learned. For many, it because a time of thanks for everyone who had been teaching and working with them this week. And I am so grateful for everyone who helped too! But most of all, I’m thankful for God who showed up in wonderful ways this week!

This week I saw kids who didn’t know each other become friends.
I saw kids meeting together on their own outside of camp to practice.
I saw kids growing together spiritually.
I saw kids growing in their relationship with God.
I saw kids applying scripture to their lives.
I saw kids having fun learning about God.
I saw kids excited to be learning about God.
I saw kids HAPPY!

I’m just so proud of them for how much they learned this week, how hard they worked and how much growth I saw in each of them! God was definitely with us and working among the children this week.

These kids [are] the church and even though they are “just kids” they are going to be movers and shakers in Albania. I know God has big plans for them. Bigger than I can even dream of. And I can’t wait to see how they will be used by God to shake things up in the Kenet!

After adding all the points they earned from games and contests throughout the week and the points from the final competition, there could only be one winner…but we still celebrated everyone’s accomplishments afterwards with a pizza party!

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1st Place: Yellow Team

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2nd Place: Blue Team

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3rd Place: Green Team

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4th Place: Red Team

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All the kids (minus 1) after the competition today

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After working so hard all week, I think we were all a little crazy!

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Birthdays in Albania

I had an awesome birthday on Wednesday. But how did I celebrate you ask? Well let me tell you… Continue reading

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