Transforming lives on four continents

Seven years of light

Since 2003, Baptist minister Graham McBain and his wife Mairi, have been in Albania with their three children Ellie, Gemma and Theo working for BMS World Mission.

They are in a church-planting ministry in Tirana and work with Drita e Botes (Light of the World) Baptist church in an area called Shkozë.

Here they tell us what God has been doing in the last seven years:
It's been amazing to reflect on the changes in the church, even since last September - our numbers were low, morale was even lower and at times we wondered if the "writing was on the wall" for Light of the World.

However, just ten months later, we've had five baptisms, three more ready to join a new course, two youth groups, 35 students on our English course and we've just started a new computer course.

We've learned a lot of hard realities over the last year, particularly relating to faith, trust and humility. We also know after a few years experience how fragile things are at Light of the World - if a few key people don't turn up or get involved, things can very quickly fall apart again.

Happy Birthday

After a lunch organised by BMS mid-term worker Louise Phillips, who has been with us for the last three years, we headed back to church to get ready for the anniversary service.

 
We were thrilled that half a dozen people on the fringe of church life, including neighbours of the church, came to celebrate the anniversary with us.

 
This year we arranged for five people from different stages of the church's life to share testimonies of their faith and how the church has helped them over their time with us. Here are three of them:

Donika - Seven years ago Light of the World church previously met in her home. It was her that suggested to Jorge, my predecessor, that there should be a church in Shkozë.

In her testimony Donika spoke about the early days of the church, meeting in an unfinished building on bare concrete floors and gradually over the years being able to build the walls and tile the floors etc.

 
For Donika the churches name 'Light of the World' was very important - she believed the church brought the light of Jesus into a very dark community.

 
Donika is thrilled that our church continues to exist and continues to help the community especially with the Medical Outreach Project starting this autumn.

Eni has been with us for 15 months now. He moved to the capital, Tirana, from the small village of Pogradec and was overwhelmed by the big city.

He and his family were desperate to find a church and tried many of the big city centre churches but were never made to feel welcome there.  By chance he heard of Light of the World and was thrilled to hear it was near where he lived.

He first came to an open day with café tables outside in the yard. He didn't know what to make of it - it wasn't what he expected in a church.
Reluctantly and suspiciously he came to a few meetings and was overwhelmed by the warmness he and his family have received.

He is now proud to be a member of our church as it has helped him find his identity and place as a country boy in the big city.

 

Endri - Donika's youngest son has been to Bible School and is a key worker at the Light of the World.

 
In his testimony he said how humbled he was by the commitment and faithfulness he saw in other members.

One member - lady called Fyqerete, has been with us for three years. She is married to Bujar who suffers with diabetes. She faithfully attends all our meetings despite a hard low-paid job as a cleaner which eats away her hours every day. Despite the hardships she lives with she never complains and always thanks God for his goodness to her.

Endri mentioned Lindita who has three young children and is absolutely committed to the church. She prays openly, contributes to meetings and shared a powerful testimony at her baptism.

Endri went on to mention the foreigners at Light of the World. He recognises that we live and work in a very different culture and language to what we would normally be comfortable with.

  17/07/2008

 

 

 

 

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