Summer RecapSun, Aug 14, 2016
Well, it’s been a crazy couple months! When I last posted we were about to start Ice and Spice, CRU Albania’s summer camp for high school students. As part of my role on the LLM team, I was also helping out with an International School Project conference for teachers and principals. So I was already a little worn out when Ice and Spice started! But I got energized when my friends arrived from Texas. It was a great week, filled with a lot of good conversations with high school students. And as the Albanian team followed up with the students after my friends left, we heard several times about students who received christ!
The week after Ice and Spice we had our Young Professionals seminars. That was another awesome time. Will Noll, Lauren Dean, Wes Chick and Chris Delaney stayed a second week to work with them. The young professionals really enjoyed meeting with them, especially Lauren. She made at least a dozen new great friends, but was a little worn out from the experience! Next year we’ll try to get more girls to come for the young professionals seminars.
After the Young Professionals camp, Wes and Chris went home but Lauren and Will stayed. Lauren spent practically her whole summer break here in Albania, and Will worked the 3rd shift at his job remotely for the whole month of July. We took a road trip vacation to the south of Albania from the 13th to the 17th of July. We arrived in Sarande around 11pm the first night, and the view from our hotel was like straight out of a painting. We could see the city across the bay, and the full moon reflecting over the waters of the Ionian Sea. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life.
We took the ferry to Corfu for 2 days as well, and found a place on the west side of Corfu to watch the sunset. This was another of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The colors reflecting off the water and the rocks framing the sky were so beautiful, we all sat there in silence for at least half an hour staring at it.
The drive back from Sarande was beautiful as well. The valley of Gjirokaster all the way up through Tepelena is a wonderfully scenic view. We got to Durres just in time to see the last sunset of the vacation from the beach. Albania is really a beautiful country.
After we got back from the vacation, my team and I got coffee with all of our young professional volunteers to express our appreciation for everything they did this year. We also shared with them our vision for next year, and our desire for them to make a serious commitment to serving alongside us. We printed out a 2 page commitment sheet for them to read through, discuss, and ultimately sign. We explained that this is not a contract that we expect them to keep in order to avoid penalties, but rather something for them to keep to remind themselves of the seriousness of serving Christ above all things. You can read the commitment in English here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1umGiXQvofYT4wVC6FfSOgOPJdv7p-WagpKciHlzqZSs/pub
The final project of the year was a week-long evangelistic English camp. We invited teachers, businessmen, and young professionals to come and also to bring their families. This was the first time we did a camp or retreat where people could bring their families and I think it was a huge success! Many of the teachers from ISP brought their spouses who had not attended an ISP meeting, and we got to share the Gospel with them too! It was a good week, especially since it was out at the beach.
Now that we’ve wrapped up this past ministry year, it’s time for vacation! I’ve definitely appreciated being able to rest. It’s been go-go-go for a while now. We’ll come back together in the last week of August to recap the year and review how things went. But for now, I’m spending 10 days in Budapest! Some of you knew this already, but back in February I began dating a wonderful girl who is on staff with CRU in Hungary. Her name is Mari Pintér. I met her in Albania back in 2013, and she’s been to Dallas each of the past 3 years to raise support. I’m excited to get to spend some time with her, and looking forward to what next year will bring.
Thank you all for your support and prayers!