We trust you are well and are experiencing God’s presence and love over your life. We here in Albania are keeping busy (and out of trouble) and are encouraged by what God is doing here in our ministry. Read below our latest news and click the links is see What’s next on our agenda?You can also check out our Praise and Prayer points.
Live…. right now!
As I send this out George Smyth and other cyclist from Belfast Cycle 4 Christ are attempting to ride over 100 miles from Belfast to Dublin and BACK (over 200 miles), to raise funds for our 100 Children that we want to see at our camp this year. We are needing 3000 GBP, to provide the needed subsidized price that Albanian kids can more afford. So far we have had a generous gift of 550 GBP and about another 150 has come in. It costs just 30 GBP ($48) to help send a Child to camp. If you would like to sponsor a child to camp or some other amount then you can do so following this link. Click here for UK donations
For friends in the USA, you can give on line via Oasis Church and select ‘Spark Ministries – Albania’ in the drop down donate menu. Click here for US donations
We appreciate greatly all donations to get ‘Kids2Kamp’ however big or small.
Matilda has taken on more responsibility with the ‘Spark the Albanian Outreach’ project, (the Van outreaches) and is growing well. She has been on an English language course three times a week since March and has just taken her exam. We are hoping she will travel with Rachel to the UK at the end of January for a short visit to meet some of our supporting churches and to attend a children’s workers training conference to gain more insight. Vali continues the work in Shengjin part time and has recently seen 20 children respond to the Gospel after being apart of a 12 week course. Please pray for Shengjin and the need for a Church plant to start there. Vali has also just finished a week long day camp at the ‘Ishull i Paqes’, her home church in Ishull Lezhe. Marko continues to serve with us as and when needed, between his university course. He Has also now set up his own graphic/Interior design studio. Rachel is still at the helm and still ‘wearing too many hats’, and juggling too many tasks and duties. If anyone feels called to serve God in the capacity of mentoring and administration/PA, please contact us.
Rachel spent four weeks in Jan/Feb visiting our sponsoring churches and a few individuals, which for some was long overdue, especially Northern Ireland. (featured above: Rachel with the leadership team of the Comber assembly, Northern Ireland). She came back very encouraged with people prayers, words of encouragement and kind gifts.We are blessed to say that since Rachel’s return, three new supporting churches have come on board, two individuals, one church has increased its existing support, and recently one church that could no longer support has now been able to re-establish its support. We mention all of this to state that ‘Our God is a faithful God’. Just to mention some back ground; as of June 2014 we had been struggling financially to make our monthly payments and ate into finance assigned for a future project, trusting that God would restore it again at the right time. Rachel, after being under a huge amount of pressure, just trusting, feels that God provided a ‘pressure relief valve’. There is still a way to go but God has proved him self faithful time and time again. For that we are so very grateful.
Short Term Mission Teams & ‘Spark’ Project
A team of seven ‘Mattersey Hall’ students lead by Stuart Smith an ex Mattersey student. (who’s becoming a regular feature here!), enjoyed a 10 day mission at the start of our Spring season. A few of their highlights was doing an evening of Children’s ministry in a Roma camp, A three day outreach in Tirana and an outreach on the beach of Shengjin. There were some good lessons learnt about getting alongside and supporting/empowering locals on the ground, being flexible, and the importance of understanding the culture you are in to minister better. Since their return the outreaches have continued each week for the full cycle and just 2 weeks ago moved inside the church buildings where new Children’s works are now being continued by the Church partners themselves. Our Summer partners have already been trained up ready for our new summer season which starts next Saturday.
RrKK (Albanian Christian Camping Network) annual conference was held on the 24th and 25thApril 2015 at ‘Eden Park’ on the outskirts of Tirana. An encouraging and equipping time was had by all who attended. This Tuesday, 16th of June, Rachel, with the help of UK paramedic and trainer Tim Miles, will run a two 1st Aid course for Camp leaders and councilors running camps in Albania.
National Children’s Day Event
National Children’s Day here in Albania is every year on the 1st June. We ran two big outreaches, morning and evening in Tirana’s central park. In the lead up to the event we ran training sessions for our 30 volunteers in face painting, and with the help of Sally Bealde from the Downham Market assembly, training in balloon modelling and circus skills. On the day she changed into ‘Crazy Bananas’. Over 500 people between the two events enjoyed our services and over 900 balloons with a message were given out.
A simple video of the event can be seen here. LINK
A ‘thank you’ celebration for all the volunteers will be held this Monday evening. We couldn’t have done it with out them.