For the past month, I have been living in Tirana, Albania with my Aunt Kristi and Uncle David Hosaflook and their children: Ben (12), Sofia (11), Adria (8), and Corban (5). I am really enjoying my stay here, and I am so excited to see what God is going to do!
We have spent the past few weeks settling in – unpacking, cleaning, and getting the kids started on homeschool. There is still much paperwork to be done, and my aunt and uncle need to get a car before we are able to get around town easily. This has been a good time for me to adjust to the culture and to look for ministry opportunities to be involved in.
Albania is a fascinating place. Parts of it are very picturesque, but the land is so ill-used. Tirana is situated in a small valley, surrounded on all sides by beautiful, imposing mountains. The streets are filled with trash and manure, and the buildings are covered with graffiti. The air is heavy with smog and pollution. Many of the apartment buildings are painted with colorful patterns to brighten the city. There are several European stores and supermarkets, but most of our shopping is done in small shops and outdoor vendors. I enjoy walking to the stores and produce markets. There are so many sights, sounds, and smells to take in.
Since arriving here, I have had the opportunity to meet many other missionary families living in Tirana. On Fridays we attend a co-op for the homeschooled children, and afterwards I go to a high school Bible study group. There are lots of missionary girls close to my age that I have been able to meet.
The first week I was here, we went to Grace Church, where several of the missionary families attend. The next two weeks we visited Kisha Biblika Baptiste in Tirana and in Shkodra, churches which my uncle helped to start. The services are in Albanian, but my uncle translates for me. When the Hosaflooks first moved to Albania, there were no churches and very few Christians. It is amazing to see how the body of Christ has grown in Albania since then!
Last week, I met with the vice principal of GDQ, the missions school in Tirana. I am going to volunteer there on Mondays, and I hope to start by next week. As I meet new people and adjust to life in Tirana, I am continuing to look for other ministries that I can be involved in. Please pray for me as I learn what God wants me to do to serve Him!