Last weekend, I attended a Conference at the beach town of Velipoje. The conference is held annually for all the extensions of Kisha Biblika Baptiste in Albania. It was such an uplifting time! Albanians love to worship, so at the beginning of each conference session we sang several songs, many of which are the Albanian translations of popular worship songs from America. The church choirs took turns singing, and the youth put on skits. The speaker was an American missionary to Peru, who preached from Acts and spoke about the urgency of the mission. It was so encouraging to see a gathering of believers passionate about their faith, despite the persecution they sometimes receive from their friends and even their families.
While at the conference, I met several Albanian girls around my age. It is easy to make friends, because many of them are learning English and they love to practice with Americans. It was very encouraging to me to be received so welcomingly. I hope to eventually start a Bible study for girls here in Tirana, and my uncle tells me that it should be easy to get people to come if they know that I will be speaking to them in English.
The beach at Valipoje is so different from in Florida! The sand is dark brown, and the water is so calm and flat that it seems to stretch out endlessly. Mountains wrap around the beach in a crescent, and everywhere there are beautiful, smooth stones in red, green, and black. And trash. Lots of trash.