Greetings to all from Tirana, Albania. We have all been awake for 30 plus hours (although we have tried to sleep), traveled for 15 plus hours in planes, vans, and trains, but are all safe and sound.
So far, we have had no major issues, other than Robin misplacing a bag back at the Atlanta airport. Unfortunately, it was not found, but we have all found ways to share our clothes with her.
We have spent the day in Tirana getting a great orientation from our missionary hosts, Austin and
Beverly McCaskill. They have been wonderful in getting us acclimated to city life and all that we will see and encounter. Albania is a county of beautiful terrain and it has been a very warm day. There is a lovely new restaurant across from our hotel that pulled out the white tablecloths for us. We dined on fresh grilled veggies, salad with olive oils, baked pizza bread, and homemade pastas. (We thought we would all be losing weight!)
We spent the rest of the day with a walking tour of the city and market. We especially loved the rotisserie lamb heads we saw!! Many in our group were taken aback when the Islamic call to prayer echoed on loud speakers. What a different sound than that of a city in America... we all paused and prayed to THE GOD of GODS for the people of this nation. Austin commented he does the same when we hears it... praying that the hearts of Albania would continue to be open to the gospel.
Beverly and Austin shared today that after the fall of communism there were 5 Christians remaining... the numbers now are around 15,000 to 20,000 Christians in a country of millions. Pray, pray that while we are here, we will have the opportunity to touch lives in some special way.
Thank you to all of you that have prayed for a safe journey.. God answered our prayers and we are here. Tomorrow we will split into groups to travel with Abby H. and do in home visits in a gypsy village. The other half will visit an orphanage. In the afternoon we will travel to Eagle's Wings Girls Home. Will you join us in prayer for all we will see and do tomorrow and all we will encounter? We love you all...