Albania: July 16 Update

Partners,

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Thanks you for all of your prayers and thoughts.  We feel them and God is certainly responding.The kids are just fabulous and we are really enjoying them and I believe they  are enjoying us.  Each class has a sense of excitement, fun and learning.  They really want to learn English and are not hesitant to ask questions.  We had an American night last night where we had tables set up for Christmas, Easter, Valentine, and Independence Day.  We also had a camp fire with s'mores (marshmallows, Hershey bar and graham cracker).  That was new to them and they  loved it.  To close the evening we had laid out a LOT of t-shirts on table and allowed them to pick out whatever they liked.  We had gotten the t-shirts from a variety of donors as well as purchased some at Goodwill…the variety was awesome and sometimes unusual.  We were not sure how the boys would react to the t-shirts but everyone was looking for that special t-shirt.   Even our Albanian host and everyone was showing off their t-shirts.  I managed to find myself a GT t-shirt.  Wow... come all the way to Albania to get a GT shirt.

The classes are going better than we ever anticipated.  We have three levels… Beginner (1 class), Intermediate (2 classes) and Advanced (1 class).  Bruce and Karen are leading the Beginner Class and are already having a major impact.  They are relating to the kids so well and it is neat to see the kids around talking with both Bruce and Karen and engaging them with all sorts of questions and discussions. 

Chip and Linda are doing one class of Intermediate and I can see the interaction and the level of discussions they are having and it is impressive how Chip and Linda are interleaving the story of Jesus and how the kids are responding and asking questions.  I am teaching the other Intermediate class along with Ingrid and JR who are Campus Crusade (CRU) Leaders working out of European Headquarters for CRU and had come down to join us and we put them to work.  In our class we have Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim and it is interesting when we were discussing holidays today.  They are really enjoying the class and each other.  Almost all of these kids are meeting each other for the first time.  Yesterday we had a Bible Story on worry and tonight we will have stories on enemies and forgiveness.  We are sharing God’s view and what He says about these areas and part of their lives and they are listening and asking questions. 

Paul and Gail are leading the advanced class and they have some really great in-depth discussions.  Yesterday somehow the discussion got into death and what is after.  Some of them thought there was nothing after death and I believe one of them even shared that they knew someone who had come from a former life.  But the discussion opens the door for Paul and Gail to share what we believe and that is what it is all about.  Just the opportunity to share what we believe.  We will probably be sowing a lot of seeds in our classes and if God willing we will also see some reaping of the harvest.  But all we can do is share what God means and has done for us and then let the Holy Spirit work in their lives as they leave this camp.

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Again thank you for your prayers and thoughts.  They are making a difference and please do not stop.  Also pray specifically for the kids to continue to be open and free in their discussions with us and also pray that we are alert and attentive to respond the way God wants.  God has sent us to Albania and these kids to our English Camp for his reason and purpose and help us to be a positive sower of seeds and reapers of the harvest.

God’s Love,

Charlie and the JFBC Team!