So, you know where we're going....
but who are we?
Jim & Sherry
Our fearless leaders! This is their 5th time ministering to the Albanian people, and they are already set to return this October. Sherry's background with teaching and Jim's ability to organize and get things done really makes for a great combination as we teach at an English camp for Albanian students right out of high school and into college. We couldn't do this without them.
Jonathan is the youngest son of Jim and Sherry. He is joining us on this trip while he has time off from his dive instructor training. He'll definitely provide a fresh, young perspective for our team, and should quickly connect with the students. We'll be sure to put his muscles to good use as he helps lug all of our classroom supplies around (just don't tell him that until we've boarded the plane).
Iraj is no stranger to missions work abroad. Originally from Iran, Iraj's conversion experience and testimony is so moving to the Albanian people, and his background with Muslim traditions and teachings makes him an invaluable team member as we try and connect with a predominantly Muslim culture. He's also really excited to get back and see his adoptive granddaughter he gained on last year's trip. Who knows how many more family members he'll gain this year?
BILL & MARY
This will be Bill and Mary's second time traveling to Albania to teach with JFBC. Their Beginner's class has been known for its fun environment, and we expect nothing less this year! We know they're also excited to get back and cultivate the relationships they formed last year with students and staff as well as to start new relationships.
Jimmie is no stranger to mission trips (having already gone on at least 2 so far this year and many others in previous years). As Iraj learned on a previous trip with her, Jimmie is indeed a woman: after he was informed that a "Jimmie" was going to be attending the trip, he decided then and there that he would room with "the other guy going on the trip." That idea was quickly shot down :) Jimmie has a heart for teaching and music (she'll be meeting up with us in Albania after finishing a mission trip to Romania with the Choir/Orchestra) which we can't wait to see her tap into as we minister to the students in our classes.
Ken & Celeste
This will be Ken and Celeste's first mission trip and first time traveling to Albania! It's exciting that they get to experience this as a couple. We're excited to have Celeste's fresh teaching perspective as we've planned class sessions for the camp. The Intermediate students in their class are in for a real treat!
This is Kimberly's first mission trip with JFBC and her first time going to Albania. She is also the youngest member of our team this year. We quickly decided that she would be a perfect go-to for any games and fun activities since she's worked at summer camps in the past for high school students. There's already talk of teaching the Albanian students the "Cup Game."
Nellie is no stranger to travel. Not only has she gotten to participate in a number of mission trips over the years, but she also has had a number of opportunities to travel for leisure and to see her kids as they have lived and worked around the world. She'll even be able to meet up with her daughter in Tirana after we wrap up our time teaching in Korçë.
Parks & Sue
This will be Parks and Sue's first trip with JFBC and their first trip to Albania. Sue teaches piano at home in Atlanta (upon learning this, we immediately requested her skills for our American Night we put on for the Albanian students) and Parks works as a Healthcare Sales Executive across the country. This couple has a huge heart for missions and a love for travel. They're even hoping to meet up with an Albanian couple they started sponsoring many years back, even before attending JFBC. It'll be very inspiring to see their contributions come full circle as they serve in Albania themselves for the first time.
This will be Zoya's second trip with JFBC to Albania, one among many trips she's had the privilege to go on over the years. Like Jimmie, she will be joining us after ministering through music in Romania with the Choir/Orchestra. We're excited to have her fun energy and enthusiasm for life joining us again as we teach in Albania, and we know she's looking forward to working at the photo booth on American Night (pictures to come). Hopefully we don't leave her behind this year as she easily blends in with our Albanian friends.