I was issued a cellular phone by my handler Lindita upon arrival at the school.  On Thursday I turned it into the office so that a pastor who is here visiting from Philadelphia could make use of it.  There is another pastor here visiting from the states, Washington State in fact, a man named Bill Bates.  Dr. Bates and I started our day together walking to the bus station in Sauk, to head into Tirana to meet Alban, our pastor of Fushe-Kruje.  Bill is without a phone because the prices for using a phone from back home are prohibitive here.  But because I had arranged to meet Alban ahead of time, I had no doubt that Bill and I would be well taken care of.

Buses here take about four times as long to reach their destinations as private transport.  In order to cut down on time lost, there are vans which can hold around 9 passengers which hop from city to city.  Vans leave as soon as they have been filled to capacity.  After boarding the van in Tirana, we had only started to role when Alban’s phone rang.  He quickly exited to handle a concern with his family, and Bill and I were on our own.  

We got out when told to do so.  Looking for the church, we had to rely on landmarks which were only remotely familiar.  While I don’t have the gift of directional sense like my brother Brandon, who could find his way back to a gas-station-rest-room he had seen in the reflection of a passing car window in the middle of the night during a 100-year rain storm a decade earlier, I was confident that we were walking in the right direction: North.  My confidence was soon reaffirmed and rewarded as I nearly tripped over Edvis, a friend of Alban’s who had come to meet us.  We had met Edvis the Sunday before, he is a leader in the church at Fushe-Kruje.  Trying to make up for lost time, the three of us hurried on ahead.  We took little time to notice women carrying two, upside-down chickens in each hand, calling out prices; or men hauling their baying lambs up the street for slaughter.

There is a life-size bronze statue of George W. Bush in the town square of Fushe-Kruje.  

Church was lively and well-attended.  Counting both myself and Pastor Bates, there were 19 people in the 16′ x 24′ room.  Four of these people gave testimonies about how God had worked in their lives that week.  The style of service here really captures and celebrates God’s activity in the lives of His people.  God is doing wonderful things in Albania.  Please pray for Alban’s wife and son.  Thank you.