I am at the disposal of the Plagenhoefs, the missionary family who began serving here back when their now 18 year old daughter was learning to walk.  They have placed me on site in Fushekruje, which is not something I would have chosen for myself.  I have also been put along side people there whom I would not have chosen to work with.  God knows what He is doing.  My friendships with the people of that city have started to blossom, and it is a very neat thing to be a part of.

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There is Buyar, a man who owns a bar-cafe in Fushekruje.  The first time I met him was over a sit-down in regards to his property.  Buyar needed to renegotiate the church’s contract with him.  Kurt and Stephanie were very gracious, which is their way.  Instead of feeling anger or betrayal, they simply moved forward in Christian friendship with this man.  Buyar is not a Christian, but he has met Jesus in the Plagenhoef family.  Since that time he has gone out of his way to show us every courtesy.

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There is Fatjon, my 14 year old translator.  The first time I met him was at Alban’s church in Fushekruje.  It was obvious immediately that this intelligent young man was not only curious about God, but also about the world.  He has been my help unquestioningly over the past few weeks, and I am in his debt.  Though he works hard for me and handles my impatience unflinchingly, he will not hear of being compensated for his trouble.  Our exchange is equitable in his mind without the exchange of currency, and still he makes sacrifices to help me every day.  He has been one of the laborers on site, and today was his the first pay-day of his life.

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There is Siamir, Fatjon’s father and the most skilled worker on our job-site.  The first time I met him was on June 1st.  I remember because this was the Albanian Children’s Day.  He is a quiet, hard-working, intelligent, thoughtful, honest and sincere man who has seen much of south-eastern Europe.  He makes every effort to show the people he comes into contact with the honor of respect.  His concern is your comfort.  Today we took his son to Tirana after work to buy a cellular telephone.  Afterward we went for coffee on the top floor of the tallest building in Albania; the Aba Business Center.

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Lastly, is Veesy.  Ervis and I first met on my first visit to Fushekruje about two months ago.  That day he told me that Pastor Kurt had said he would be working side-by-side with me.  We are slowly getting over our communication barrier, and he now speaks to me as though I understand it all.  The cross I wear was a gift from him.  He has honored me by inviting me to be his guest at the wedding of his wife’s brother, in her home town this Saturday.  I am slated to meet him downtown at 6:3AM tomorrow.  I am very excited.  I will have photos and a full report on Sunday when we return.

Love you.