Subscribe

 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

An Albanian Mission Team Experience (Part 1)

Hellenic News
Hellenic News
The copyrights for these articles are owned by HNA. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HNA and its representatives.

Latest articles

H Ελλάδα Ονομάζει την Διαδικασία Εμβολιασμού «Ελευθερία» το ‘21 που γιορτάζουμε την εκατονταετηρίδα μνήμη της Ελληνικής Ανεξαρτησίας του 1821

Special to the Hellenic News of America Οι πρώτες από τις 1,2 εκατομμύρια δόσεις των εμβολίων Pfizer/BioNTech που εκτιμάται ότι θα παραληφθούν μέχρι τα τέλη...

Οι προοπτικές της Ελληνικής οικονομίας

Γράφει ο Δημήτρης Γιανναρος Special to the Hellenic News of America Την τελευταία δεκαετία, οι πιο πολλές Ελληνικές επιχειρήσες και γενικά η Ελληνική οικονομία πέρασαν πολύ...

Ως πότε θα ρημάζονται τα παιδιά από αυτήν την εκπαίδευση;

Γράφει ο Δημήτρης Νατσιός, Μέλος του ΙΗΑ «Σοκ στο πανελλήνιο!». «Άναυδη η Κοινή Γνώμη έμεινε από το γεγονός…». «Έπεσαν από τα σύννεφα…». (Η αφόρητη κοινοτοπία...

A delicious New Year’s Eve dinner served by AHEPANs from Port Jefferson, NY

By George Kallas, AHEPA D6 PORT JEFFERSON, NY – AHEPA Chapter 319 of Port Jefferson, NY prepared and delivered approximately 40 meals to Pax Christi...

Ο ΠΛΑΤΑΝΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΞΕΡΞΗ

Είπαν πολλοί ειδικοί εσχάτως ότι η αντιμετώπιση της πρόσφατης πανδημίας δεν πρέπει να είναι εξατομικευμένη και μονοσήμαντη μονάχα στο νοσηλευτικό πεδίο. Πρέπει να θεραπεύσουμε συνολικά...

Catching up with Greek-American performer Kyle Efthemes of The Chippendales

Greek-American Chippendale performer Kyle Efthemes chatted with HNA about the 2021 Chippendales "All-Star Calendar," where he is spotlighted as the model for January, thus...

Ellinomatheia Exams; Should all Greek learners take it?

Did you know that more and more learners of Greek decide to prepare and sit for the Ellinomatheia Exams in Greek? Why? Well, sure...

by David Dinsmore

I recently had the pleasure of traveling on a mission trip sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. The purpose of this mission trip was to contribute and participate in a new first annual conference for youth group leaders from around Albania. Our team was to prepare a presentation and facilitate a group of college-aged Albanian Christians. It was an absolutely wonderful experience.
The four highlights for me were: 1) Achieving a greater understanding of the impact that Christianity had on restoring and redeveloping a country. In the case of Albania, it was the recovery from the darkness and hopelessness of Communism in 1992. 2) Receiving the great gift of a week of consistent prayer alongside my team and host family. 3) Experiencing firsthand the hospitality, smiles, and dreams of the Albanian people. 4) Gaining a greater understanding of the workings of missions and the value it provides to God’s great plan as well as to our growth towards theosis. It is not so much the work that we do in missions but the work that is done in us while doing mission work that is so impactful.

As we were reminded by our host family, Deacon Stephanos and Alexandria Ritsi, this was not a “roughing it” missions trip. Our team experienced beautiful hospitality in the Ritsi home, along with sharing of great stories, many belly-busting laughs, and delicious Lenten meals, sandwiched in between conversations with God during our morning and evening prayers.

There were three of us on our team. God orchestrated our meeting in Albania so that He could show each of us a glimpse of His great plan for Albania, as well as the next chapter for each of our lives. I thoroughly enjoyed my teammates and thank them for their insights and help in my journey.

Before I arrived in Albania I was unfamiliar with how strong the Orthodox Church is in Albania. Thanks be to God and His work through Archbishop Anastasios, the Church in Albania has a strong infrastructure. There exists a breathtakingly beautiful new Cathedral in Tirana, a seminary in a surrounding community, and a nearby orphanage full of the most wonderful, joyous children that you would ever want to hear a song from, dance with, and share a hug. I remember one young high school girl would take us by the hand and show us how to dance one of their favorite dances. This young lady wants to be a lawyer someday. She is very sharp and a born leader! I was moved by how good God is for His work in saving these young people and giving them a future.

Thanks for reading Hellenic News of America

In the heart of the university/college area of Tirana there is a welcoming study center for inquiring students of all faiths. Our team met there one night and shared in the youth group experience with the college students. In addition, the Archbishop had arranged our visit to a very well-equipped and staffed medical center that was bustling with patients from all faiths. This medical center is equipped and staffed much like we would see in the States. I was impressed. A refreshing difference was that this medical center contains a chapel in the waiting room!

The first part of our week was filled with seeing these sites and getting to know two other families that are long-term missionaries with OCMC. During down times, each of us helped each other put the finishing touches on our small presentations that we would present during the youth conference later in the week. This was a great experience of learning from each other.

To be continued in Part 2…

The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is the official missions agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States dedicated to fulfilling Christ’s last command to make disciples of all nations.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

Latest Print Edition