Witnessing God's Work in Albania

Last month, I, along with Pastor Brad Diehl and his wife Shannon, traveled to Albania. Albania is located east of Italy and borders Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro in the Balkans. Albania is home to 3 million people, of whom 55% are Muslim, 50% are Roman Catholic, and less than 0.6% are Evangelical Christians. For 46 years, Albanians lived under the harsh suppression of Communism and was the most underdeveloped and poorest country in Eastern Europe. In the early 1990s, Albania became democratic and since then has been experiencing growth and development. This was also the time when the gospel was reintroduced into Albania.
Brad Diehl serves as the pastor of Berlin First Baptist Church in Berlin, Maryland. Pastor Brad also just recently became a board member of CCI. We traveled together to Albania, stopping over in Rome for one day. We took advantage of the time in Rome by touring the Coliseum where gladiators once fought and where many Christians were martyred. We also toured other areas of Rome and saw the Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel.

Brad, Shannon, and I stayed with Altin and Diana, who pastor a church in downtown Tirana, Albania. Their church has sent out a team to plant a second church and is planning soon to send out another team to start a third church. We met with pastors in different cities and listened to their stories and about their ministries. We also led two seminars on Resolving Conflict in a Godly Way, preached in churches, and taught a BTCP class in Shkoder with Gusti and Arvisa. We saw their enthusiasm for the Lord and their love for Albanians and us, their visitors.
During our visit, we led two seminars and also taught a BTCP class in Shkoder.
The Church is small in Albania but is in the foundational stages, positioned for growth in the coming days. One common thread we heard was the need for good training. As churches are mobilizing people to start new churches, one thing needed is equipped servants of the Lord. That's where CCI enters. God has also provided a godly printer for us, named Olti, who can handle the printing, storing, and distribution of our training materials anywhere in Albania.

As I travel in various countries, I have witnessed firsthand the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise: “I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). I see God at work in every country. I meet strategic people who are looking for what our ministry can offer. It’s exciting to walk with the Lord in all these endeavors. God opens the doors, provides the funding, supplies the key people, and as relationships are established, the ministry grows.

After the Resolving Conflict seminar, Monde shared, "I've been in a lot of training, but this was great because it was not so academic but clear and meaningful."

Rrustem shared, "By sending you, God used you to wake us from our sleep. I look forward to attending again in the future."
God is opening doors in Albania by providing key leaders and resources for the gospel to grow.
Not only were the nationals impacted by our training, but also the ones who went there. For me, the visit to Albania energized my passion for CCI work. It had been 18 months since I had traveled outside the country. The visit also impacted Brad and Shannon in unique ways.

Here is Brad's testimony. "I am so thankful for the opportunity to visit our Christian brothers and sisters in Albania. It is evident that our God is working in mighty ways there. I was so encouraged by the many pastors we were able to meet with and hear their passion for spreading the gospel throughout the country. The potential for the growth of the Church in Albania is strong. And pastors are excited to train up more pastors and plant more churches. These first-generation believers are actively reaching the lost, and it was great to see several new baptized believers. My passion was also reignited for reaching the lost."

Shannon said, “This was my first trip outside the USA! Albania was an amazing first trip opportunity. I tore up all expectations I had going into my first international trip and let God lead! Albania is a country with fewer than 1% evangelical Christians. My heart is burdened for these people! I’m so thankful for the first-generation Christians doing the work currently on the ground and look forward to being a partner with them! I thank David and CCI for the opportunity!”
Brad and Shannon Diehl, Board Member and longtime CCI supporters were greatly impacted by the trip and have made plans to return.
We are planning to go back to Albania to train more trainers who will start new classes. Shannon is planning to train ladies in organizing Vacation Bible Schools to reach children. We see a bright future for ministry in Albania! Pray for God's wisdom and open doors and a key man to lead the ministry there.

Thank you so much for praying and giving! Your partnership is making a huge difference around the world!

Grace and Peace,

David Nelson
President & Founder
Crossing Cultures International
Save the Date! Giving Tuesday is a global movement for giving and unity that will take place on November 30, 2021. Your gift helps CCI equip and multiply church leaders and pastors across the globe. The world needs to hear and receive the gospel more than ever.
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