This morning I tried to get the material ready for my chemistry class before an 8 a.m. meeting of the pastoral group for the Guri i Themelit (Cornerstone) Church. Rafael Tartari (pastor and missionary), Dini Shahini ("elder" and missionary), and myself ("overseer") met to discuss our lives and the life of the congregation and to look at some future plans.
We are excited about the Bible Club from Lezha Academic Center which has begun meeting at the church. This synchronization of youth Bible ministries of the school and church is something we are very supportive of. Working at renewing the current church structure and repairing some relationships are also ongoing tasks.
Rafael, Dini and I Meet over Coffee (5-Dec-14; © Richard L. Bowman)
I am very glad to be sharing in ministry with these two brothers in a supportive, open and accountable way!
Today at the school, I took some pictures of art work done by students in support of "The International Day against Violence against Women" on November 25. All of the projects were displayed with the three selected to further represent the school highlighted by framing.
Student Artwork Against Violence to Women (5-Dec-14; © Richard L. Bowman)
One of the Best Pieces (5-Dec-14; © Richard L. Bowman)
Another One of the Best Pieces (5-Dec-14; © Richard L. Bowman)
A Third One of the Best Pieces (5-Dec-14; © Richard L. Bowman)
This was a good ending to a week in which Elsie and her health problems had me (and others) in a dither. On Tuesday afternoon after we came back from our Albanian language at LAC, Elsie woke up very confused from a nap. Things got worse as the evening went on, so I asked Klementina to contact a friend who is a physician. After seeing Elsie in our apartment, he recommended that we take Elsie for a consultation at the American Hospital in Tirana. We got back home after she was evaluated ands given some IV's at 1 a.m. Although there were some ups ands downs in her recovery, today she is much better than she has been all week.
Thanks be to God!
This brings us back to Sunday at the beginning of the week, and a few vignettes from the church. The first one is the pastor's wife ands eight-month-old daughter enjoying worship and the congregation. Then several of the men asked me to take their photo together. I also captured one of the young believers who attends the church and is a student at LAC. In fact she is presently a student in the chemistry course I teach.
Sophia Looks Around While Solenge Worships (30-Nov-14; © Richard L. Bowman)
Seven Men Wanted a Photo (30-Nov-14; © Richard L. Bowman)
Evianda Pauses Outside of the Church Door (30-Nov-14; © Richard L. Bowman)
Our Future Plans
Now for some of our future plans. On Wednesday, December 10, we will fly from Tirana to Washington, DC, USA, so that the operation to replace my hip joint can take place. (Over Thanksgiving break, Elsie and I finally reached the decision to see about this happening now rather than waiting to next July.) With friends here in Albania and family in the US supporting us and telling us to do it sooner rather than later, we set the scheduling in motion. The surgery is planned for January 7, but I will not be cleared to fly until six or more weeks after surgery. So our return tickets are for February 28.
This time in the US, while not planned for this reason, will also allow Elsie to be checked for electrolyte problems.
Please join us in prayer for these health issues.
--©2014, Richard L. Bowman