Happy Mother's Day Mothers! (They celebrate it here in Albania, too.)
Our Plan B on Saturday was God's Plan A. It was our biggest crowd yet, pushing 500 including those watching from nearby apartments, cafes and milling the park. The Airfield Park is a great venue with lots of people hanging out and we had a nice wooden stage to perform on. Dark clouds were looming in the distance from several directions and we even saw lightning coming our way. On the drive to the show, Sabri said "There are rain clouds but God will give us a rainbow." And, He did! As we were setting up, a rainbow appeared among the clouds in the distance! The dark clouds dispersed by the time they reached us and we didn't have a drop of rain!
The audience was so enthusiastic and animated throughout the show! We loved watching their reactions. They clapped and cheered, sometimes at random times. When Dustin led them in a prayer of commitment to Jesus, some girls in the front row closed their eyes, held out their hands and repeated the prayer intently. Very precious!
Sunday morning we joined Sabri's church which meets at the Christian Center where we've been staying while in Tirane. Paul and Neville played with the church worship team, then the whole Aussie band performed 2 songs. Dustin performed some of his uni's then shared his story and a challenge to the church to not just be church goers but live a life completely surrendered to God, using what they have to make a difference across the street and around the world.
When TACO visited this church last fall, about 50 people attended. Today there are over 300 people that come regularly! The church leaders have started a government approved program where they provide food, spiritual and financial counselling in exchange for church attendance. Sabri told us people might initially be coming for food and other things but soon they are touched by the love of God and then come to worship Him.
Monday we leave Tirana bright and early for a 5 hour drive south to Saranda for our last shows in Albania before we fly to Turkey on Wednesday morning. Thanks for praying with us for our final outreaches to have maximum impact.
Me Shprese (With Hope),
TACO Albania team