TENteams Goes to Albania
Our TENteam for the trip to Albania
This April, we were delighted a group of ladies joined our TENteams trip to Albania, to support Gentiana and Erion Cuni lead a womens’ conference and minister in the local villages. Here are some testimonies from the trip:
By Gentiana Çuni
Life in Christ Church, Tirana, Albania
We thank God for TEN and many other people that regularly pray, support and give to our ministry and our family. These last six years our work has increased plenty. We have seen new churches come to life and existing ones grow. But most people coming to faith are women and children.
As a leader you need to work with what the Lord has given you with commitment and strategy. When you have more women in church, the work of the pastor gets more difficult. In our culture a man cannot have much interaction with women, so as a pastor’s wife I must fill that gap and give Erion a better understanding of where our people stand with their spiritual health and faith. But there is so much work that I cannot do it alone; I need other women that are able to do pastoral work. Taking care of and encouraging the women in ministry is a vital work for the wellbeing of our churches and their future.
Having a group from TEN of mature Christians with leadership experience to encourage, pray and equip our women in ministry has been a blessing and a great ministry. We hope we can do more together in the years to come.
By Grace Bryers
It was that one email that caught my attention. It said that it was not too late to join the TENteam going to the women’s conference in Pogradec, Albania. I have supported TEN for a long time. Support is much more than finances. It includes prayer and engagement. I contacted the office a few days later and in three weeks I was on my way.
There is a larger number of young people attending services than we are used to seeing in the UK. Our partner, Erion Cuni, described himself as a first-generation Christian, as he told us about the beginning of the Albanian Church thirty years ago when the country opened its doors to the rest of the world.
We joined in with the singing of familiar worship songs, translated into Albanian. There is potential and hope for home-grown musicians to develop their own song writing in the future. As Erion put it, the heart of Christian leadership—reaching out and joining with God as He builds His Church—is in their DNA.
I went with a very sketchy knowledge of Albania, its history and the growth of the Church in recent decades. I came home informed and with an opened heart to the lives, challenges and blessings of the Christians there.
By Carol Sharman
I planned to join a mission trip to Burundi, but I couldn’t have the Yellow Fever jab so I contacted Melanie and arranged to join the TENteam to Albania. I was less excited about it but am so glad God redirected me. It soon became clear that God had prepared the way, the people and us.
The pastors are so devoted to Jesus, solid in their teaching and knowledgeable about Albania’s history. They and their wives were a delight to be with. It was such a privilege to minister to the ladies in the conference and in the villages. It was a great joy to work with the children. We performed an Open The Book session, which they loved.
The whole trip was fulfilling, refreshing and joyful. I fell in love with Albania and these dear people. I hope there will be an opportunity to visit and serve them again.