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Youth Supplement – Drawn to Albania

March 2009 | by Fran Sampson

Drawn to Albania

 

Albania is a barren land dotted with trees. It can be seen across the water from the Greek island of Corfu – a favourite holiday destination of my parents.

 

We holidayed in Corfu two summers ago enjoying its luscious olive groves – originally planted by the Venetians – and its beautiful bays and boats. Albania’s coastline, guarded by patrol ships, loomed mysterious and interesting.

      So I arranged to visit Albania soon after this while InterRailing through Europe. Arriving at the Albanian town Port Saranda, I was impressed by it as a humming centre of industry. But, more especially, I was overwhelmed by the warmth, respect and hospitality of all the Albanians I met.

      Next year I joined the Albanian Evangelical Mission summer camp, keen to meet more Albanians and be of help to them in learning about Jesus Christ. The camps drew together Christians and non-Christians, over a wide range of ages and from different parts of Albania. Some of the Albanian Christians came from places where they were unable to meet regularly for fellowship.

      The camp was led well by a family who were missionaries to Albania and supported and enriched by a team from the UK. Although we must have seemed so different and foreign to each other, we could meet all the same as ‘one’ in Jesus Christ.

      The camp made a great impression on both the Albanians and British visitors. We had a great holiday together and made some precious friends. Although isolated on the shores of Albania, we were insulated together by our faith in Christ!

Fran Sampson