Margaret Reeve, long-standing member of our church, is serving with BMS in Albania.
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Saturday 6th November 2010
The Sun's still shining...although heavy rain is forecast for the next few days!
On the outskirts of Tirana last night (Friday) about 30 motley Brits gathered for a bonfire, fireworks and food. Apparently everyone enjoyed themselves - unfortunately I missed it because I had a migraine. At school we are gearing up for the whole-school Christmas production which is now only 6 weeks (?!) away, while outside it's warm enough to walk around in a T-shirt - weird!
A few weeks ago we heard the shocking news that a young Pastor had been murdered because of a blood feud.You can find out more about him(and blood feuds in Albania) by logging onto www.pemburybaptistchurch.org. Just 2 weeks later his widow addressed a rally of 1500 people here in Tirana and called on the goverment to do something about the many young people who are prisoners in their own homes. Pastor Tani knew that his life was at risk but said that he wouldn't live in this 'cage of fear' any longer. His main concern was for his non-Christian brothers and father. His prayer was that there would be no retaliation after his death and that his family would come to know that Christ's death had paid the price in full for all people.
Then last weekend we heard that Pastor Fredi and his wife Gjestina had had their 4th child, a little girl called Kristella. She had Down's Syndrome with lots of cardiac complications and died within a few hours. The Christian church here is very small (less than 1/2 of 1% and these losses are felt by the whole family. Please pray for Christians in Albania as they try to witness to their neighbours and colleagues.
In the past 2 weeks we've had teams from Sunderland and Bluntisham Baptist churches, 1 ex Baptist minister who currently lives in a convent with 3 elderly nuns (God moves in a mysterious way ....!) and a minister from Weston-super-Mare who is on sabbatical. I have 2 visitors from Russia at the moment. Penny is thinking about coming to GDQ to teach so has come to visit the school. She has been working in a similar school in Moscow for several years.
Our BMS Tirana celebrations will be tinged with sadness this year as the McBains are leaving. Graham has pastored the church at Shkoze but feels that the time is right to return to the UK, where he will be the Minister in charge of Adult Ministries at Upton Vale, Torquay. Graham, Mairi and the children, Ellie, Gemma and Theo will be missed by many people here.
PS thank you to my 2 ' communicants' (LM and IB) who made my day on Friday. It is so good to hear news of Rugby. Thank you, the Lord be with you, Margaret