The team enjoyed worship, on Sunday, with the congregation of Alpha-Omega Church in Peshkopi. Our EEMN co-host, Dan Hall, delivered a great message on Acts 2 that was translated into Albanian by Pr. Ermal Lushi.
Following a walk though town and lunch at a popular restaurant in Peshkopi, the team was able to start setting up classrooms and make final preparations for camp at the church building and at a nearby restaurant reception room. One of the highlights of preparation included having coffee with several of our translators. Coffee is a very important social activity in the Albanian culture and you might notice from the photos that men and women usually sit in separate groups. This is a carryover from the Muslim cultural identity that still influences social mores despite the almost non-existent practice of religion in Albania. In fact, Ramadan is still observed by many in Albania (including in Peshkopi) even though there is no longer a spiritual or religious connection made to its observance.
On Monday, the most glitch free and enthusiastic first-day-of-camp student participation was enjoyed by everyone (at a new location, to boot)! Much of this is due to the outstanding planning and coordination made by our EEMN Albania missionaries, Dawn & Dan Hall, and our Albanian partners in ministry, Pr. Ermal & Sarah Lushi!
We are always very upfront that we use the Bible as a textbook for teaching English, and our hosts prepared us for the reality that we might lose some kids after the first day because they might feel uncomfortable with the Christian emphasis. However, every single child came back on Tuesday - along with several new students who were in academic testing on Monday. In all, we have over 50 students (6th-9th grade) participating in camp! Also, the level of English here is astonishing. This has made teaching a lot more fun!