Our fantastic intern Scarlett is travelling to Albania this summer. Here, she answers a few questions about her trip.
Where are you going?
Elbasan, a large city in central Albania with a population of ~141,714. Not a usual site for tourists.
Albania is predominantly Muslim.
Society is still influenced by the period of Communist rule that ended in 1990.
Who are you going with?
11 other New Frontiers Interns plus two leaders, Ruth and Colin Matthews, from Woodside Church, Bedford.
Partnering with Elbasan Christian Fellowship, a Church started by Ilir Koci in 2008.
What will you be doing?
Serving in social action outreach, Gate of Hope, which provides local, often very poor, children, with crafts, games and food.
Taking some children on a day-trip to the countryside/seaside.
Helping lead the children's ministry on Sundays, and possibly a party.
Ministry to the blind: tea & coffee, readings from the Bible, and personal testimonies (healings in particular).
Practical jobs such as gardening, painting, and cleaning the church building.
What will you eat?
We can use the church's kitchen facilities to cook.
We are invited for some authentic Albanian meals, with a couple from the church.
Hospitality is very important for Albanian culture, and set plans are often not kept to, so other opportunities could arise!
For those of you who know my usual diet, I have found peace in the scripture "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17).
What can we pray for?
Continue building the relationship interns started with the church in Elbasan on their first mission trip there six years ago.
Show the Father's love to the street children who come to our sessions.
Give children a greater understanding of why we take part in church, and who Jesus is, by expressing that our faith brought us from England to Albania to encourage them and learn together.
Transform the lives of those with blindness through the hope shared in the stories we tell, and see physical healing!!
Fundraising for interns.
And for me personally, to experience more of what mission abroad looks like, seeking to engage with what the Holy Spirit teaches me before, during and after the trip.
What do you hope to achieve?
Expose the roots of Christianity to show that it is more than being a 'nice' person, as many Albanians are; bear fruit (Galatians 5:22) to demonstrate that the outworking of faith is not about feelings but a solid foundation built on our saviour Jesus Christ.
What will is cost?
The total cost for the trip is £600 each, to be paid by Friday 17th May.
I have currently raised £474.88; thank you to everyone who has supported me financially thus far (whether through advent calendars, secret Santa, TDC bake sale or Christmas/birthday gifts).
My next fundraising event is a cake sale this coming Sunday (12th) at our Chester-le-Street congregation (at Park View School, 10am-12pm). If you'd like to support me please come along, and bake/bring cakes if you are able (let me know if so)!
Due to time constraints this will be my last fundraiser. However, your prayer is really appreciated (list above) and other monetary donations are also welcome, to help me reach my target. If you'd like to talk more, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org