So it has been 6 days now in Albania. We have been helping out with running a Jr. High camp of 130 students. All of the students are Albanian, about 50% speak some english, and about 10% speak very good english. They are fun, caring, very good, energetic, vivacious and passionate. They love to sing songs together, and jump up and down and dance together. It is a very different experience than the camp I grew up at with lots of amenities. Here they have three delicious but not very glamourous meals. They spend some time in the morning and evening listening to speakers and singing songs and then have the opportunity to play in the portable pool (about 20ft/10ft), climb on the ropes course, archery, canoeing, crafts and many more. They also prepare skits, dances, memory verses and songs for the evening program. They are very comfortable being up front and love the opportunity to jump up on stage and share something. Some of the skits and dramas have been really good, even the ones that I would think were "totally lame" back home end up being the most meaningful here. One group did an interpretation to "Total Eclipse of the Heart." They acted out how so many things in life can take us away from being loved by God like greed, pride, drugs, alcohol and other things, but God is always there calling us back to him. And in the end when you give your heart to God he will have the strength and the power to take away all those other sins and problems in your life. These kids know their stuff!!
It has been fun getting to know the students, though the language is very difficult to learn. We are communicating with hand gestures, facial expressions and very, VERY simple words. All is going well and we are so blessed to be here. The staff are amazing and the students are very inspiring. Thank you for your prayers and support. Keep them coming, we have one more week to go.
Xhesika (How one girl, Xhoana (Joanna), spelled my name in Albanian)