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What am I doing now?

I’ve been working as a Software Developer for Watermark Community Church since September 2017. There’s a lot of work to be done on various projects with the Church, and the job is flexible enough that I can continue to be involved in Albania!

We went back in December for a men’s conference, and we’re going back this summer as well. I’m leading the team that will work with the Young Professionals in the capital city of Tirana. I’m excited to see all my friends and to see what’s changed while I’ve been in Dallas! My intention is to stay in Albania for the whole month of July.

Feel free to read all my posts from my STINT years, starting with “Day 1 in Albania” and ending with “Home”. It’s been quite a journey!

Why Albania?

Albania has been on my heart since 2013 when me, Jeff Welskopf, and Will Noll went for 10 days to evangelize high school students. Since then our partnership with Albania has continued to grow. In 2015 I quit my job as a programmer to spend 2 years there helping them start a ministry to professionals, similar to what we do at The Porch in Dallas. In July 2017 Watermark sent 32 professionals to Albania to serve with 4 separate CRU ministries for 9 days, including the now 2-year old Albanian professionals ministry. This is far from the culmination of our efforts. I expect our partnership to continue to grow over the coming years.

The work being done in Albania is transforming the region.

The Albanians believe that the opportunity has been given to them to reach the surrounding Balkan muslim countries for Christ. They are uniquely positioned to be welcomed into closed or unfriendly countries like Macedonia, Turkey, and Montenegro. They take this opportunity seriously; they are constantly sending people on short term trips around the whole region, and are even sending some staff members on longer missions.

The Albanians are also hungry for the Gospel. Having lived under Communist rule for so long, they are looking for the Truth that gives life purpose. I’m always surprised by the number of people that are coming to CRU to hear the Gospel, and the speed with which the Albanian church is growing.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

At Easter we celebrate a historical fact. The fact that changes everything. If Jesus Christ rose from the dead, then I too will rise from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22), and this world is not my home (Hebrews 11:13-16). What then in this life is not worth giving up for the sake of eternity? Everything pales in comparison to the Resurrection.

Secondly, if Jesus Christ rose from the dead, that validates what He said about Himself. He is the Way the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). There are people in the world today who have never heard why we celebrate Easter. These people don’t know that God has made a way for them to be reconciled to Him, to be forgiven, redeemed and made righteous. They have to know, and we have to go tell them! (Romans 10:13-15)

and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:17-19