first things first


A blog about whatever crosses my mind, ordered by importance.


Welcome Weekend

What a great weekend!

This weekend we had some visitors from Dallas. Rick Howard, the missions pastor for Watermark, and Cheryl Boyd came to visit. It was great to see them, to be encouraged by some friends from home. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while!

Cheryl has been in Eastern Europe with CRU for 12+ years, and so she knew a lot of CRU staff here in Albania. She and Alma Elliot are great friends, and were super excited to see eachother. In all those years somehow she never made it to Albania, so this was a great chance for her to catch up with some of her old friends.

Rick and I had a good time at breakfast on Saturday, chatting about the Porch and the ministry here. He encouraged me quite a bit. I also enjoyed hearing about their trip to Turkey. We went with Avni to Durres for lunch, and met up with many of the CRU staff at the student conference.

We made it back to Tirana in time to have coffee with the young professionals. We invited the believers to join Rick for coffee, and he challenged them to be leaders in ministry. I’m really glad we were able to get all of them together, so they could get to know eachother and see that they’re not alone!

"Young Professionals with Rick" photo by Cheryl Boyd

The next day Rick preached a sermon at our church, Cornerstone. He preached on the second week of the Advent calendar, the fulfilled prophesies. We had lunch at the Sheraton hotel, where there was some kind of christmas market going on, so it was a lot more crowded than in the past. I managed to find a couple good christmas presents there, some authentic Albanian stuff.

We took them to the airport in the evening. It was a short trip, but well worth it.

Continuing efforts

Now it finally feels like we have a community. The challenge going forward is to maintain and activate the community. There’s quite a lot going on the next two weeks, and then the real hard work will begin in January. We have 3 seminars this week, and on Wednesday I’m teaching another C++ seminar to some students at the technical college.

I’m really looking forward to Christmas. I’m planning to fly back to DC on the 18th, and will spend 9 days with my family before I head back to Europe. It’s going to be a great time to relax and recharge before diving back into it in January.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9