first things first

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

Shift musical

We got to see a really cool musical event this week! A big group of high school students from Colorado came to perform their evangelistic musical, “SHIFT”.

CRU’s high school and college ministries invited a lot of students from all around Tirana. I even saw the Elbasan kids show up. Our young professionals all went and sat together near the front. It was pretty awesome to see how many people showed up!

The American students were here all week putting on various outreach events. They did several of their songs at a cafe in the Student City in the days leading up to the big event. They also recruited all the other ministries to hand out fliers. It was a big production that left Gedis & Pal exhausted by the end.

SHIFT Schedule

The venue was the old Congressional Palace. This is where the communist “worker’s party” used to gather. After the fall of Communism, this was the first place where they showed the Jesus film in all of Albania. And now it’s used for all sorts of things, even evangelistic musicals. We serve an awesome God.

Communist symbol It doesn’t get much more communist than this…

The empty auditorium The other half of the seats are behind the photo.

The musical centered around 4 students each striving for different things. One was looking for Power (Pushtet), another for Success (Sukses), a third for Fame (Famë), and a 4th for Desire (Joshje). They were each offered a contract by the devil, which seemed to give them everything they wanted. But in the end, it made them miserable. Finally, the Jesus character revealed himself, banished the devil, and approached each of the characters. He took each of their contracts and burned them. It was a very moving part of the musical!

Setting: coffee shop The setting was a coffee shop. Can you spot the devil?

Fame dancing Fame dancing on a table

They had an orchestra section too! At one point they played an accoustical cover of the Beatle’s “Eleanor Rigby”. I’m 100% sure no Albanians made the connection. Orchestra

After the musical finished, Ylli Doçi spoke for about 20 minutes and presented the Gospel to everyone in attendance. I couldn’t follow all of what he said, but I was getting parts of it. My Albanian is getting better!

It ended up being a super cool event! Lots of people heard the Gospel clearly presented. At least one person wrote on their comment card that they accepted Jesus that evening! I hope those kids come back next year for another musical.