This past week I had the opportunity to travel to Albania to help train children’s pastors and volunteers how best to implement 252 Basics in their culture.
When I found out that I was going to Albania, my first question was “Where is Albania?” I’m guessing many of you are in the same boat. Albania is in Central Europe across from Italy and north of Greece.
Albania actually has direct ties to the Apostle Paul. In Romans 15:19 Paul writes, “So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” Illyricum is the region of Albania. Sadly, this rich heritage of faith was brought to a halt when the communist party took over and declared that Albania was officially an atheist nation. The communist government was known as the most violent of terrorists with regard to torture and execution of Christians.

Thankfully in 1991, the communist party fell along with the strict rules forbidding any sort of religion. Today, the evangelical church is growing each year and very recently was officially recognized by the Albanian government as a faith of its people.
At Orange, we’ve begun a partnership with One Hope, an organization with a huge mission: to make sure that every child in the world hears the message of the gospel. We are excited to help make that a reality!
I worked with Akil and Lindita Pano, the pastors of Christ Church in Terane, Albania. Akil is the head of the Evangelical Alience. His church of 250 members is the most influential church in Albania. Along with Akil and Lindita, I also worked with Andi Dina, who is the children’s ministry representative for One Hope in Albania. He has a HUGE heart for kids and families in Albania and brought churches together for our training on May 6, 2012.
A few dozen church leaders gathered at a missionary guesthouse in Terane to learn more about Orange and what it means to partner with families. We shared a great time together. The churches in Albania are hungry to reach children and families with the gospel. They can’t wait to begin turning Albania Orange.
Please pray for Andi, Akil and Lindita as they lead the church leaders in Albania. This is just the beginning. Pray they meet the right people and make the right connection to help leaders share Christ with families.
Pray for the leaders all over Albania. They will begin using 252 Basics in their church beginning this summer. Pray as they prepare the lessons and small group material, that nothing will stand in the way of sharing Jesus with families.
And of course, please pray for the thousands of children in Albania that could be reached through One Hope and Orange. Pray they come to know Christ as their Savior and realize their part in the big story that God is telling through them.