Albania has always had a special place in my heart. It was the first mission field I visited and I spent the better part of a decade traveling back and forth there doing evangelism and church planting right after communism fell. It was the poorest country in the Soviet Block of communist countries. It would take a full book to tell you of my adventures from there and the incredible provisions of God as we opened up what was the most totally atheistic country in all the world.
I still keep in touch with many friends I made there and hope to return some day. My friend, Mike Fiocchi is the American missionary pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Tirane which the church I pastored in Florida helped to start with a missionary from off our church staff, Dave Young. It is exciting to see how this church continue to flourish in a country that was devastated by communism and atheism. Recently I become aware of a special opportunity to be part of the ministry there by supporting an Albanian young person to go to a life-changing camp. Without our help, the teens simply cannot afford to go. Most Albanians survive on just a few thousand dollars a year — it’s still the poorest country in that part of the world. Would you read the letter below, take a look at this picture and consider making it possible for one of these teens to go?
This is a picture of the New Hope Baptist Church of Tirane, Albania at the Camp from 2010. Arben Guxha is the man in the blue shirt to the far right. He was one of the teenagers in the youth group when I was active in church planting and evangelism in Albania in the 1990’s and our church in West Palm Beach helped found New Hope Baptist in the capital city. Arben is now one of the pastors in the church.
Dear Praying Friends,
Forty years is a long time. Obviously, eighty is twice as long! We have not been asked for eighty years; rather, eighty campers. In 2010, we went to camp with sixty two campers. Five trusted Christ as personal Savior; four were baptized; and two completed discipleship classes.
One of those campers, Fatjona, is helping in the Sunday school ministry. Another, Gjergji, is helping with reading Scripture in the worship services and often witnesses for Christ in his public school. For the furtherance of the cause of Christ, we are anticipating the same type of testimonies repeated in the summer 2011 youth camp. Our theme is “Exodus.” For the campers, our desire is to see young people leaving the old life and living the new spiritually vibrant life. Our camp workers are trained better. Our creativity is engaged to effectively reach more young people.
Throughout the year, our church offerings have totaled $600. We still need $4,000. As a local mission church, we depend upon the Lord to use His people around the world to meet this type of need.
We appreciate your prayers and financial support for this summer youth camp outreach on August 23-27, 2011. Will you please pray about how you might be able to help? Please designate support for “Summer Youth Camp 2011.”
Baptist World Mission
PO Box 2149
We thank you in advance for your consideration.
Sincerely in Christ,
Mike Fiocchi for New Hope Baptist Church