G.T.S. - ALBANIA

Our home church in Fayetteville, New Heights Church, sends out two or three "Global Training School" teams each summer to different areas of the world. These are teams of college students who feel God is leading them to future involvement in missions. The goal of G.T.S. is to allow them to go to the mission field and experience a variety of different types of mission work. We have found that God uses these experiences to speak to them and help clarify His vision for their future kingdom work.  This was the first year for the team to come to Albania and it was a blessing to host this team of four college students led by our friends Arsid & Lindsey Panxhi (plus three other students for one week). Below is a week by week summary of our summerwith G.T.S.-Albania.  Each picture gives you a link to a picture gallery and more in depth account for that week.  We hope this can give you a sense of the amazing ways God was at work through this great team.  JUST CLICK ON A PICTURE HEADING BELOW AND IT WILL TAKE YOU TO THE PHOTO GALLERY FOR THAT WEEK.  Search the gallery thoroughly and you may discover the story behind each of the subheading quotes. Enjoy!

The team spent their first few days getting settled and over jet-lag.  Along the way, we showed them the "L.A.M.P." method of language learning and let them have a go with our language tutors, Suzana and Anila.  We also took a trip to the cross overlooking Elbasan to pray and worship and give God the coming weeks.

The team spent their first few days getting settled and over jet-lag.  Along the way, we showed them the "L.A.M.P." method of language learning and let them have a go with our language tutors, Suzana and Anila.  We also took a trip to the cross overlooking Elbasan to pray and worship and give God the coming weeks.

Week one had the team focused on the Elbasan Providence Center school working with Bani and Zamira and Shelby and Rose.  The school was in their final days so they were able to join the end-of-the-year class parties.  They also had the chance to visit some homes, including Bali's home where they learned to bake up some Byrek!

Week one had the team focused on the Elbasan Providence Center school working with Bani and Zamira and Shelby and Rose.  The school was in their final days so they were able to join the end-of-the-year class parties.  They also had the chance to visit some homes, including Bali's home where they learned to bake up some Byrek!

The second full week was in the capital city of Tirana. We visited a Maternity hospital, physical therapy clinic and some local businesses.  The team spent most of the week working with the campus ministry "Jetë Studentore" (Student Life, also known as Campus Crusade), visiting campuses and helping advertise for a summer English camp that the ministry hosts.  They finished the week going with some students to work with the Roma gypsy community there in the city.

The second full week was in the capital city of Tirana. We visited a Maternity hospital, physical therapy clinic and some local businesses.  The team spent most of the week working with the campus ministry "Jetë Studentore" (Student Life, also known as Campus Crusade), visiting campuses and helping advertise for a summer English camp that the ministry hosts.  They finished the week going with some students to work with the Roma gypsy community there in the city.

Week 3 brought the team back to Elbasan and added 3 new students from New Heights.  They learned first hand just how busy missionary life can be.  The team helped lead church services at two different local churches, worked with the Roma gypsy children and ladies, visited the orphanage that Bethany & Tanja go to, worked with a ministry to the blind, and also spent time with Elbasan's version of the "Jetë Studnetore" university campus ministry.

Week 3 brought the team back to Elbasan and added 3 new students from New Heights.  They learned first hand just how busy missionary life can be.  The team helped lead church services at two different local churches, worked with the Roma gypsy children and ladies, visited the orphanage that Bethany & Tanja go to, worked with a ministry to the blind, and also spent time with Elbasan's version of the "Jetë Studnetore" university campus ministry.

The fourth full week gave them a "village experience". We joined our friends', Nathan & Cydil Waggoner, and their work in a village called Vlashaj.  Their center is called the "Jesus Place" by the locals and our team had a chance to shine His Light as they hung out with kids, joined in Bible studies, led a teen gathering, organized a Saturday morning Kid's Club and more.

The fourth full week gave them a "village experience". We joined our friends', Nathan & Cydil Waggoner, and their work in a village called Vlashaj.  Their center is called the "Jesus Place" by the locals and our team had a chance to shine His Light as they hung out with kids, joined in Bible studies, led a teen gathering, organized a Saturday morning Kid's Club and more.

For week #5, we experienced a very different Albanian culture in the country of Kosovo.  We joined Josh Butler in the capital of Prishtinë.  We experienced the town of Mitrovicë which is a hot spot for Serb/Kosovan conflict and joined students who went to an English school there.  We also spent a day with a young lady who ministers to the Ashkali gypsy people.  Once again, we joined with the "Jetë Studentore" campus ministry there in Kosovo.

For week #5, we experienced a very different Albanian culture in the country of Kosovo.  We joined Josh Butler in the capital of Prishtinë.  We experienced the town of Mitrovicë which is a hot spot for Serb/Kosovan conflict and joined students who went to an English school there.  We also spent a day with a young lady who ministers to the Ashkali gypsy people.  Once again, we joined with the "Jetë Studentore" campus ministry there in Kosovo.

The team had a few more days in Elbasan and then we spent two days in the coastal village of Dhërmi to reflect and debrief.  Our last Sunday in Elbasan, we joined E.P.C., including many of our students, for a worship and picnic.  We were blessed with three baptisms:  Goni, Ken's language tutor; Lori, one of our students; and even one of our own team members - Hannah!  What a great ending to a great six weeks.

The team had a few more days in Elbasan and then we spent two days in the coastal village of Dhërmi to reflect and debrief.  Our last Sunday in Elbasan, we joined E.P.C., including many of our students, for a worship and picnic.  We were blessed with three baptisms:  Goni, Ken's language tutor; Lori, one of our students; and even one of our own team members - Hannah!  What a great ending to a great six weeks.

BONUS:  one more photo gallery - the GTS team spent a day hanging out with all of the "M.K.s" (missionary kids) and great fun was had by all!