Albania church has bright future thanks to Dutch connections
Four years ago, the Church of the Nazarene in Dordrecht, Netherlands, started to develop a relationship through correspondence and personal visits with a Church of the Nazarene in Tirana, Albania.
A few months after Dordrecht church members visited Albania in 2019, an earthquake demolished houses and other buildings, including the church building in Tirana. In addition to church services, the building served as a meeting point for teenagers and a kitchen for a child development center. The Tirana congregation began searching for a new, permanent home while renting a space at a very high price.
Then, in April, a representative from the Netherlands’ Hope for Albania foundation called the Tirana pastor, Ergest Biti, to say, “I have a free church building for you. We can come and put it together and it has a size of 700 square meters (~7530 square feet).”
The city council in Tirana granted the congregation a plot of land and a building permit within a month.
On 10 May, trucks transported all the building parts of a former refugee building from the Netherlands to Albania and a group of volunteers came and assembled them.
The church in Tirana took up the remaining work. The building will be used for church gatherings as well as other activities in service to this lower-income community.
At the end of August, a team from the Dordrecht church was happy to visit and help paint the inside.
“By visiting several families, we also saw the poverty and difficulties many people are facing,” said Leon van den Dool, Dordrecht church Nazarene Missions International president. “Boys in this community face great temptation to get involved in drug dealing, and girls are lured to earn money through prostitution.”
The team was able to meet many of these boys and girls. Van den Dool added that they now have real names and faces to attach to the issues facing the community surrounding the church in Tirana.
“Therefore, we hope and pray this building can soon be finished so that God’s work in this desperate area of Tirana can restart and be a blessing for many in the city,” van den Dool said.
--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia