Dear brothers/sisters/friends -- leaders/administrators, coaches/mentors, pastors/workers, professors, colleagues and former classmates, from past and present,
My wife Beatrice (Trixi) and I are very humbled and delighted to share with you all the news on the recent approval from "the brethren" for me to receive the ministerial credentials . The ordination ceremony will be taking place in Croatia, this coming Sabbath, May 31st, 2008, where I will be ordained together with 9 other pastors from the Adriatic Union Conference. On this wonderful occasion, I would like to extend my deepest thanks for your generous and precious time, support, prayers, encouragement, personal example, coaching, counselling, but just as importantly, for all your critique, admonishment, bluntness, challenging, and those "difficult" chats -- I would not be where I am without any of the latter!
From those distant, yet unforgettable days of the summer of 1992, when Alban and I, prompted by Pastor David Currie, received the divine calling for pastoral ministry, to this day, I have been honoured to serve/learn/contribute in/at/to our wonderful church family that I have encountered everywhere -- Trans-European Division (1992-present), Newbold College (1995, 1996-1999, 2003-2005), Adriatic Union Conference (1999-present) and Albanian Mission (1993-present), as volunteer, literature evangelist, Bible worker, intern, church planter, editor, theology student/"systematician", student/assistant residence-hall dean, chaplain, team/social club leader, licensed pastor, -- I am grateful to TED/NC/AUC/AM for supporting my formal education/employment, as well as for impacting and shaping my character, ministry, vision and sense of mission.
Trixi and I are currently serving in Tirana, Albania's capital, pastoring and re-planting Tirana-Central Adventist Church and other affiliated groups/companies, with a target/focus on young professionals. As we see our church grow by the day in spirituality and numbers, we can only testify with humility of the miracles the Holy Spirit is performing in Tirana and the rest of Albania through our ministry, as we remain committed, optimistic and excited about the prospective growth of God's Kingdom in Albania.
We thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for all of you,
Kindest regards and greetings from Tirana,
Julian & Beatrice Kastrati