Adventist Church Celebrates 20 Years of Official Work in Albania
16 June 2012 Tirana, Albania [Julian Kastrati, tedNEWS] The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Albania celebrated the 20th anniversary of its offical work in the country. Although Adventist presence dates back to the 1930s, the first church was organised in Tirana in the spring of 1992. This was a result of the evangelistic meetings held by Pastor A. David C. Currie from Australia, at that time Ministerial Association Secretary at the Trans-European Division (TED) based in the UK. Pastor Currie was commissioned by the TED to start the church in what previously had been the most atheistic and isolated country in Europe and probably the world.stories of Daniel Lewis and Meropi Gjika, Albanian Adventist heroes of faith. “On this blessed Sabbath, we express our appreciation to all workers who have served the Lord in the Land of Eagles for the past 20 years”, said Pastor Leo N. España, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Albania, as he handed special certificates of appreciation to Dr Bertil Wiklander, TED President, as well as other distinguished guests in recognition of their long-term, dedicated service for the fulfilment of the Great Commission in Albania. Earlier on, Clarissa España, spouse of Pastor España, presented a beautiful pictorial consisting of an artistic painting featuring key events and places of Adventist Church in Albania.
Dr Reinder Bruinsma, former TED Executive Secretary, then led the congregation in a prayer of blessings for the local pastoral families, after which, Pastor Branko Bistrovic, President of the Adriatic Union Conference, which incorporates Albanian Mission, welcomed the main speaker for the event, Dr Wiklander, who addressed the audience of over three hundred participants.
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church that re-opened its work 20 years ago here in Albania believes that life indeed has a meaning, and that discovering its meaning brings us into a deeper relationship with God, the Creator of life” said Dr Wiklander in his inspiring sermon entitled “The Mission of God”. Evoking a motif from the writings of Ellen G. White, Dr Wiklander both challenged and motivated the audience by appealing: “This is what we are: God has made us an agency for the salvation of men and the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ! This is what we do: We are organised for service, and our mission is to carry the gospel to the world. This is what we are to become: Through our loving communion, God will manifest the final and full display of his love.”
The day couldn’t conclude any better than with a beautiful baptismal ceremony in the afternoon, where 6 precious people from Tirana, including a Member of Parliament, were baptised, adding to a total of 15 baptisms in Albania this year alone. Following the final appeal by Pastor España, another 10 raised their hands as they decided to follow Jesus Christ. “My past is behind me, my worries have ended,” said Alba Spahi, one of the baptismal candidates who found the Adventist church through the Internet. “Now I am at peace because I am with the Lord, and He shall never forsake me. Now my life is meaningful, very meaningful!”
For more information about the church in Albania, please visit www.adventist.al [tedNEWS]