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Israel & Christians Today

Biblical understanding about Israel

October 15, 2014

Travelreport Albania October 2014

Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer visited Albania from October 10 through 13, 2014 for building and strengthening the Christians for Israel network in Albania and teach about the Biblical significance of Israel and the Jewish people for Christians today. At the invitation of Eduart Demo from the ministry of Illyricum Movement in Tirana, Albania, who organized the visit. He took care of the Albanian translation of the book WHY ISRAEL, and 500 copies were printed just before arrival of the President of Christians for Israel International!

Albania is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 kilometers (45 miles) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.

Albania is the only European country that harboured more Jews after the Second Worldwar than at its beginning. In World War II, no Albanian Jews were turned over to the Germans. They were hid in the villages, many received new names and Albanian passports! After Italian and German occupation of Albania, the Jewish population actually increased thanks to the assistance by both Muslims and Christians. Before the war there were 200 Jews in Albania, after the war 2000!

The Church in Albania is a young Church. The Communist regime that took control of Albania after World War II persecuted and suppressed religious observance and institutions and entirely banned religion to the point where Albania was officially declared to be the world's first atheist state. Religious freedom has returned to Albania since the regime's change in 1992. People who mentioned the name of a Supreme Being (be it Allah, God, Jesus, the Almighty or whatever name) were thrown into prison.

On the first day of his visit (Friday October 10, 2014), Rev Glashouwer met with the English speaking, American pastor of the Albanian town of Pogradec with a Bibleschool besides his church.

The next day (Saturday morning, October 11, 2104) a meeting was organized in Tirana that was also joined by the Deputy Ambasador of Israel: Tsach Saar, Deputy Head of Mission and Consul. It was a blessed meeting, the choir sang Hebrew worship songs and some 18 pastors took part in it. The meeting had two parts, the first part opened with the national hymns of Albania and of Israel, followed by some Jewish and Christian songs. After that Rev Glashouwer, the general secretary of the evangelical churches of Albania and the Deputy Ambassador of Israel introduced themselves. After the break the Deputy Ambassador left the meeting and Rev Glashouwer continued the teaching to the believers.

The second meeting took place in another location at a newly planted church. An English teaching course with Bible verses was conducted first by Rev Glashouwer and after that he shared from the word of God and gave his personal testimony about how he became a Christian. People in this second meeting were not Christians yet but very open, they could share their story – and Rev Glashouwer did - how he came to know the Lord and why he has given his life to the Lord.

Sunday morning (October 12) and evening Rev Glashouwer preached from the word of God in two different churches. The Lord really opened up many doors in Albania and plans to return to Albania for many churches and pastors conferences and seminars by Rev Glashouwer are being developed.






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