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Matt 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
NIV

John 20:10-16

10 Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11 but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"

"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 "Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
NIV




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WELCOME 

Elbasan, Albania Church of Christ


Church Office WEI School
Kisha e Krishtit Elbasan
Lagjja "Kongresi i Elbasanit"
Bulevardi "Qemal Stafa", No. 13
Elbasan, Albania
Preaching Minister
Contact Ilir & Vira

ilir.vera.kura@gmail.com

Contact Gerald Cowan for more information

geraldcowan1931@aol.com


The church in Elbasan was planted during Campaign 98 over a period of 6 weeks creating an urgent need for this special couple, Pete and Dulcimer Hodge, formerly workers in England. In October, 1998 they moved from Tirana where they worked for over a year.  Pete and Dulcimer responded to God's call and moved without much warning.  Soon, over 300 students were enrolled in Bible classes in Elbasan. Dulcimer had nearly 100 children to teach every week. Dulcimer's taught  women's classes too. The children's classes are reaching into families and number about 70 kids in regular Bible class attendance.

With the Kosova conflict, this young church distributed food to 400 families daily.

During the 1999 campaign, 27 were added to the church; but most of these have moved or fallen away; many were teens and young college age students who moved to Tirana.

In 2000, several adult couples were baptized. Classes for the men and women were started. A new benevolent work in nearby villages did well. In 2001 and 2002, Gene and Nancy Banister worked in teaching and preparing Albanian leaders. Teaching activities spread to villages with local members participating.

The 5th anniversary meeting was held in February 2003. In 2005, the Hodges returned to England and Bledi from Tirana began his work in preaching. Pete visited in 2006. Bledi has returned to Tirana.

The work in 07 - 12 has been growing with the diligence of Ilir and Vera Kura. Community outreach is common. The focus is on week day home Bible studies with new converts being mid 20s making life commitments.

 


April 2013

 

Archive

 

Continued...

The work there is continuing extremely well. Ilir and Vera Kura are doing a great job. Ilir has graduated from the International Bible Institute (previously the Sunset School of Preaching) in Durres which prepared him as a preacher and teacher.

Vera is busy preparing lessons. Others are very active in the local congregation and nearby communities. This is a very active church.

The church in Marion, Il is now supporting this church. Gerald Cowan is their contact.

Reports have been slow in coming; but, the work is not slow. Instead, studies are being done in homes at a distance. In April 2013, Elbasan has a new van enabling them to grow at an even faster rate.

 

April 2013

Greetings in the holy name of our Lord Jesus.

Even this year we had a good start for the Lord’s church here in Elbasan. The number of the people that hear about our Lord Jesus Christ is constantly growing. People that are tired from the suffering, struggles, and stress have their eyes now set on God. They are simple people that have tried to live their life just with their strength, without the strength of God. This has exhausted their souls and has made them to feel weak when facing the challenges and struggles of life.

The Word of God has brought for them a new hope and an opportunity for them to regain their strength to face the challenges and win them. They now have understood that the real strength and the real hope is only in Christ. In their hearts, they have felt that Christ is the salvation from many of their sufferings, struggles, sins, and stress. This caused their hearts to be opened for Him and His church to grow day by day.



We thank the Lord that has made possible that His church here in Elbasan brings good news for the brothers and sisters that support and encourage us to go on without stopping to announce the Gospel of Salvation to everyone. There is no greater joy for our Lord than seeing how new people are added to His holy family every day.

Three persons, after a long time studying with Ilir were baptized during these three months.

In February, Shqiponja Xhyra accepted Jesus Christ as her God and Savior. Shqiponja is Nasibe’s daughter in law. Now at our Bible class at sister Nasibe’s house a new member of the study group has been added. He is Nasibe’s son, Genti, who wants to learn more about the truth of Jesus.

In March, during the time that brother Gerry was here, Shpetim Sima and his daughter Anisa Sima were baptized. They had almost a year studying with Ilir at their home and also at the Bible classes that the church organizes. Shpetim is a good man who works as a foreman at a construction company, he is a just and devoted man who wants to give his contribute for the Glory of God. Our Lord has encouraged him to work for the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

His daughter Anisa Sima was baptized on the same day as her father. She is an English language student at the University of Elbasan. Anisa has studied the Bible for a long time. Now, she is helping us with the Kids’ study classes with other young people who want to be involved in the Glory of God. We thank God for each of them and pray to Him to care for then by giving strength and knowledge, from His infinite knowledge so they may grow every day in their faith.

We thank God for making us able to share the good news with this people that have never heard from Him or Jesus and His sacrifice. Lies had lived with them for a long time obscuring their minds and hearts, but now the strength and word of God have opened their eyes to see light in the truth.

In February we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Church of Christ here in Elbasan. It was wonderful to see how the members of the church worked together for the preparations to be made in time. In this special day there were 60 persons participating. Kristofor Findiku and Erik Qirjaqi with his wife Anila came from Tirana. We had a great time together in the presence of God. Our meeting started at 10:00 am and ended in 4:30 pm. The meeting started with the greeting which was prepared by Ilir and after that Ilir invited Remzi Islami to speak about the activities of the church in years. Erik sent us the greetings of the church of Christ in Tirana. Nasibe, Bruna, Doris, and Jona spoke about the changes that their Christian life has brought on them. We also read in front of everybody your and Pete’s greetings.

Shpetim’s word impressed everyone in the meeting. He spoke how firstly his kids came at the church. Their visits worried and made him curious about the lessons we shared with them. After that he felt even more worried when his wife Albana started to come at the church. In his conversations with his family there were often mentioned the names of Ilir and Vera. The worry and curiosity made his come for knowing who were the ones that “took his wife and kids,” but God had started already working with Shpetim’s heart. Soon they will all be part of our Lord’s holy family.

In the end, Ilir invited to hold a prayer, a young man, who has been baptized in the church of Christ in Elbasan in 1998. His name is Miri Guri and he comes regularly at our meetings. He has ended the studies at the University of Tirana for Timber Engineering and during his study time he went at the church of Christ in Tirana and after the studies has worked in joinery in Tirana. Now, he lives in Elbasan and has helped us during all this time with several works that we had.

After this we had lunch together with all the participants. Everything was for the glory of our Lord and His church here in Elbasan.

During this period of time, the church services and classes have been held regularly. The Bible study class is held every Tuesday at 4:00PM and the majority of the members of the church participate there. We have continued Luke’s Gospel. Our study has been focused on the commendations given by God to change ourselves and to follow His plan. The discussions and experiences from our new life in Christ were present in almost every class. There have always been more than 20 participants at the Bible Classes.

The youth’s bible class started and there are not only members of the church that participate but also young people that have attended individual lessons with Ilir. The teenagers are eager to learn more about our Lord. Now they know God not like other people has described Him but like He has described Himself in His word, the Bible. We are continuing the classes regarding the commendations given by the Lord for the behavior that must characterize a Christian wherever he goes. God is our teacher and we are his eternal students that must always try to follow His word and be worthy in His eyes.

The Ladies’ class has been held regularly by sisters Mereme and Vera. The topic of the class has been to clarify how much our Lord evaluates the sincere and without hypocrisy behavior in women and you ladies. On March 8th the ladies arranged a special meeting. Vera spoke with the women about the word of God and about the truth that frees us from the shackles of slavery. They had a great time together in the company of each other.

The Kids’ class has been also held regularly every Sunday at 9:30. Children come regularly and are active in their class. Dorisa Xhyra, Jona Karaj, Bruna Capja, Anisa Sima and Enerda Xhyra, under the tutelage of Vera Kura and Rezarta Ibrahimi, are doing a pleasant job at the Kids’ class. They are giving all they can so kids can be happy and feel good at their class. The girls are doing games with the kids by stimulating them to be active during the class. Vera and Rezarta prepare the lessons from the Bible for them. During the class, the children have learned good and important things. They have known Jesus and know that He loves them and gives everyday happiness and joy in their life.

Every Sunday, the congregation comes together to worship God and remember the sacrifice of His Son. All the participants have praised God and have prayed to Him to clean them from all the sins. The preaching of His holy words has given us strength to go on living our lives in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Brothers and Sisters, we are thanking God for each one of you that have supported and continue to support us in our mission in Elbasan. Your commitment encourages us to work more to honor His kingdom. Our God is wonderful in His infinite love and grace for all of us who hold steady in faith.

On March 19 our brother Gerry Cowan came from the United States to help us by providing a car to be used in the work of the church in Elbasan. We have now taken possession of an excellent Mercedes diesel vehicle that will seat 8 persons comfortably, a sturdy car that we hope will give good service for many years to come. Gerry had funds contributed by churches of Christ in Marion, Dongola, Illinois, Athens, Arkansas, Tigard, Oregon, and from many Christian brothers and sisters from many places in the United States. Our special thanks to the Marion church and also to Gerry for making the long trip here to help us with the car and in our work. We are very grateful to all who made possible for us to have this car. It makes our work easier because we are able to provide transportation for some people who need it, and to travel to our Bible studies in the homes of people here, and also to do other things needed in the church. We are touched and feel very blessed to have such generous support and we pray for God to bless everyone who supports our work.

We want to thank you for support us in helping Alma’s family with food supplies and also for supporting Antonel who lives alone with his grandmother.

We thank all the brothers and sisters that kept us in their prayers. Your prayers have been heard and Ilir’s health is now stabilized. Please also to keep Vera’s mother in your prayers because she is still sick and has no improvements.


With Love In Christ
His servants in Elbasan
Ilir and Vera

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