It’s now been a full month since we arrived in Tirana, Albania! And it has literally been a full month – full of learning, lesson plans, new friends and new foods, more than a few humbling language struggles and missing family back home. We arrived on Friday, August 25. After a weekend of settling in to our 8th floor apartment, shopping for items for our home, learning bus routes and being generously welcomed and hosted by coworkers, we officially began the school year at the GDQ International Christian School.
Len is adjusting to splitting his time between the two campuses, about 3 blocks apart. One building houses the K-8 and the other is for the High School. He’s been studying the school handbooks and spending time in meetings with other administrators and teachers, learning more about the history and operation of the secondary school. Betsy is teaching Middle School Bible and is getting to know her 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Being asked to help with a small group during the Middle School Youth Group time has been an added blessing in that regard! She’s also collaborating with Lower School Chapels each week, Mondays with Grades K-2 and Wednesdays with Grades 3-5.
Yes, this month has been one of learning. We are learning again to study and appreciate a new culture. We are learning to adapt to the busy, noisy life of a big city. We are learning to treasure FaceTime moments with our children and granddaughter across 5,000 miles and a 6-hour time difference. We are learning to accept the feelings of humility and incompetence that come from not being able to communicate the simplest phrases when a neighbor invites us over for a snack. We are learning that each staff member and each student at our school has a unique and fascinating story reflecting the working of God’s grace and love. But most of all, we are learning to depend fully on Jesus each day, realizing anew how much we need His wisdom and His strength to enter fully into the place He has called us to. In joyful obedience to His call to this place, we pray: “Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.” (Psalm 119:66) May we be a winsome witness to the love of Christ each day and to every person we encounter.