Hello from Albania! We arrived last week after a very uneventful journey. So far we have been settling into our apartments and exploring the city. Coffee shops are everywhere and are a very delicious part of Albanian culture. We hiked up a mountain to some castle ruins today and were able to catch a stunning birds’ eye view of the city.

The city we are living in was struck by an earthquake only about a week before we arrived. The news of this was a big surprise to me, but at the same time I felt a lot of peace about coming here. Since the earthquake left quite a few people without their homes, they are living in a school gym that is set up as a shelter. We’ve had the privilege to help pass out meals at the gym, as well as play some games. We try very hard to communicate with words, but usually resorting to Nuk kuptoj (I don’t understand).

Serving and seeing the effects of this earthquake has made me think a lot about the things I cling to. It is easy to resort to fear when we think of losing things that are important to us, or when we feel the ground beneath us shake. The fact is, many of the things we hold close are not promised to us. They are uncertain and fragile.

“We cling to the promise that is certain and will not break: the promise of our Father living in and through us…”

We cannot cling to the promise of money, a long life, a warm house, or the promise of good health. We can’t even cling to the promise of a sturdy ground to build our houses on. We cling to the promise that is certain and will not break: the promise of our Father living in and through us, and of one day living fully with him in the home that he is preparing for us.

And then I think, “What if I didn’t know I had that promise? What if I had nothing sure to cling to, and everything was uncertain?”

If I did not know, I would want someone to tell me.


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