Friday, July 15, 2011

An Amaryldian in Albania

Where I will be in 4 weeks:

Like the title of my post? "Amaryldian" is a word I just learned this morning - from Jay Adams, of course - which apparently means "Four-Point Calvinist". From Wiki: "Simply stated, Amyraldism holds that God has provided Christ's atonement for all alike, but seeing that none would believe on their own, he then elected those whom he will bring to faith in Christ, thereby preserving the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election."

Works for me. That describes my church's position on Limited Atonement pretty well, and while it's certainly not a hill I'd want to die on, that is where I stand, as well.

However, that's not the point of this post. I chose the word for it's alliterative properties, so I could share my REAL news: four weeks from today, I'll be headed to Albania on a short-term missions trip with the British ministry, Albania Evangelical Mission. Whilst my original plan was to go with my "alma mater" Campus Crusade for Christ, who was severely short of teachers for one of their seven camps in Albania, due to a sequence of events causing CCC to change their camp dates I was unable to join them. It all worked out for the best: this British group runs Christian camps all summer in the same location (near Saranda, in southern Albania) and I could join them much less expensively.

Most of the 17-18 year olds who will be attending this Christian camp the week I am serving there have not made a profession of faith in Christ. However, they are attending the camp with interest and in the full knowledge that we will be presenting the Gospel to them, teaching the basics of Christianity, and using the Bible as a medium to help them improve their English skills as well. Besides all that, I anticipate a lot of fun camp-type activities in the afternoons, worship, and fellowship as well! I have never been camping before, so this will be a new experience for me in that regard. I have taught English (in Bulgaria) before, as well as having led Bible studies for many years, both in the US and in Bulgaria....but I have never slept in a tent, so we shall see. (Cold water showers, on the other hand, are nothing new to me - that was par for the course in Leningrad and Sofia during the summer.)

I have read camp reports and seen photos from years prior, and many new young Christians have been baptized right in the Ionian Sea right there at the camp. I am hoping and praying to be able to develop lasting and fruitful relationships with some of the kids (and staff) I will be serving. (Given the rustic situation, it's unlikely that I'll be able to blog from there, but afterwards perhaps.)

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