In 1889, anactive mission work began in Albania. Besidespreaching the Gospel and practical everyday help, the focal point and primary work was that of providing basic education for the population. Then, Methodist work was inactive for several decades until 1992, when Christians from Germany began to be involved by bringing help to Albania. In the following years the work was extended: educational, medical, agricultural, and forestry projects were established, andin 1998, the UMC in Albania could be established when the first men and women were admitted as professing members. Since then the situation has changed. Many people have left the mountain villages and have, together with their families, moved to urban areas in order to find a job or better life conditions. The UMC has spread with the peopleinto other parts of the country. Four promising and growing churches have been established in Tirana (2008), Pogradec (2008), Elbasan (2014), and Durrës (2017). The UMC continues to work for the people in Albania and the development of a free and democratic society. At various places, income-generating projects have been initiated (fruit tree cultivation, sewing project for women). Other projects focus on people with disabilities and their integration in society. There is a strong commitment of lay people as the churches try to combine sharing the Gospel and addressing the challenges of today’s society both appropriately and effectively. Leadership development, spiritual growth, and discovering the social aspect of faith are some of the priorities of the current work in Albania.
Population: 2.8 millions
Area: 28,748 km2
Religion: Muslim/Sunni (55%), Others (20%),
Orthodox (10%), Rom.-Cath. (10%)
UMC Churches: 4
Professing members: 192
Active Clergy: 1
In a beautiful coastal area, in Spille (Albania), the second United Methodist Regional Youth Camp took place – with about 30 young people present from the three neighboring countries Albania, Macedonia, and Serbia. Four years ago, a similar camp had taken place on the Macedonian side of Lake Ohrid.
From April 11 to 14, 2019, the 85th session of Serbia-Macedonia Provisional Annual Conference took place at Skopje UMC (Macedonia). The theme had been chosen from Psalm 34:14: “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
Where doors are shut, whether foreseeably or abruptly, unrealized plans and disappointment often result. However, sometimes it may be just those closed doors that widen horizons and turn out to be a blessing in a very special way.
When Christians from Germany began to bring relief supplies to the Albanian village of Bishnica in 1992, Gjergj Lushka was just four years old. It was not only material things which went on this difficult journey – the relief workers also planted seeds of faith in the hearts of many human beings, as they did in Gjergj’s heart.