After World War II, Albania became a Stalinist state under Enver Hoxha, and remained
staunchly isolationist until its transition to democracy after 1990. During this period it
the only declared athiest country in the world. All religions were banned. It was also
by the UN as being the poorest country in Europe.
  However once a democracy, religion was tolerated and although most inhabitans are
an Otterman Muslim background The Holy Spirit is spreading through the
communities and many are 
coming to know and love Christ.
  In 1999 I was privilged to be invited to visit with Pastor Paul Hartnel and Songwriter/
Worship Leader John Kennett. Our remit apart from preaching and ministry to some
was also to visit ophanages, hospital and the newly formed Christian Radio Station
with the
view of  offering some funding.
  Although very scenic, and freed from the tyranical Stalinist Communist regime, it still has
problems. Apart from a poor economy, bribery and corruption, there is a great divide
the rich and poor. There is still political unrest and the Albanian Mafia has been
instrumental in 
much drug dealing and prostitution. 

Map of Albania

John Kennett, Roger Whipp & Pastor Paul Hartnel with one of our translators.

Defence Post

Whilst a Stalinist state under Enver Hoxha, he had over a million of these defence
posts built
all over Albania. Should there be any threat of invassion, men with
rifles would be ordered to
man them. Fortunately most of them have been removed
and are now a less common sight.

Albanian residential area

This is a typical Albanian residential town area. Under the communist regime,
were allocated accomodation, with little say on location.

Albanian Children

My friend John Kennett learnt a few worship songs in Albanian and with help
 from our translator,
Tomara, we taught them some English. We also have a
few sweets and Bookmakers with 
Scriptures in Albainian. The children were
 so grateful even though our gifts were not expensive.

Albainian Church 

 Outside the Kisha Lajmi Mire (Good News Church) Fier. This church was indeed
Good News. O
pen to the Holy Spirit, fully of joy love and enthusiasm.

Roger Preaching

The assistant Pastor Tony translating my testimony in a way I’ve never experienced
 before.  He was so
good at  translating, emulating  not only words but also my
 emotion and humour.  A great Spirit Filled Servant of God

What a joy to minister to these young people hungry for more of God in their lives.

baby orphanage
View from the Baby Orphanage Vlora. I will not show the building itself
because there is still a threat that some babies may be stolen. In 1994
the Alanbian Mafia 
tried to steal babies at gunpoint as they could get
$10,000 for a baby in Italy. Thankfully this is not 
such a threat today.  

baby orphanage

A safe place where love and care abound. Sadly some of the state run orphanages
leave a lot to be desired. We visited the one The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson
exposed in her controversial film. We were not allowed in let alone take pictures
I wonder why?

A number of Christian Churches and Organisations send out volunteers
to keep the Orphanage in such good repair.

Wow! How tidy are the children’s toys? For years prior to my visit I had several
ladies groups knitting teddies for me that I passed on to Teddies for Trag
edy Organisation.
What joy to see where some may have ended up!

I don’t know who had the most fun, the babies or John!

Town of Berat where we visited an orphanage run by a wonderful Christian couple.
At the time of our visit it was considered one of the most dangerous and volitile
political places in Albania. We were warned not to be out after dark and many of 
the houses displayed new bullet holes, including the house we stayed at!

Near Berat a bombed building damaged during the civil uprising


Missionary Couple Tony and Liz with own children. So appauled the way some
children with learning and behavioural problems were deemed mad and locked up,
they rescued many children. Healing them by huge amounts of love and attention!

John Kennett with some of the ophans.

Tomara our translator and her wonderful family who we stayed with a couple of nights

Tomara and her relations Violeta & Ismat where we stayed whilst in Tirana


Tirana the Capital of Albania

This lake just outside Tirina is where the first Christian Baptisms took
place one Albania stopped being an Athiest State.

Sadly because of so much crime and violence most homes have firearms.
Even a missionary couple we meet was considering get one. Her our host
Ismat is showing John how to shoot!

Trevor and Kay Weaver

I once had a New Zealand Pastor & his wife stay a few days and they
told me of this amazing couple who moved to Kruja one of the most dangerous
 and hostile places for any stranger to live! Their vision was ‘friendship evangelism’.
 No heavy Bible punching or Sermons but demostrating God’s love in action.
I just had to look them up whilst in Albania! What an amazing couple! Even though
Trevor was not in the best of health they were a beacon for Christ. A small Christian
 community was established and God blessed many by their gentle caring ministry.

This is the main shopping area of Kruje.

The Old and New Palace of Kruje stand side by side.

suburbian Railway Station

Believe it or not, this is a railway station

Christian Radio Station

However this is a Radio Station and a very good Christian one! Their main presenter
 is only 14 but with such all round maturity and ability including fluent English.

A typical Albanian village