Through the years I've written posts with this same title: Where in the World is Dave?
But for the life of me, I can only come up with two of those posts from the past! HERE and HERE. The search button on my blog isn't quite up to par since it's not pulling those posts! Oh well. On with the latest edition of where Dave has been!
While this could be mistaken for Croatia, it's actually Albania. And that's where Dave's been the past three days, visiting our Albanian friend, Juljan.
He first met Juljan last year at the European Leadership Forum, and was immediately drawn to his vibrant faith and commitment to do whatever it takes to reach students in his town for Christ. He's got an amazing testimony of how he came to know the Lord, and of what God's been calling him to over the past years.
Juljan joined us on our JV trip to Israel in March this year, and after conversations there, Dave made arrangements to visit him and see what's going on at his church where he leads the youth.
In his town of 250,000, there are 2 1/2 churches (not sure why the half!), and in his church he runs three different youth groups, with about 110 students involved.
Dave loved the vibrancy of the young people, and Juljan and his wife's care for them. After the youth meeting, ten students came over for dinner and didn't leave until midnight!
We're looking forward to seeing how we can partner with and be of help to fanning into flame God's movement in this area.
On Dave's drive down and back from Tirana, the capitol, he noticed a lot of sheep. Since he's spent months in study and preparation for teaching out of Psalm 23 at this year's JV spring conference, sheep and shepherds catch his eye more than usual.
Do you notice anything unusual about these sheep and their shepherd?
They're grazing in town, in front of the local mall! And as you can see, one of the sheep apparently doesn't know the danger of cars on the highway!
So the shepherd "left the 99 and went after the 1" (Luke 15:4) ...a principal very near to our hearts in this part of the world, though in our case it's flipped around.
Since there are so few Christians, we say there is just one sheep in the fold so the Shepherd must go after the 99.
How kind of the Lord to illustrate this in yet another way while Dave was in Albania!