Area: 28,748 sq km
A mountainous Balkan state on the Adriatic Sea.
Population: 3,169,087 Annual Growth: 0.37%
Official language: Albanian Languages: 7 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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Evangelicals are in a transition phase. The frenetic activity of the 1990s has been replaced with more strategic ministry and consolidation. There are fewer long-term missionaries now than in the initial rush after the country opened; more committed workers are needed. National leadership is developing and growing, but had to start from a baseline of almost zero. Scattergun evangelism is being replaced by a more focused and strategic approach. More than 160 evangelical congregations are connected and represented by the Albanian Evangelical Alliance (VUSH). Pray for the following ministries:
a) Leadership training is the most vital need for prayer due to the Churchs rapid growth in the last two decades, to widespread biblical ignorance and to a previous desperate lack of biblical leadership models. At least six groups run training institutes Albanian Bible Institute, The Centre for Christian Leadership, Evangelical Theological College (AoG), YWAM, Christ for the Nations (Nehemiah) and Southeastern Europe Theological Seminary. There are several other training programmes as well as deliberate mentoring of promising Albanian leaders in less-academic settings. TEE, with BILD International, is also a useful tool due to prevalent poverty and the poor infrastructure.
b) Evangelism and church planting. There are still many towns and villages without an evangelical presence, and where there is one, signs of second-generation spiritual lapses are already apparent. Pray for the good news to continue to spread. The Albanian Church Planters Mission was formed to prepare evangelists for this express purpose. Pray also that resulting churches and Christians might reflect the Lord Jesus Christ in an Albanian context.
c) Holistic mission is possibly the defining ministry of the young Albanian Church. Almost all mission agencies and national ministries combine practical and much-needed assistance with sharing the gospel. Help ministries abound, designed to assist the poor and suffering and to provide employment opportunities for Christians. Pray for a profound impact from this love in action. Albanian believers are now being equipped to have a holistic gospel impact on their society as well. This will potentially affect fields as diverse as medicine, politics, law, business, parenting, et al. Pray that such efforts might bear fruit that matures and expands the Church and transforms the country.
d) Missionaries from Albania. Praise God that Albanias young Church is committed to its part in fulfilling the Great Commission. Numerous churches and organizations are sending Albanian workers to other lands. Albanias historical legacy of Islam and Communism has equipped many Albanians to make excellent missionaries to the unevangelized world. Pray that this movement would grow and that the Albanian Church itself would strive to support their workers in every way.
Evangelical mission agencies have a vital role to play, particularly by serving the Albanian Church through training, resource development and holistic mission. The Albania Encouragement Project networks over 60 agencies covering every type of ministry. Pray for unity among the diverse groups, and pray for a spirit of humility and partnership as they work with the national Church to see genuine transformation.
For an additional 6 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Albania.