It is wonderful to hear news from churches but even more special when members are able to join with them and share their experiences with us. One of theses fantastic stories comes from the Lajmi i mire (Good News) church in Lezhe, Albania - read the first update here.
Location of the church in Lezhe
We first heard about Lajmi i mire church from Harold & Barbara Liberty - Harold having paid a number of trips to the country at various points in the last few years. It was previously reported that Harold was hoping to attend in person, in fact Barbara was able to join him too; the following text is by them.
The new Lajmi i Mire Church building
The Official Opening of Lajmi i Mire (Good News) Church in Lezhe took place on Sunday, 6th October.
The story was told of how about 13 years ago, when the Church was meeting on the 2nd floor of a furniture warehouse the YWAM kintergarten building near the centre of Lezhe became available and was offered to the church for 95,000 dollars. Even then that was a lot less than it was worth – but that was irrelevant as it seemed an impossible sum to raise. They prayed. They bought the building and worshipped there until the upstairs room was too small and they were having to hold two services to fit everyone in.
The official opening service
At that point they contacted ‘Hope for Albania’ who came and surveyed the building – who found it wasn’t safe even for the numbers that were meeting there at the time and recommended that the building should be demolished and replaced with a purpose built church. They would cover 75% of the estimated 140, 000 Euro cost and money we raised at WRBC gave encouragement but still left a seemingly impossible gap. The European Baptist Federation doesn’t help with funding new builds, but at that time they had been given money for that purpose from a Swedish church that had closed down and realised it’s assets. That funded a church build in Turkey as well as bridging the gap in funding for Lajmi i Mire – so once they had planning permission from Local Government all they needed was an architect.
They found a Muslim architect who had a passion for building community spaces – but especially for designing spaces for people of faith to gather. His objective was to make a beautiful space fit for the worship of God – and he has designed a Church that is filled with light. Pastor Mondi also asked that there should be some small symbol on the door to show that its a church. The architect responded ‘as I understand it, in your religion people come to God through the cross’. The door to the Church is at the foot of the cross – so anyone going into the Church now goes through the cross.
Inside the new church building
We are grateful to Harold and Barbara Liberty for supplying the text and photos from their visit