Thank you for stopping by! Below are a selection of images and some explanations that I hope tell a little bit of the story of what I (Jaron) have been doing for the first few months here in Albania!
Christmas in the Villages
North of Tirana, back in the mountains and valleys tucked away from the rest of the world, are tiny villages and schools that lack many opportunities. Their school rooms are heated by wood burning stoves. Children’s teeth rot for lack of access to either dental care or education. What they don’t lack however, is a potential for great joy and excitement. I was asked to join our pastor Ylli Doci and the Prince of Albania (I bet you didn’t know Albania had a prince) to visit some of the village schools to photograph the delivery of Christmas gifts to the children. Seeing them light up as they received and opened the gifts was a huge blessing. One school greeted the prince with some traditional songs and dances as well, which was a big treat to be able to see.
Guri i Themelit
A.k.a. the church we have been attending in Tirana. The name translates to Cornerstone. It is an international church that even has someone translating in the back of the church (shown in one of the photos) into a microphone, and there are headsets available for those of us that need it. I’ve been doing some photography for the church as well to help build up their website.
This is the beginning of my work with the organization that will be my primary focus in Albania. Many of you have heard of a ministry called CRU, or Campus Crusade for Christ, across the US. This is is the same organization, but in Albania. Under their umbrella are church plants, college ministries, and an array of other ministries. My goal will be to provide them with media for them to be able to share their work to the world, helping others fall as in love with the people of this country as they are. Below is a selection of images from my first outing with them just before Christmas at one of their college ministry meetings.
Fun with Students
Anna’s work and mine sometimes cross in wonderful ways. The school at which Anna teaches (GDQ) has a great community of students that are incredibly creative and jump at the chance to do creative things. These images are a selection from one evening before Christmas. I had the urge to do some creative portraits in the city center of Tirana, and put out a message to a few of the students and these are those that heeded the call 🙂
Another fun use of my skills here in Albania has been to work directly with Anna’s school, providing them with images to use in their recruitment materials and their website (both of which Anna does most of the designing along side her work teaching Art). Here is a selection of that work so far. Some images are from Anna’s mural painting class, a science class, PE, and a middle school ministry time called ELEVATE. Enjoy!
This last image is just one of my favorite images showcasing the gorgeous country in which we live and work for this time. I hope you have enjoyed this snippet of my first couple months here. It’s not without it’s challenges, but I get more excited every day as I get more and more glimpses of what God has in store. Thank you for your prayers and support!