Some notes on a life changing week in Kafja e Rremes
Around this time of year our ‘We love Kafja e Rremes’ community camps had started to become a bit of an annual tradition, and for many people in our community, it’s the only holiday they have each year. So when we announced that we couldn’t do a camp this year due to COVID, there was understandably, a lot of disappointment. After a lot of time in prayer and reflection, we decided to do something a bit different - involving more people joining in to celebrate what God is doing in our midst, but what transpired was way beyond all our expectations.
The wall of hope
In previous years we have done some community art together. Art has always been something that large numbers of our community have really engaged with - a medium with which many people feel able to participate and express their feelings.
People don’t always see the beauty in our area, it’s a forgotten place, but unmistakably God is at work. This year members of community, of all ages, men and women, different backgrounds painted a prominent wall in our neighbourhood to express a prophetic message. The message simply reads ‘hope’ and it stands as a reminder of the beauty of unity and sharing life together, that it’s possible for people to build positive relationships regardless of their ethnicity or gender, and that we can work together to bring about peace. Most significantly, though, the wall stands to remind us that there is hope in Christ, God is for us, and the Spirit of God is transforming this neighbourhood.
The beach baptisms
So many of us carry memories of times on the beach, from rock pools and sandcastles, to romantic walks along the silver sands. Beaches are locations of childhood adventures, places for people of all ages and social backgrounds. So, it’s remarkable to think that although Tirana, is just 40 minutes by car from a beach, yet in 2020, many people from our part of Tirana had never been to the beach.
So this year, more than 100 of us, took off to the beach and for the majority this would be their very first time. For some of us, this was hugely significant - one pensioner told us that it’s the best day of her life. Whilst another said that she had never realised that the sea was so big, and tasted of salt!
And for 4 people from our community, it was extra special as they were baptised. This was such an exciting time for the our church at Tek Ura (Komuniteti i Besimit tek Ura), but also for the many watching, hearing believers’s testimonies and witnessing something of the Gospel.
Cinema in Kafja e Rremës
The amazing week also included a whole range of activities, held in our centre in the heart of community, such as water games, crafts and sports. It was encouraging to see so many people coming together to create such beautiful memories. One such event was a movie night. One man told us that whilst there are cinema’s in Tirana - no one goes from here. Many people can’t watch films, as they don’t have access to the internet or digital devices. So during our activity week, for one night only, we brought ‘cinema’ to Kafja e Rremes. As the sun went down inner neighbourhood, 80 people sat, socially distanced of course and ate together, and watched a film - in way that had never done before. As the film ended, there was clapping and cheering - one person said ‘ this must be how movies should be watched’. Others cried with joy.
Going to a different place together
It was a amazing week in which rather than repeating what has gone before, and in spite of so many challenges, as community we went to a place where none of us have been before, and experienced the love of God together.