Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stories to tell....

One of the places my hubby went on this trip was to visit a church he planted about 7-8 yrs ago in Tirana, Albania. The churches he plants are self governed with no appointed pastors or leaders. They are very hands on do-it-your self styled churches with periodic visits from him to encourage and offer practical help. He hasn't been to this particular group in a year and a half. They are very isolated, with few other Christians or godly influences around them so they offer a unique look into what first century church might have been like. My husband strives to give them Christ without damaging their own national personality, without Americanizing them, if you will, (Christianity is not synonymous with American...:)) so their perspective and understanding of Christ and His Church are very simple and pure.
It is a beautiful thing to see a group of Christians following after Christ with pure hearts while maintaining their own indigenous personality as a church. From such can come unspeakable depths and riches.
Here is a poem written recently by one of the brothers in this church, shared in the meetings of the church and now with us. It is a rough English translation but I think the message is clear.

I followed your steps on the snow
On the ices of this earth I slid
They brought me to this house
That your hand had built
There's a Fire inside this home
That fills it with warmness
It's a fire that never dies
And that fire is you Christ!
This is a home of living stones
Enfolded in embrace
Around the undying Fire
Singing unending praise
Your name was on the stones
Masterfully engraved
They held together in love
The love that only you are
A tree grew in the house
In the likeness of a vine
And its fruit is alive and free
For Christ you are that tree
There is a river running through
Overflowing living water
Pure water like crystal glow
And the river is You, I know.
A slaughtered lamb was there
At the foot of the door
With its blood, wounds are healed
Living proof of love that's Yours.
This is a house of wonders
Mind can never comprehend it
Full of eternal love
That pours from God above
Eden, The Tent and The Temple
Were this house's shadows
But now stands on living stones
Glory of Christ is this home


bjk said...

That's amazing.....people who left on their own follow Christ in community...probably exactly what He intended or getting close to it....He that real isn't HE that you could empower a group of people to hear Him, to do church, to follow Him alone....very exciting.....intriguing and let's us glimpse where He may be wanting us to go...thanks and more please...becky

Vicki said...

Oh, that we would keep Christ burning brightly in our hearts--pure and simple.

Thanks for this good post. I'm always interested in learning how other brothers and sisters are following Christ in other countries.

Loved the poem, too.

everydayRANDOM said...

I am always astounded by teh way we do american-ize everything. Our way or the highway. EAch path is different, american or not, can't we embrace that?,,,

byHisgracealone said...

a beautiful poem...thank you for visiting my is a blessing to meet new sisters in the Lord...


dawnaj1958 said...

That poem is amazing. How uncomplicated Christ is. How complicated we try to make Him. Hugs to both of you for all you are doing for His kingdom.

Anonymous said...

We truly do complicate the uncomplicated don't we? I enjoy hearing about how other countries praise the Lord...this poem was simply beautiful and so from the heart. Thank you for sharing your husband's experiences with us...I enjoy it. are too funny :)...the story behind my WW photo...I took the photo on Monday morning on my way into the big city to teach...the sun was rising over the farm and the mist hadn't been burnt off was just awesome to look at. I hope others saw the beauty that I did...even a camera lens can't capture God's true beauty. Stay tuned for the photo with the two cows ;)

Barb said...

Beautiful. It's funny how we probably tend to think all Christians are the kind of Christians we Americans are. It's very interesting to think of it from this perspective.

Deb said...

We all need to stop "Americanizing" churches and start "Heaven-izing" them!

Thanks for sharing the poem! It's awesome and straight from the heart.

angela said...

Truely beautiful and pure! Can't wait to hear more stories;)

Ame said...

wow - the power of Almighty God!!! I LOVE this poem! thank you for sharing it :)

Birmingham Girl said...

So beautiful and honest. Only when you see the struggle that other countries have to even build a church can you realize the freedom and blessings this nation has. Hopefully you'll share more to come. Is hubby a pastor?

Mrs. Mac said...

basic, simple, pure, soft, true .. oh, we Americans have lots to learn.

Amydeanne said...

that is a wonderful poem. Thanks for sharing it with us!
It's pretty amazing to see how God uses us to bring His good news. I imagine your hubby is lit up like a Christmas tree feeling the joy!

ampraisingHim said...

I really enjoyed the poem...truly amazing. I love the idea of bringing Christianity without bringing Americanism to a culture. From my experiences on an Indian reservation, I can see your point. Would love to discuss it more with you sometime....looking forward to hearing more about your husband's trip. God bless. :)

Gina said...

Unbelievable. What a blessing it must be to be able to be a part of something the Lord so obviously has His hand in. How amazing to be reminded that His love transcends all nationalities and cultures. Praise Him. How colorfully rich Heaven will be. Thank you for sharing this!

Kimber said...

WOW!!! What a poem!

I so admire what your husband does...I so agree with his heart to give them Christ without damaging their own national peronality!! That is way cool!!

May God continue to bless the works of your husband's hands!