Friday, September 28
When University Presbyterian Church (UPC) of Seattle sent its first mission volunteers to Albania, they could not have known what their initial steps would bring.
A national Christian student movement, BSKSh (The Covenant of Christian Students/International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), was formed in late 1991. One of the earliest followers of Jesus Christ was Zefjan Nikolla. He now serves as general secretary of the IFES, which has full-time staff members serving in five college/university communities.
An insurance executive from Seattle, Jim Helm, and a newly converted Albanian Christian young man, Altin Hysi, established the Inter-Confessional Bible Society of Albania. In the early years of post-Communist Christian witness, Zefjan Nikolla and Altin Hysi became co-pastors of Emanuel Church of Tirana, whose members expressed their desire to become a Reformed congregation.
For more than 18 years, Pastor Altin, Pastor Zef, and I developed a close relationship as we worked with other Albanian church leaders to form numerous Christian ministries. My link with Albania brought this relationship to the attention of the Presbytery of Santa Barbara. The presbytery ordained Altin Hysi and Zefjan Nikolla as ministers of the Word and Sacrament to serve as both co-pastors and leaders in a number of Albanian Reformed congregations.
- Rev. Arthur Beals, former regional liaison, Albania, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the Balkans
Let us join in prayer for:
Reformed Church of Albania (Presbyterian): The Revs. Altin Hysi and Zefjan Nicolla, co-pastors * Autocephalos Orthodox Church of Albania: His Beatitude Anastasias Yanoloutos, archbishop * Evangelical Alliance of Albania * Inter-Confessional Bible Society of Albania: Rev. Altin Hysi, general secretary * InterVarsity/International Fellowship of Evangelical Students: Zefjan Nikolla, general director
Presbytery Partnership: Presbytery of Santa Barbara with the Reformed Church of Albania
Let us pray
Faithful God, empower these pastors for your ministry, and help them bear witness to their faith in the Living Lord as they strive to help form the Reformed Church of Albania. Glorify your name through shared witness. Amen.