To see a string of healthy vibrant churches self-replicating in Albania and across the Albanian-speaking world by raising up the individuals that Christ has redeemed who then impact the community around them by preaching and living out the gospel in order to make Christ known through every possible outlet and opportunity.

Ian and Caralee Loring, arrived in Albania just as the borders were opening in May of 1991. The following is their account of how God started the work in southeast Albania:

We met some of the first refugees escaping the country into Greece. Enver Hoxha had passed away peacefully and his wife and the party had continued governing as the country was coming to an end…they had run out of most natural resources (no glass had been produced in the country for the last 3 years), all food was rationed, and very little was available. There were fights for bread in the morning as there wasn’t enough for everyone. The news of other former communist countries falling was just beginning to trickle in, even with the jamming and laws forbidding people from listening to outside radio stations. The young people got wind of things and held a revolution, pulling down the statues in the major cities. It was a peaceful revolution and an interim government took over.

The spiritual vacuum could be felt. The people were lost, everything they had been taught, everything they believed and sold their souls for was now shown to be a lie.  Instead of being a prosperous country, they were actually the poorest country in Europe.  All the reality hit hard and the people had nowhere to turn. The spiritual hunger for  God, who they had not been allowed to even ask about, was so obvious and called us both to come and stay and share what we knew.

We discovered that there were a few “underground” believers left and were blessed to meet them. Koci Treska, who died that year, but had prayed that he would see the day that the gospel was once more preached in Albania, and he did. Ligor Cina, who became the next leader, now that their number was down to 4. He asked if we would come to help him start the church again. He had become a believer when he was young as part of a  youth group, led by Edwin Jaques, a missionary who lived in Korca in between the 2  world wars. He had come to carry on the work of Phinneas Kennedy, who had a church and a school for girls, and is still well known and remembered by the elderly in Korca.  We liked his vision of a well-rounded church that met the needs of the community spiritually and physically, and we have named our foundation after him and this vision  (The Kennedy Foundation).

Evangelism and Church Planting in Albania

Early evangelism was done in the open air, and we would pray that God would supply us with translators. The first open-air meeting in a park, we had to start before we knew who the translator would be! But a brave young lad volunteered, and so helped the first open-air preaching to take place. We were able to hold a large evangelism meeting in the Korca football stadium, at the request of the people, as so many were interested they wanted everyone to hear, we were able to work together with some other groups who came into Albania with us. The Jesus Film had just come out and we were able to get a showing done in the local cinema. The early days were like walking on water, it seemed God opened doors we never imagined, and we were able to share the good news everywhere, even on the radio, in a place where no one thought it would ever be possible. People were so hungry to hear, and especially curious because it had been forbidden for so long. People would kiss the little leaflets and gospels, which was all that was available in Albanian at that time.

We are both evangelists, and through evangelism, have seen the Lord bring many to Himself. Along with the help of other missionaries, the church in Korca was started again and the foundation of evangelism was poured in place, as soon as people became believers, we would take them out to share their faith in the villages, in the parks, in schools, in children’s programs, on hospital visits. And so the church grew.

Statement of Faith:

1.We believe the Bible is the verbally inspired Word and Revelation of God, infallible,  God-breathed, without error in the original writings, and inerrant on every issue it may touch. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:16-21; John 10:34-35; Mt. 5:17-18) 

2.We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Mk. 12:35-37; Mt. 28:19) 

3.We believe that God created man in His own image; that man sinned and thereby brought upon himself death, both physical and spiritual; and that all human beings share this guilt and inherit this sin nature from the first Adam. (Gen. 1:26, 27, 2:15-17; Rom.  5:12) 

4.We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His miraculous conception and virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through the shedding of His blood, in His bodily resurrection on the third day, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His personal imminent return to rule and reign (in His return first for His church saints, and secondly with His saints to reign one thousand years over the earth). We believe that all things were created by Him and for  Him. (John 10:30; Heb. 1:8; Luke 1:26-35; John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51- 52; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:4-6; John 1:1-14; Col. 1:16-17) 

5.We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ alone, apart from any works done by man before or after salvation, and that the merits of the shed blood of  Christ are sufficient to save and to keep the believer eternally secure in Christ. (Rom.  3:23; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 3:26; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:1-5; 1 John 5:13) 

6.We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life, and that the Holy Spirit gifts believers for service in the body of Christ. (Eph. 2:20; 1 Cor. 12:8-11, 27-31, 14-18-25; Rom. 12:6-8) 

7.We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, the saved unto the resurrection of life, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29; Rev.  20:5-6, 11-15) 

8.We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 4:3)

9.We believe in the individual priesthood of the believer. (1 Pet. 2:5-9) 

10.We believe in the Great Evangelistic Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, that upon  believing in Christ as their Savior, new believers are to be baptized in the Name of the  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:16-20; Acts 1:8) 

11.We believe that all followers of the Lord Jesus Christ should maintain good works.  (Eph. 4:1-32; Titus 2:1-15, 3:1-11) 

12.We believe in the personality and reality of Satan. (Rev. 12:9, 10; Matt. 4:2-11; Isa.  14:12-17; John 8:44) 

  1. We believe that Heaven is a place of eternal blessedness and that Hell is a place of  eternal suffering. (2 Cor. 5:1-10; Rev. 20:1-15; Rev. 21 and 22)