European Tour - Part 2

We are in Europe with two countries down - The Netherlands and Albania (and a quick pass through Kosovo) - and seven countries to go.

We want to give you an update.
The Apostle Paul brought the Gospel to Albania - then called Illyria or Ilyricum - according to Romans 15:19, and preached at the Roman amphitheater here in Durres Albania.
This Albanian pastoral couple really touched my heart. Let me give context. Albania - once called Ilyricum or Illyria - received the Gospel through the Apostle Paul (Romans 15:19). However, Albania has been severely oppressed and persecuted under the Muslim Ottoman Turks (for 500 years - either you “convert” to Islam or you will be either killed or pay an excessive tax) and later by other nations (Italy, Greece, etc) and crushed by the Communists for 45 years, declared to be officially atheist. Every place of worship was destroyed. Even saying the word “God” could get you and your family tortured or killed by the viscous dictator, Enver Hoxha (pictured is him and the house he lived in). In 1990, Albania was finally free of Communism (however its effects are keenly felt to this day). The missionaries flooded in to bring the Gospel back to Albania. But they had to raise up Albanians to pastor. Due to horrific political abuses they had suffered, Albanian Christians were told (like some misguided American pastors advocate today) were to “stay away from politics.

”As this lady (she and her husband are pictured) points out in the video, as “first generation pastors,” it never occurred to her that the Bible speaks to government, thus we should preach what the Scriptures say about civil governance. Listen to her.
The MOST encouraging aspect of my trip to Albania was the evangelical pastors I met, getting to share with them. They we’re so responsive. I talked to so many as I signed the Albanian language version of Well Versed. Demographically, they were young. And passionate for the Lord.The population is likely under 2 million, it is believed. There are 300 evangelical churches.
One of the great delights of my time in Albania was to meet with the 93 year old Archbishop of the Albanian Orthodox Church. He was a delight. He could not stop talking about Christ. When he did, his eyes would “twinkle.” He was passionate for the Lord. We exchanged books.
I am so proud of these two for translating my book Well Versed into Albanian in record time.
I am so indebted to Pastor / Bishop Ergest Biti and Journalist Shaban Sulce.Shaban has been asking me to come to Albania for four years. He has proactively pursued this. He is the one who said that Well Versed had to be translated into Albanian, and he got it done in less that two months! In addition, he introduced us to so many government leaders.

Ergest (pictured with his wonderful wife) was so gracious to us and had us meet with many government leaders and then gave us the privilege of speaking to many pastors.
One of the great privileges of being in Albania was meeting with political leaders and Members of Parliament from the Socialist Party, the Republican Party (both pictured here), the Democratic Party, the Freedom Party and the New Movement Party.These Members of the Albanian Parliament became special friends.
In addition, we were so honored to meet with candidates for Mayor (of the capital city of Tirana, along with the Israeli Ambassador to Albania, along with two college presidents.Albanian politics is extremely complex. However, my message is profoundly simple:
1. God loves Albania (and the nations of the world).
2. God is smarter than we are.
3. He so loves us that He has a book for us, the Bible, that lays out the way civil government is to work. God did not say, after he wrote the Bible, “Wow, I forgot about that whole government thing.!”
4. God invented government and establishes nations.
5. To the extent that a nation will follow Biblical principles of governance, to that extent human pain suffering and poverty will be reduced. Conversely, to the extent that a nation violates the Biblical principles of governance, to that extent human pain, suffering and poverty will increase.
6. Every Christian understands that the Bible speaks to (1) the personal issues of life, to (2) family issues, to (3) church or congregational life, but very few seem to understand that the Bible speaks with specificity to (4) the foundations for civil governance. When followed, a community or a nation can prosper and live in peace and tranquility. I encourage all to learn the Biblical principles of governance.
I wish I had time to take you to Albania. Those of you who have been there know how special it is. We met with leaders from four different political parties. This is Sali Berisha, former Prime Minister. He is the leader of the Democratic Party (which is not the same as the US Democratic Party, but closer to the Republican Party in the US) which is “the opposition,” as the Socialists are in control. Remember, Albania has only had 30 years of freedom from Communism.
Former President of Albania and former Prime Minister, and leader of the Freedom Party, Ilir Meta. He is a strong leader, who stands for much of what US Republicans stand for. His wife, Monika Kreyamadhi, is a current Member of Parliament.
With Monika Kryemadhi, former First Lady and now a Member of Parliament of Albania. Moments later she had a TV interview. She is the wife of Former President, former Prime Minister, leader of Freedom Party, Ilir Meta
Being interviewed on Albanian TV, Media7, in Tirana, the capital city. I had an opportunity to make the case that that God has the answers in the Bible for the healing of nations.
On a lighter note, I was so excited to go to this fast food restaurant in Albania because I was craving KFC’s mashed potatoes & gravy, corn and their classic coleslaw. (I may be the only person in the world who does not go to KFC for the chicken. In fact, I don’t even order the chicken. I would be happy if they changed their name to KMPGCC, that is, “Kentucky Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Corn and Coleslaw.)But in Albania, KFC is apparently closer to Chick-fil-A, with merely chicken sandwiches. I was so salivating for my favorites, that I am gonna find a KFC as soon as i get back to the good ole US of A!
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Dr. Jim Garlow
Well Versed

Rosemary Schindler Garlow
Well Versed

1 Comment

Katherine Leach - March 6th, 2023 at 9:30am

Praying you experience God’s favour, protection, and endurance! And your connections will bear much fruit.






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