This was actually a long string of messages that was sent to my sister. Pardon the lack of grammar.
We were led to Vlore. We became like family with these young people there. Enjoyed doing life with them every day and just having a great time in Vlore. We went on this 2 day roadtrip through southern albania.. met like 4 contacts for the World Race... the most random but amazing ministries. and then we ended up at an insane beach nestled by the coast and mountains.
Then we travel back to Vlore and take a day offf. Then we say goodbye to them at midnight. We plan on leaving the next day. We know we have a place to stay in Tirana and can just go back there (that is where we started the trip)...But i felt God tell me we should go to a place in the middle before heading all the way back to Tirana. But the only bus left at 6am the next morning. and we didn't have any accommodations except a church that we were communicating very vaguely with. we have all our heavy backpacks and nowhere to put them.
So we just decide to go with the hard route and hope we can meet with that church in order to make a new contact. So we get on that bus and head to Berat. With no knowledge of whats gonna happen except trying to communicate to the taxi driver who speaks no english that we need to get to this hostel to put all our crap...we dont even know if they have room. so the minibus stops in Berat.
it is time to get off the bus.. i feel led to tell Kirsti to check her email.. the crazy thing is that the minibus parked somewhere where there was wifi... like the odds are nuts.... she checks it and the church actually gave her a number to call. so i immediately call that number while we start to take our stuff off the bus. the pastor answers and I tell him we are in Berat even though he didn't even know we were coming for sure. He tells me they have free accomodations for us and i give the bus driver the phone. bus driver points us to a taxi van. phone gets handed to him now.. now we get everything on and are heading towards unknown place and unknown people. lol. taxi stops. we put all our crap on the curb lol.. nothing to do but wait. van shows up.. 2 friendly faces!
They tell us to put our backpacks on and we walk around the corner to a building.. they say they have a place for us on the 5th floor where american missionaries live but are in the States for 6 months so it is open for anyone. our place is on the 5th floor. which happens to be the top floor. which happens to be a penthouse suite which is located on TOP of the building.. so there is a wrap around balcony which is literally the top of the building with the city and mountains all around... with air conditioning, and a fridge.... and everything.
we pass out for a few hours haha... just amazed at how God provided comfort through our decision even though we thought Berat might be very uncomfortable. we thought wed arrive and maybe not make it in hostel if it were full.. which would mean wed be walking around with heavy backpacks.. and we'd like.. take turns to go to the cafe while others looked over bags in a park or something (it is REALLY hot lol so that would have sucked) but we went for it knowing God had a plan.... so it happened to be a penthouse suite.
hahah so we go to their church at 6pm. It is awesome. they ask us to share what we do and i lead some worship songs. it was amazing. we couldnt believe how amazing the whole thing was. surrounded by amazing people who we woulda never met if we didnt step out in faith. this was a solid contact for the world race...
BUT THEN. after the service. this woman behind us says.... So I am from Polichan. and then i knew. OMG something crazy is about to happen.
You see.. in Charlotte I met a lady named Lilliana at my church... that lady tried to get me contact information from a church in Polichan (which is 45 minutes from Berat.. the city we are in now)... We had some emails and i knew they wanted me to go to that church to make the contact... but it got lost in translation and God was leading our team to Vlore and everything so It got put to the wayside. Well guess what. this woman is like. So i come from Polichan for church tonight.. something i never do. Our church has been praying for the last month that someone named Ryan would contact us from the mission organization you guys say you are from, because our church needs help. Do you know Ryan? hahahha she's saying this to ME. So Lilliana. who i met in charlotte. tried to get me in contact with Mimosa.. who is in Polichan. Mimosa sat behind me in church service in berat. somewhere where our group almost didnt go to. "