Report from the Hodges in Albania May 5, 2002
Lgj. "Brigada 17 Sulmuese"
Rr. "Çerçiz Jopulli"
Tel: (355) 038 215 8969
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Greetings in our Lord’s name.
April saw us in the UK were we were visiting family, friends and sharing with brethren news of the work here in Elbasan. It was a time of relaxation and encouragement.
Over Easter week we were at the Devon Spring Fellowship which is held in Dawlish, Devon every two years. We have been involved with this activity since it began several years ago and always look forward to being with the Dawlish brethren. The little church there was the first place we went to work after being called into the full time ministry in 1986. We enjoyed a good time of fellowship with many friends attending from around the country. Also, Ronald and Rose Coleman were there. Rose led the class on the Ladies day, held on the first Saturday and Ronald brought the studies each day. Everyone who attended left with their faith built up and their lives enriched by the week.
Over the four Sundays we were there Pete preached for the saints in Dawlish. It is an ‘unwritten’ agreement that he preach for the church whenever he is in the UK. They have problems getting brethren to go preach for them being so far away from most of the churches in the UK. The nearest, Bristol, is 100 miles away.
Also, we went to talk about the work to three churches around the country, Bristol, Skelmersdale and Wembley. We had not been to Bristol for several years as was the case with Wembley. Wembley is in effect our ‘spiritual home’ as it was there in the late seventies that Dulcie and I became Christians. It was a joy to meet up with the brethren there again and the welcome we got from brethren at all three churches was truly wonderful.
From a family perspective we had a good time. Pete’s mother, who will be 79 in July is doing well, also we got to visit with two of Dulcie’s older sisters and her brother. But the biggest thrill of all was the unexpected arrival of our son Perry and his wife Sharhonda who live in Huntsville, AL. We had spoken with Perry on the telephone during the week and he had not said anything about coming over to the UK, so you can imagine our amazement when going for lunch with Pete’s mother who should we see but Perry and Sharhonda. That has to be the best kept secret in the history of our family.
We returned to Elbasan on April 25th. Often when we have been away we return to a few problems, big drop in numbers at services, and other things. This year this was not the case. There were a couple of surprises though. Our brother Armand Ruda had left for Italy, we understand to try and get to the USA . This is continual problem here and we have to admit to being disappointed in Mandi over this. Though we can understand what makes so many do it. Then on the Sunday we heard that our brother Drillon, who is from Mjeks, had been arrested by the police for some offense and was in prison awaiting trial. We have since learned that even though it has been stated that no offense had been committed a judge is holding him in prison until documents are produced showing he has never been arrested before. Such is the strangeness of the Albanian justice system. To make matters worse for Drillon and is family, a grandparent died on the Friday. Please keep them very much in your prayers.
There was a good attendance at worship, down slightly on the past, but not as much as we were fearing. The welcome back we received was a real joy and it felt good to be back to what we are used to now.
We want to thank all those who support us through financial contributions and prayers. Without you the work could not continue.
Your fellow servants in the cause of Christ
Pete & Dulcie
Missionaries to Elbasan, Albania
RECLAIMING ALBANIA FOR CHRIST