Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings from Albania! It is a pleasure for us to be able to get in touch with you again after coming from our home assignment in Brazil. We had a wonderful time there. It was good to see our parents, relatives, friends, and supporting churches after being four years in our country of service. Our children, Isabelle and Vinicius, had a delightful time with their cousins. When asked by their cousins and friends: Which country do they like best? "Both," they would answer. We thank God for the wonderful and adaptable children they gave us.
One of the outstanding events during our time in Brazil was the arrival of an Albanian lady called Rajmonda Rroka. Rajmonda is a 42 year-old lady who is a new believer of our new church-planting situation in the outskirts of Tirana (the Albania capital city). Rajmonda had a serious problem in her hip, which required an urgent operation. This kind of operation could be done here in Albania but the doctors said that they could not give a guarantee of a successful operation because of their poor training and the lack of proper equipment. The other possibility would be for her to have this operation done in Greece, nevertheless, this would come very expensive. My wife and I, felt from the Lord that we should take Rajmonda with us to Brazil and so we did. To make a long story short, Rajmonda was operated on August, 5th and her operation was very successful, in addition to that, she had all the expenses paid by the Brazilian government.
The doctor who operated on her told us that if she had waited for more six months there would not be much hope for her situation. We praise God for his perfect timing. Many people said to us, even the doctors in Brazil, Are you crazy? How could you take such a responsibility over your shoulders? Our answer used to be: We listened to God. The Bible says: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" Gal. 6:10. Because of this deed the community where the "Light of the World Baptist Church" is being planted is looking at us with more respectful eyes.
The other event was the coming of Bruce, Ann and their son Asa Borquist. They are ABC missionaries who were commissioned to serve in Brazil in partnership with JAMI (The National Baptist Convention Mission Board). It was a blessing for me to be able to help the Borquists in the process of settling in. We spent 10 days helping them have their major needs met. The coming of the Borquists to Brazil, once again shows the importance of developing a global partnership, which can be of tremendous benefit for different cultures and peoples around the world.
We are delighted to be back in Albania, even though we have not forgotten the challenge we have ahead of us. We are sure that the best place to be is in the center of God's will. Please keep praying for us and for the people of Albania, so God's glory may fill this place. In our next journal we are going to introduce to you the Light of the World Baptist Church, which is one of our church planting situations.
Rev. Jorge and Hermelinda Damasceno