Today I want to celebrate a remarkable story. In one of the poorest countries in Europe, that freed itself from a communist regime less than two decades ago, a team of four are leading a gentle revolution. With a band of around 100 volunteers mainly in their teens and early twenties these guys have a dream to see their generation alive in all its God given potential, bringing hope to Europe and the world. By expressing Christ’s love through everyday life and living, they are setting out to change their world.
Reaching the young people who are desperate for wholesome role models has been tricky. But these guys have taken what they have and used it to have incredible impact. It would seem that the Devine design was to bring together in this team, the exact skill, gifts and passion that made putting on large scale, professional quality, musical theatrical productions an obvious, exciting, magnetic possibility. A few years ago they began working with the students in a couple of High Schools in their area, each year they take on a different group who become the cast and stage team for a major production. They have performed the likes of Hunch Back of Notre Dame and Les Miserables to packed out audiences in key cities across the country, including the capital, Tirane. In the process the young people get to experience values based living and see a different way of viewing themselves and others. Mayors, councillors, the national and local press all love what’s happening.
This week they performed Oliver to packed out audiences 3 nights in a row in the team’s home city of Korce. 1300 people saw the musical. Erion, the team leader describes what its been like for them over the last few days:
It seems like the whole city is talking about the show, everywhere we go people congratulate us :). The message during the drama was very strong and very good and the people responded very well. The director of the theatre (she is a well known actor around Albania) and some other actors gave us very positive feedback. They were amazed with the level of professionalism.
At the end of next week the show goes to the capital Tirana and another city Elbasan. To make this happen the guys need to raise quite a few dollars! Tickets for the shows are sold at less than a dollar each so that people can afford to come, but this means they cannot generate enough income to pay for big expenses like transport of the troop of 50 and all the set.
I find what Erion and the team are doing simply inspirational! What has God placed in my hands that he wants me to use the way these guys have done? I get the impression that there are adventures to be had and treasure to be found and God’s just waiting for us to see what’s right in front of us. What has he placed in your hands?