Our country just celebrated Memorial Day yesterday and with it the memory of so many who fought and died for our freedoms as well as the celebration to honor the men and women who are still fighting today for us to keep those rights.
We took time to explain to our kids what this holiday was about and we all took turns talking about what freedom we liked the most and we were most thankful to have. Without prompting, the older two boys said they were most thankful that we have the freedom to go to church and to worship God.
Today, I have been thinking so much about our freedom of religion. I know that it cost so many lives to have our freedoms and honestly until I was a parent myself, I really didn't understand the sacrifice that the men and women of our great country endure to keep that freedom for my children and future generations so they may worship freely and boldly.
I realize that many nations around the world do not have the freedom that we do in America. Many people believe so strongly and have undying faith to worship the Creator of the Universe, even to the point of death for themselves and their families.
Albania was once, not long ago, one of these nations. It wasn't until 1991 that Albania received the freedom of religion. They were once the only atheist country in the entire world. They were under communism and were neither free to worship or live.
The cost of freedom is great. It is not a one-time payment, but one that must be made consistently to keep the awareness of the cost in front of the eyes who unknowingly begin to take their freedoms for granted.
It is the same with the freedom of religion. If you were to meet a Christian in Albania, they are most likely a first-generation follower of Christ. They still face persecution from their family and friends. Many are still afraid to believe in God because they were threatened so severely by the communist government.
We can be a part of the next generation finding Christ and the current generation growing to know and follow Him. They desperately need God and many desperately want to believe in something and practice their newly-found freedom of religion.
This is what 1,000 Miles for Albania is all about. I know the cost seems great, but so is the freedom and the journey! Please help me advance the Gospel in Albania. I still need to raise so much more money to supply the needs of the church in Albania. I believe in this- please believe with me that this will happen!