Women's Conference Is Cancelled

Raquel Arrais is able to consult with WM director instead.

Trans-European Division (TED)

Raquel Arrais departed Croatia soon after the Adriatic Union women's conference. She was scheduled to present the same training for women of Albania who because of distance were unable to attend the meetings in Zagreb. Within hours of her arrival in Tirana, flights to the U.S. were cancelled beginning the next day. God blessed Raquel by providing a seat for her to return home on the last flight out of Albania, March 13.

[Albania] Traveling to Albania from Croatia is a trip I will remember forever. By March 11, 2020, the coronavirus was spreading rapidly and check points with local police were part of the eight hours’ drive. Arriving in Tirana, the capital of Albania, I discovered the Women's Ministries training conference for March 13-15 and to which I was going had just been cancelled.

At the Albanian Mission headquarters, we set a time for praying together for the country, our members, and the churches that needed to begin meeting together online in a couple of days because the country announced quarantine lockdown measures would be implemented beginning Friday evening, March 13, 2020.

Despite of the cancellation of the training conference in Berat, I spent the next day with Natieli Schaffer Reis, the Women's Ministries director for the Albanian Mission, and Clarissa Espana, Family and Children’s Ministries director and working closely with Natieli, in a one-day workshop. It was a precious time together as we strategized a plan to nurture, empower, and inspire our women to reach other women with love and compassion; and to meet the goals of involving everyone in the Total Member Involvement initiative.

Pastor Leo Espana (Albanian Mission President), Jovan Radovanov (Albanian Mission Treasurer), and Delmar Reis (Albanian Mission Youth director) shared the history of the SDA church in Albania, challenges and dreams for the future. We prayed for our women who build bridges woman-to-woman and who show the love of Jesus to others while continuing the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Albania.

I am grateful for one day to spend time with these church leaders and departmental directors.

Reported by Raquel Arrais, associate director of Women's Ministries for the General Conference

Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2020 Q3, summer issue