Survey of 2018 Trips: Eastern Europe

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of leading my first HSI team to Eastern Europe! We gave two songwriting workshops, one in each country. Some very beautiful songs emerged in Albanian from these two workshops. The depth of lyrics and quality of the songs are obvious, even to a non-native, non-Albanian speaker. One of the songs, “Eja Ti Etjen Shuaje,” is a song written for the Lord’s Supper. When we heard it for the first time, our songwriting workshop leader commented that if this were translated into English, the English-speaking church would benefit greatly from singing it. There are a plethora of English worship songs that churches sing worldwide. The Church needs to be blessed with an Albanian contribution! 

You can click on the link above to hear the completed song, which our partners finished in their home studio after we left. Here are the lyrics with a rough English translation (not singable):

Eja, Ti Etjen Shuaje (Come Let Your Thirst Be Quenched)
Verse 1
Eja, ti etjen shuaje
Come, let your thirst be quenched
Nga ky ujë i gjallë
From this living water
Eja, hapat unë t’i drejtojë
Come, I will guide your steps
Eja, për ty kam mall.
Come, I miss you.

Verse 2
Ja, trupi yt u thye për ne
See, Your body was broken for us
Gjaku yt na pastroi
Your blood has cleansed us.
Ti bën me ne nje besëlidhje te re
You make a new covenant with us
Ndaj ftesën tënde e pranojmë.
So we accept Your invitation.

Na fal që të lëmë mënjanë
I am sorry that I leave You aside
Çdo ditë s’e mbajmë kryqin tënd
I don’t carry Your cross each day
Por sot kthehemi përsëri
But today I choose You again
Thesari i jetës je ti.
You are the treasure of this life.

Here is an article that one of our team members wrote, and following that are some photos I took from these two beautiful countries.


Beautiful waterfall

My prayer for the country we were in after a teaching on Kintsugi – a Japanese art form of repairing old pottery with gold.

Studying a passage and composing

Commissioning after first week

Coffee and ice cream in the mountains

Bunker museum in Tirana

Buying nuts at the market in Tirana

This is a sign from a local church’s sermon series. Can you guess what it means?

Composing craziness

With one of the participants, a professional drummer

Albanian songbook got printed the last day!

18th century monastery on the site of a 14th century one


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