Our small parish has sent a significant number of missionaries, including whole families, to Albania over the last decade. Why have we done this?
Albania is a small country—about the size of Vermont with a population of 3,619,778 (July 2008 est.)—and is one of the poorest in Europe. While most of Eastern Europe was communist for several generations, Albania was under an isolationist and thoroughly atheistic regime. The result was that religion was almost stamped out. Now that Albania is in its adolescence of democracy and religious freedom, people are re-defining what is important and meaningful in life. In the face of persistent unemployment and poverty, however, the lure of materialism and capitalism is a temptation that threatens to overshadow more spiritual goals. Albania is 70% Muslim, 20% Orthodox Christian and 10% other (mostly Roman Catholic), but most people have only a nominal belief.
The Albanian Orthodox church has had to rebuild completely from scratch. Under the leadership of His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania has reestablished its clergy, rebuilt its churches, opened a theological school to train clergy, opened an elementary school, started and runs numerous programs and camps for children in Albania and Kosovo, and many other activities of the church.
This is a time of bringing people to a true understanding of faith in Christ!
Lynette Katherine Hoppe's life and death touched hundreds, if not thousands of lives as she served as a missionary in Albania, tragically succumbing to cancer in 2006. In Lynette's Hope: The Witness of Lynette Katherine Hoppe's Life and Death, close family friend and fellow OCMC missionary Fr. Luke Veronis retells the story of her life, and then lets her writing speak for itself. In poignant, honest prose, Lynette's diaries, newsletters and website chronicled her struggles in the "valley of the shadow" as she faced impending death.
Our very own Hoppe family just passed their tenth anniversary serving in Albania. For more information, or to donate to the Hoppe Mission in Albania, visit their website at OCMC.
Or send your donation to:
All Saints Orthodox Church
4129 W. Newport Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60641
Make your checks payable to:
All Saints Orthodox Church - indicate Hoppe Mission in the memo line
Resurrection 1991-2003: The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, by Lynette Hoppe. Foreword by Archbishop Anastasios.
Resurrection 1991-2003: The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, by Lynette Hoppe.
From 1967 until 1990, it seemed that the Orthodox Church in Albania had been totally eliminated by implacable pressure from a fiercely atheistic state. From 1991, however, a remarkable revival began to occur.
Written by Lynette Hoppe, this coffee-table sized photographic album captures the 12 years of this remarkable resurrection, highlighting the various facets of the church's life through its reliable text, but more particularly through its masterful color photos. 440 color photos. 10" x 9 1/2". 270 pages.