OLC8 Cru Conference Albania

Julio & Rosalyn

I remind you that this is just one part of our November 2023 update.

It’s been over two years since I started working on developing donation websites for Latin American countries, a project called “Making Giving Easy.”

What does this project do? Well, every missionary working with Cru has a donation profile in the USA. Each donation incurs a 13% fee in the USA, and when sent to a country in Latin America, the local ministry takes a 10% finance fee for transactions and local expenses. Adding government taxes, between each donation, the missionary receives between 60-70%. In the case of non-Latin individuals, all these fees apply, and they may even have to pass through another country, resulting in high fees that do not benefit the local missionary.

Therefore, what this project does is focus all donations locally so that all missionaries working in the country can receive their donations without a high percentage fee. It also aids in local accountability.

That was just to provide context. So, the project is part of a ministry area called Global Technology. Team members invited me to a global event called OLC8, which took place in Tirana, Albania and where everyone involved in operations was invited. It was a real surprise; I had never been invited to something like this. I had never been to Europe either. The local and global team paid for my trip, so everything went perfectly. I had very good experiences, conversations, made new friends, and finally got to meet the team I had been working with for years.

I have several photos to share, but I’ll omit some, as it was a global event with participants from countries closed to the gospel. Out of respect and for their safety, I won’t share those.

I met old friends from Costa Rica; it was totally incredible because I had never worked with them in their area before, and in this event, it was a great experience to meet them in their work area and have those good conversations we never had before.
Albania, a country hit by communism. More than 500,000 bunkers in such a small country due to a false propaganda created by the president of that time.
If you want to know more about the history, here’s a short video:

The gospel: https://youtu.be/81CfGzD1l4M?si=RstGNShYyLfePGxZ

Communism: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NlM4UeL-O2A6wLU8ETucamLI6EcDk_CJ/view?usp=drive_link

Before we knew about the trip, Rosalyn and I were already looking for a place to have a vacation (baby moon). So when we heard about the opportunity to go to Albania, we started planning and looking at budgets to see if it was possible for us. Miraculously everything fell into place. Flights and transportation were affordable, although the food was expensive (compared to Mexico).

First, we visited Spain, as it was the cheapest option to get to Albania. Then we spent time at the conference (lots of meetings and very good experiences). After Albania, we decided to take our baby moon, so we went to Greece and Italy (neighboring countries of Albania). We had a great time, ate a lot of food, visited popular places in Athens, Corinth, Florence and Rome. We never thought we would visit Europe, but it happened, and thanks to God, we are very grateful for the experience.

Here are a couple of photos from our experience: Our Journey

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