Alex Goodwin serves as the Communications Director at the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) in St. Augustine, Florida, where he lives with his wife and two children. Alex has participated on multiple mission teams to Africa. His duties at the Mission Center include broadening awareness of, and participation in, Orthodox missions among the faithful of North America.
On August 2, 2016, the Rapuni 3 & 4 Hydro Power Station was opened in Elbasan, Albania. The power station is an initiative led by His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of All Albania and carried out through the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. The development of the hydroelectric power station is expected to move the Orthodox Church in Albania closer to its goal of becoming self-sufficient since it will generate funds that will help the Church’s many initiatives and projects. As His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios said in his speech at the inauguration of the plant:
“…The work that we are inaugurating today is an act of hope and love. It is the result of our vision to have local financial resources on hand, in order to be able to continue the good social work which until now has been made possible through the contributions and donations made by our friends abroad.” (Source: link)
Not only will the hydro-plant benefit the Church by providing greater financial independence, but the establishment of the plant has economic benefits as well. It was constructed under full compliance with government regulations and strict adherence to Albanian law. It will be a resource for renewable energy, it will increase energy production nationwide, and educational institutions will benefit as they are strengthened by funds generated by the plant.
The following excerpt from the official web site of the Church of Albania shares how impactful the development of the hydropower plant could potentially be:
“[This] investment will contribute to further strengthening of the economic independence of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, enabling thus the continuation of its work. The obtained funds will serve to support and ensure the continuity of [the] Church’s social work, and the work of numerous educational institutions and health centers built by the Church in the recent years throughout the country. It will also help the Church to support several programs and activities designed for children and teenagers, as well as to afford caring for people in need. At the same time, the above project will help in providing funds for the restoration and maintenance of churches and monasteries of spiritual, historical and artistic value, and support the building of new churches and their maintenance. All in all, these funds will generally serve for the continuation of the normal course of [the] Church’s life and its structures.” (Source: link)
This project is a big step for the Albanian Orthodox Church on its course toward financial independence. How great it is to see the Church making strides for the benefit of the faithful and the nation at large. May God continue to bless the Albanian Orthodox Church in its endeavors, and may Christ inspire us to follow their example of determination and love.
Listen to more about the OCMC and its mission work in Albania here. Diaconissa Alexandria Ritsi shares her experience as a long-term missionary in Albania. She and her husband, Deacon Stephanos, have been living in Albania since 2013. They are working with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and Archbishop Anastasios to return Orthodox Christianity to Albania.
Photo: The Hydro Power Station in Elbasan, Albania. Photo Credit: orthodoxalbania.org
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