Sean and Laura Carney
We live in Elbasan, Albania with our two children: Alistar, 12, and Amelia, 10. Originally from NW Arkansas, where Sean worked as a high school English teacher, we moved to Albania in 2017. Our family is passionate about seeing God’s kingdom come spiritually and tangibly to our community.
Our neighborhood is bustling with life, full of families and schools, but it is also economically depressed, lacking jobs and resources to provide for daily needs. God has built into our whole family a deep compassion for the impoverished and rejected people that surround us.
We partner with local Albanians in a 4-year-old church plant, Burimi i Jetes (Life Spring), actively sharing the gospel through kids' meetings, home visits, discipleship and evangelism studies, and worship times. Sean also directs an English Language center, where we are able to build relationships with our community as well as provide education and jobs.
We have a long-term vision for a larger community center that seeks gospel-directed flourishing of our community through discipleship, education, training, and the development of small businesses. We are passionate about meeting the needs of the whole person, both physically and spiritually, and the entire family.
Support the Carneys!
Albania: Finding a real relationship with Christ
Albania has a complicated religious history. First touched by Christianity in the early days of the church through the ministry of Paul and his companions, it later fell to the Ottoman Turks, a forcible Islamic empire. After a short period of freedom in the early 20th century, Albania was once again under physical and spiritual oppression by the communists, being declared an atheist state by dictator Enver Hoxha.
Since the fall of communism in the 1990’s, Albania has enjoyed religious freedom. Around 60% of Albanians identify as Muslim, and 16% identify with either the Catholic or Orthodox church. Less than 0.2% of the population is involved in a Protestant Christian community. Communism left an interesting effect on people. It divorced God from real life. Albanians remained very “religious”, believing in “God” and being a good person, but almost across the board they are without knowledge or relationship with God.
The majority of people do not attend mosque or church, have never read the Koran or the Bible, and prescribe to a very universal philosophy of “we are all God’s children”. Since Albanians do not look to God as their source, the next available option is wealth. As one of the poorest European countries, Albania sees the wealth of the countries around them and believes that it will fix all their problems. God is moving though, and gospel centered churches are growing deep roots around Albania, bringing real relationship with God that touches every area of life.
Support our ministry
Our church, Burimi i Jetes (Life Spring), is seeking financial partners as we look to purchase our current building. Right now, we rent the 2nd and 3rd floors, and are stretching the limits of the space for education, church and housing.
Purchasing the entire building will expand our ability to not only meet as a church, but will provide new opportunities for discipleship, training, education, and employment. It will also take some of the financial pressure off the church so that we have the ability to pour into new church plants and other community projects.
If you would like to contribute to this project, please indicate Life Spring Building Fund on your donation.
- More mature believers, especially men, who have a passion to disciple young ones.
- Additional ministry partners including native English or German teachers who also have a passion for church ministry, children, and community development projects.
- Fundraising efforts over the summer. We have a goal to begin purchasing our building this fall
- Wisdom and resources for meeting the vast physical and spiritual needs around us
- Deeper spiritual growth in the church body, hunger for the Word of God, prayer, and community