After attending Barnabas conferences in Hungary and Romania in 2004 and 2005, the small teams that had joined the events were very enthusiastic about the value of the conference in their personal lives.
We discussed the possibility to send more people to the conference in Romania with local church leaders. At the time we were sending small groups of 4-8 people but the travelling costs were high. In those discussions we came to the conclusion that it would be much more effective to organise a conference in Albania. A proposal was drawn up and shared with the head office of Eastern European Outreach in Krimpen (Netherlands). There the proposal was received enthusiastically and it was decided to hold a conference at the Nehemia centre in Pogradec, in the summer of 2006.
Renato Jani together with Entela, Irena and Evis (three ladies from Disciples of Jesus church in Tirana) organized the first event. Together we were with about 40 people from three churches in Albania and a few foreign participants from Holland, Germany, USA, Belgium and Romania. The participants at that first Albanian conference were very happy with the event. They became more motivated and grew spiritually through the preaching, the workshops and by the fellowship together. The outreach the youth had after the conference was very blessed. It also rubbed off on other churches, which became interested in attending the next conference in 2007.
The 2007 conference was held again at the Nehemia Centre in Pogradec. The hospitality, accommodation, location, very tasty and high-quality food made this centre a very special place for us. This conference was the first one where not only Albanian churches and a few Western visitors participated but also a team from Macedonia. The second event which totalled about 50 people was again organised by Renato, assisted by Klodi and Alketa from Shkoder.
Since the first conference in 2006 we have continued to organise Barnabas events every single year at the Nehemia centre. The number of the participants over the last few years has continuously been around 100. In 2019 we nearly had 120 participants, which is the maximum number we can accommodate. Since 2010 Renato has been assisted by Egli, a young pastor from Tirana. This year, more than eight groups joined the conference from churches around Albania and Macedonia together with a few participants from the West.