In 1993 missionaries Chris and Laura Dakas started the Stephen Center which began as a simple coffee shop, restaurant and bookshop. It was designed to employ Albanians, providing them with practical everyday job training, and a good work ethic. The goal of the mission was to enhance the view of Christianity through a positive Christian environment for those employed.
Through the leadership of Chris and Laura Dakas and co-director Josif Paparisto, the Stephen Center has developed into much more than just a coffee shop. The restaurant has expanded, and now fully caters to any event, from large embassy parties and government meetings to small family parties. The Stephen Center also houses Albania's first ever Christian book store, providing much needed resources for the Christian community. Our newly renovated, six-room Bed and Breakfast is located on the second floor. It has always been loved by missionaries passing through Tirane, missions teams, and Christian business men and women needing a nice place to stay. It is reasonably priced and provides a wonderful, Christian environment. Our missions office, which manages the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, bookshop, and all other ministry activities under the covering of the Stephen Center, is also upstairs. For pricing and packages click here
Six church plants have been birthed directly out of the Stephen Center , and another was started by one of those five. Of these 7 churches, six are located in Albania , and one is in the neighboring country of Kosovo. All are facilitated and supported by the Stephen Center , and from the youngest to the oldest, they continue to grow and flourish in their communities.
Click here for more information about Church Planting
The Stephen Center is also involved in supporting orphanages throughout the country, both private and government run. The Stephen Center loves children and is committed to reaching the needy children and teenagers in orphanages throughout Albania. Click here for more information about how The Stephen Center and you can Help orphans throughout Albania
Not far from the Stephen Center is the warehouse where humanitarian aid is received and distributed to our six churches and the communities and ministries with which they work. At times we also distribute aid to ministries, churches, groups, and areas of need with whom we aren't directly associated. In 1999 the Stephen Center was given funding by the United Nations to run three refugee camps in Albania , supporting the thousands of Kosovar people that were fleeing Kosovo from Yugoslavian Serb oppression. Through its outstanding work in managing these camps, the Stephen Center is now recognized by the United Nations as a Non-Government Organization (NGO).
The Stephen Center loves and is committing to serving and meeting the needs of the Albanian people. We are willing to do whatever it takes to see Albania reached with the love of Jesus Christ!