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Saturday, 15 February 2014 06:18

Albania: Tears of Joy and Gratitude

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Family with food Christmas 2013

“One woman expressed with tears in her eyes her gratitude saying: When you have been speaking about God during all this past time, I was asking myself ‘Where they have seen God that they are preaching to us? But today my eyes were open to see God through you and all the other people that bless us”.   We want to thank you very much for everyone who made it possible that this project touched the lives of many families where our church has been working for many years.” 

“A widow opening the door for us as we approached with the gifts of groceries at Christmas exclaimed: “Welcome sons, Thank you for filling this day with joy!”  In all the families where our group of volunteers delivered food packages we continually heard their thankfulness to God!  This project had a great impact in our poor community.  We really appreciate everything you have done for us.”

These are just two of the many wonderful reports we received from our co-workers in Albania who this Christmas, with the help of our “Unheard Children Christmas Appeal”, spent every day of the Christmas and New Year period distributing gifts and food packages to families in extreme poverty and need.  Working together with local church volunteers in the city, villages and rural areas every day was filled with the business of bringing hope, care and God’s love in practical ways through Food Banks, Celebration Events and Home Visits.  Around 2500 families received packages.  Roma children, Widows and Orphans, Sick children, Newborn and Abandoned babies, Families with disabled children, Abandandoned and sick elderly, Victims and those at risk in blood feud, Rural poor and urban poor, Homeless people and families.  The most at risk and the most forgotten were reminded that they are not without hope, as long as there is God, who is Love.  

 


 

IN HOSPITALS AND SCHOOLS

Smiling sick Girl Christmas 2013 250x166

Boy with truck Christmas 2013

“We prepared 150 Christmas parcels for children at the children’s hospital.  Many children were alone without their parents or grandparents to celebrate.  As all Albania celebrated New Year we returned to the children with parcels.  We met parents waiting and hoping for their children to become well.  Many were from towns and villages across Albania, far from home.  They must stay for weeks there spending all their money for their child buying everything including injections and medicine, since the state hospital has no syringes or medicine.  Our visits offered them hope and care from the Lord.  Many mothers and fathers cried when our pastor prayed for them.  The Love of God embraced them in a fresh way as we hugged them.   The presence of God was so strong in those closing moments of 2013, the children, their parents and the hospital staff were so happy and amazed at the same time!”

 WITH WIDOWS AND ORPHANS

 Widows Christmas 2014

“In the district of Tirana alone 65 families, who are the widows and children of police officers killed on duty are left without support and feeling abandoned, lonely and living as a separated community.  One widow had 7 children then her husband was gone.  We arranged a meeting for them feeling we didn’t just want to hand out food but give them the opportunity to share love and human contact.  Food parcels were given and the minister shared that he himself was an orphan and a foreigner, knowing what it is to feel outcast and that Jesus can help us win over loneliness and can fill our hearts with love.   This touched people very deeply and they expressed how happy they were to have come.  An oasis of comfort in a harsh world.”

THE NEWBORN AND THE ABANDONED

Christmas mum and baby Albania 2014

“On Christmas Day volunteers took 50 gifts of warm blankets for new born babies and 50 bunches of flowers for newly delivered mothers to the local maternity hospitals.  Mums were most surprised and felt really special.  Abandoned babies also received our visit”.

“On New Year’s Eve, when the world celebrates new hope for a new year our team visited homeless families living in huts around the artificial lake near Tirana with parcels of food.  Their only means of living is for the women and children to beg on the streets and in the parks and the men collect cans or plastic trash.”

Roma mum and baby Christmas dinner 2013At PovertySwap we are always humbled to hear about the tireless efforts of our co-workers, their associates and their volunteers.  On behalf of each one we want to thank YOU for your gifts, prayers and that you maintain your interest in this work.  The Christmas Appeal is an annual project but the work of nurturing, caring, practical love carries on throughout the year.  We are privileged to be even a small part of this.  Colossians 3:12 reminds us “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience”.  Fine garments indeed.

Happy New Year 2014!  From the Directors and Friends of PovertySwap, our co-workers across the world and all whose lives are saved and healed through those who ‘do the povertyswap’.

Happy Christmas Girl Albania 2013

 

Read 1585 times Last modified on Saturday, 15 February 2014 07:53
Helen Faulds

Helen is an experienced Manager and committed Christian worker. She graduated with a degree in Community Development and Learning from the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 2009. Married to Ian for more than 30 years, mother of three remarkable young men and a delighted grandma she has worked with missions and community projects throughout the UK, Europe, in India, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Nepal and central Asia for over quarter of a century!

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