Albania: Tears of Joy and Gratitude

Family with food Christmas 2013

 

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