Albania Update October 2015

Read what we posted about Albania 2014 and prepare to be amazed!

Why Albania? Who is our partner on the ground? Can we impact the lives of forgotten women there? Widow Connection asks serious questions. And when we act, we’re all in!

I’m back from an incredible time in Albania and a quick day trip to Kosovo. Our first assessment was right on. These women are wounded by war, blood feud, and hard living, yet eager to work hard, and committed to better lives for their children.

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One highlight was the graduation of our trained tailors. They achieved the greatest skill level of any project so far. Look at this jacket! Fully lined, smooth shoulder pads, lapels as crisp as any you’d see in a high end clothing store. Accolades to two great trainers, Arta and Aida. These trainers are believers who encourage the students spiritually in the challenges they face.

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Vjollca’s story gripped my heart. 4 children to support, her youngest disabled, her challenges are great. Her smile of pride as I shook her hand was radiant. And she wanted her picture WITH her children. Her disabled son was having a good day and could partially stand alone. There are no words! Yes, her future is bright. Living on the outskirts of the capitol, Tirana, she can work in her own home with her graduation present, her own machine. A new life for all five. And her mother was there cheering her on.

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Another great highlight was seeing, opening, realizing our DVD for widows in Albanian. This project was not in our plan for 2015, But when the need was presented, there was no answer but ,”Yes.” The widows featured are Albanian, not an ‘americanized’ version. They are brave, inspiring, and communicate with Albanians. The accompanying journal uses our graphics and concepts. But is in Albanian! Yes, I wept. I was able to meet these women. They say that being able to encourage others by being filmed and communicating God’ strength in their time of need, they were again blessed to be helping others.

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Just in case you think our travels are glamorous, think again. A flat tire on the way home after a long day in Kosovo. A good samaritan. Thank you, Lord.

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Yes, radio is always a part of any trip. God smiles, I think Bob is smiling too!

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Part of our international travels includes connecting with the nationals who serve there. We have so much in common: greater challenges and opportunity than our felt energy supply of the day, families to love, miles to cover. My travel partner and daughter, Valerie Hogan meets with Albanian missionary church planters, Rudina and Kejdis Bakalli to encourage them.