Behind the glossy pictures, amidst the beautiful mountains, and within the cities, towns, and villages that have become beloved to Phil and I lies suffering and injustice. This isn’t the story that we like to tell because these topics are painful to read. However, there are many of you who pray for us and who want to pray for Albania … so for those of you who want their “hearts broken by the things that break the heart of God” (Bob Pierce) … here is a little more of Albania…
- 1 in 2 children in Albania experience violence in their home.
- Women view domestic violence as “more than normal”.
- Young girls in the village are married as young as 13 years old.
- Most women and girls in the village do not attend school past the age of 15.
- A child with a disability is perceived as shameful and is often hidden.
Last week, a good friend asked for help for a young man who is living on the streets. He is an 18 year old orphan. He grew up in an orphanage until he was 16 and then legally bound to leave. Then he went to dormitory-type housing, which he was forced to leave after turning 18. Now he doesn’t have a home. Doesn’t have a family. He is out on the streets.
Such injustice. We are heartbroken. We just want to help. So we work, we talk, we do everything we can to find a “solution” and we pray. Thy kingdom come on Earth …
I have recently been comforted and challenged by this scripture (which has been ever more powerful during this time of Ramadan) …
“Is not this the fast that I choose, to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the straps of the joke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to clothe him.” Isaiah 58:6-7
It is comforting because it reminds me that God addresses injustice…and he wants to use us. To feed the hungry and clothe the naked and let the oppressed go free. But sometimes it feels like as hard as we try, there is still suffering and that is really difficult to grasp.
Would you please pray for Albania. Pray for my friends who toil so hard to love the lost. Pray that the Lord would refresh their souls today. That He would give them peace. That He would give them wisdom as they make difficult decisions about how to spend their time and money.
Please pray for children and women to be protected and for their souls to be saved. Pray for men to place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation – pray that the cycles of abuse would end.
Please pray for the government of Albania to be responsive to the needs of their country. May the Lord work mightily in their hearts. May they love and fight for justice — as our Lord loves and fights for justice.
May the church in Albania be strengthened. May the Christ’s church be his hands and feet in Albania…
Thank you to any and all of you who are praying with us. We need your prayers.