The road to Korca

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Life in Albania is beautiful.  Lush markets.  Towering mountains.  Glistening lakes.  Friends.  And truly meaningful work for our Lord. But it’s not always easy or beautiful for the children and families we serve.  Here is a little update …

These photos were taken as I (Mel) travelled south to a town called Korca, Albania.  We were going there for a number of reasons.  To continue an Early Childhood Care and Development project that teaches parents how to care for their babies until they reach school age.  There is a lot of domestic violence and harmful parenting practices in Albania – more than 50% of children have experienced violence, neglect or exploitation.  So this project not only focuses on the child’s health and education, but also on their protection and spiritual nurture.  My friends were in Korca working on the spiritual nurture component …

We were also there to meet with a church youth group.  We worshipped God together, talked about the ways they want to reach out to their community this year, and talked about how they could be advocates for child protection.  They are an amazing group — bright, passionate, multi-talented — I want to worship God with them every day!

We also talked to a woman who runs the city’s child protection unit to understand the situation in the area.  She explained her successes working with a variety of different people and officials in the community to manage cases of child abuse.  She also explained the difficulties she faces when she doesn’t have all the resources needed to care for the children and families that need help.  It was an extremely cold winter and families were in serious need.  World Vision helped to provide emergency care packages to those in greatest need, but it was nonetheless difficult to see these families in such harsh circumstances.

The emergency care packages are part of an initiative that Phil helped get off the ground to care for the 100 families in greatest need in the community and across the country.  He enabled our team to ensure that children were fed and warm in the midst of the harshest winter in more than a decade.  God is doing amazing work through my husband and his team.   All glory be to God – He has done great things!  We are so grateful to be his servants…

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