June 11 -18 marked several remarkable events. One of which being, a series of ladies meetings. The ladies team from The Family Church of Gainesville, FL, planned a study of the book of Ruth to share with the women of Vlashi. Through a drama depicting the relationship of Naomi and Ruth and Boaz the story of redemption was illustrated to the village ladies. The response from the women was awesome. It was met with great enthusiasm.
Friday evening was ladies night in Vlashi. All of the ladies were invited to view the Mary Magdelene movie plus singing and folk dancing. Genti and Shpresa said ladies came for the evening that had never been in the center before. Hearts were encouraged and challenged. May God open these lives that have never understood the message of love for them. Genti and Shpresa were able to also distribute some items from World Vision.
I love the smile that comes to my mind when things happen that are unexpected! Djusha’s beauty shop is one of those events. She just opened a week or so ago. Her shop just happens to be in the old house that we got possession of this fall. Our plans were to simply tear the old house down and start making plans for a new community center. This also happens to be where the kindergarten is meeting. It is wonderful that a greater purpose for something that we considered useless can be of service to others that have need. Djusha knows that it is just a temporary location but wanted to use it to get her business established. Djusha learned hair styling from classes in our girls’ training center. We are also thrilled that she has realized her need for a savior. This is what it is all about.
The property that we recently acquired has some old buildings and mainly an old village house. Our plan will be to someday just remove all the buildings and start a new structure. But in the meanwhile, since the village kindergarten building has not been repaired from the explosion, they asked to relocate in the old house. They are using two rooms in the house. And then, we received another request to use the other two rooms in the house for a hairdressing salon. Djusha, who took hairdressing at the Planters training center, wants to open up her own salon in the village. We can’t wait to show you pictures of this new enterprise in the village. It really pleases us to see her desire to use her new skills.
It was a great time getting to share with several of the ladies in the village who recently have accepted Christ. Just to understand and to learn what struggles they are dealing with in their “new life” is so special. They commented that the peace and joy they have experienced in their walk is something they never have had before. I think we could have talked all day if we had the time. The picture doesn’t include Noci who left early to take care of her little boy who was at home.
Saturday morning during our children’s meeting, this little guy, Kevi, came with his homemade bow. Arjan, the leader of Vlashi village, is so great with these little ones. He has been working with Planters for 10 years. This is such a blessing! We were able to visit Vera in her shop last evening. She loves to have people stop in and just chat with her. She is doing great but like so many of the rest of us would enjoy having business a little bit more healthy. Her shop carries a wide array of merchandise but her main focus is to carry American made products. (don’t we all wish that to be the case when we are shopping) Getting the merchandise into her shop is one of her biggest challenges.
There is seldom a visitor that comes to Albania that doesn’t say home visits are the highlight. We just got back to our computer after two days in the village where we were visiting everyone again. We just want to share with you some photos of our hosts. David sure seems to have a way with the “elder” group in the village. The baby, Pamela, was just born in August and was considered to be in danger and was delivered early. She looks and acts very healthy now. Djusha who is in the picture with both of us has just accepted Christ. She has been attending our girls’ training center classes. There is more to tell of this story in a later blog post. The rain showers have followed us everywhere since we came. Thankfully, it isn’t a bone chillin’ rain. In fact, the air is more balmy than not.