Tag Archives: The Family Church

Girl Talk

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A group of Floridian women landed in Albania this weekend and 12 hours later were hiking the hillside village of Vlashaj to get acclimated to their new community for the week and acquainted with some of its female citizens.

In one day we visited six homes and heard six stories.  We heard stories of years of menial labor (37 years of digging fields, in one case), years of work abroad to support one’s family while missing her children’s formative years.  Years of living under the roof of an in-law who hurled curses and inflicted beatings.  Stories of mothers whose children are their sole source of love, security, and identity but have moved away, leaving them to bear burdens alone.  Stories of children forced by economic circumstances to take on more responsibility than most to help the family.

We met women who have a palpable excitement over the opportunity to have a break from everyday tasks, from caring for elderly parents, for a reprieve from an air of hostility in their own homes.  We were asked, “Can you make the retreat not just one day but 7?”  Others said they were looking for fellowship and fun and to meet new friends.  Another said she wanted to spend time with women in prayer. 100% of them said they had never done anything like this before. 



We were in homes of plenty and homes of want. In each home we were welcomed and served.  Acquaintances were made, family photos and testimonies shared, tears shed, and prayers prayed.

We came back to our little team apartment above the ministry center better understanding where our hosts are coming from. We were amazed to witness Spirit-driven conversations, how He weaved together pieces of our personal stories into mutually relate-able experiences that transcended cultural divides.

 

We can’t wait for more days like these!  Thank you, Lord, for this privilege!  What a JOY! Oh friends, hearts are soft.  We are expecting great things.  

 

Because of the reputation of my father, I was warmly received by this gentleman whom we passed on the road…

You might recognize him from his portrait I captured here  He didn’t recognize me… you can’t tell but he’s nearly completely blind (and 93 years strong).

re-posted from the Waggoner’s blog

 

Summer Events

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.

Busy Days

It’s been a busy time for us these past two weeks. David was in Albania with Joe Bachman for the first week of February buying cows for the heifer project for the explosion affected farmers in the village of Gerdec. There will be some pictures of this in the near future. It has been our treat to have Arjan as our guest. This is his first visit to the States. He has been on a whirlwind trip to FL with us in the past 9 days where we were attending a missions conference. Here are some pictures of our work to present our “Albanian home” for the village day at the conference. It was a great day and we lost count of all of the Turkish coffee that Arjan made for our visitors….way over 100 cups!! Shpresa spent most of her time greeting visitors and also demonstrating Albanian folk dancing.