For the widows in Albania, life is never easy, and yet many of them have a glorious faith and peace in their Heavenly Father who provides for them.
One of our partners in Albania work with widows, seeking to bless these dear women with food packages as well as spiritual and medical care. Many of the widows are quite elderly, have serious health concerns and live by themselves in poor conditions.
Volunteers travel to each widow’s home to visit them, encourage them and pray with them for their needs. The women are so grateful for all the help and care that they are receiving. They know that they are not alone. For many of them who have accepted the gospel, God has filled their hearts with his love.
This past Mother’s Day, the team organized a celebration meeting for the widows to help them feel special and loved. All of the ladies enjoyed a time together worshiping God, sharing stories from their lives and praying together. The team gave each woman a flower with a special message to her. For many of the women, it was the first and the only gift that she received that day.
The Faithful and Loving Savior
One of the widows in the Albania team’s program is Anife. She is 69 years old and lives alone in the capital, Tirana.
Her husband passed away 24 years ago, and she raised their three daughters alone. For someone who had been given minimal access to education and had no resume for job hunting, this was incredibly difficult. When their budget was especially tight, Anife would go down to the hospital and sell her blood and plasma in order to buy groceries.
For many years, Anife has suffered from high blood pressure and spondylarthrosis, a form of osteoarthritis that affects the spine and can make walking or moving in certain ways incredibly painful. Her life has been hard, but God has been faithful. She was able to successfully raise her three daughters, and now all of them are married and living with their own families.
Anife has been part of our partner’s widows program since the beginning. The team and volunteers have seen Jesus bring joy and hope into her life. She is often the first one who shows up at the meetings, and she is always helping out or welcoming the other widows.
She loves Jesus and is so thankful to him for providing and taking care of her, especially for helping her get out of the loneliness and desperation that dogged her years ago.
The Future in God’s Hands
The last month has been hard and challenging for the team in Albania, mostly because of the crisis caused by the Ukraine–Russia war. The prices of food and transportation have increased by 40 percent or more, and the prices of all other things are much higher now too. There have been protests in the capital by people who want the government to manage the situation.
Fear for the future and fear of a possible war in their country is running rampant in many circles. The war is not a far off concept for the residents of Tirana. If the fighting spreads beyond Ukraine’s borders, it will quickly reach Albania. In the meantime, as prices for everyday goods rise, the poor are the ones suffering most.
Now more than ever, the community of the widows group has been important. The act of fellowship and prayer, communion with God, helps calm many of the women who are anxious about what will befall themselves and their homeland. The team is encouraging these dear women to put their trust in the Lord who will never forsake them, no matter what the future holds.