Hope arrives in an impoverished community in Albania
Growing up in America has given me tremendous opportunity to succeed in life. Many of us in the USA grew up in relatively safe environments with stable home lives and a community of friends and family that stood by our side during times of hardship and struggle. Our American heritage has afforded us the opportunity of an education that taught us that if we work hard and set our minds to something we could achieve our most sought-after dreams and goals.
Imagine with me for a moment that this was not the case. See your life as the exact opposite of what it is.
You grew up in a cardboard box for a home with parents who were alcoholics. Your father could not get work because of a lack of education and extremely high unemployment rates, your mother was rarely home because she was constantly working for meager wages to support your family. Your neighbors were constantly drinking and fighting, society ignored you, and worse, it forgot you even existed. Your culture told you that you are worthless and will never amount to anything, and it offered you no encouragement to better yourself. What if this was your life?
This is exactly what happened to Eljo, a young man who lives in Ruga-Ura, which is a small Roma community in Tirana, Albania. He grew up in a neighborhood where less than half the children attend school, and young men battle with addiction. Yet Eljo just recently graduated high school and is taking carpentry classes at a local trade school. He is even a worship leader for the youth group in his church and CHE volunteer in his community.
This was only possible through our partnership with local ministries that have decided to strategically support the physical and spiritual education of children as a way to break the cycle of poverty in their communities. Local missionaries, sent by our partner CHE Albania, teach lessons to the youth that aim at long-term solutions and complete transformation.
Through children’s ministry, Eljo has been educated with the word of God, taught life skills, and been supported and encouraged to continue his studies. Eljo now has a better chance to get work and provide for his family because of simple vocational training courses offered by the ministry. Guitar courses provided by local missionaries have given him a chance to serve in his church as a worship leader.
CHE Albania empowers the youth to take responsibility and make decisions to serve humbly in their communities. Despite the dangerous neighborhoods that they grow up in, children are able to grow in their faith. Instead of being discriminated against and immersed in an environment of low self-esteem and depression, they have safe places where they are loved, accepted and taught to follow their dreams and believe in God.
Thanks to your faithful giving and prayers, Eljo’s life is being transformed. Just like him, young men and women in desperate places around the world are hearing the hope-filled, life-giving Gospel, and getting discipled, educated and empowered to inspire change in their communities. Through your generous support you are truly making a difference in many nations around the world, one person at a time!