Taking Practical Gospel Blessings to Rural Albania
It’s easy to take basic essentials for granted—things such as food, clothing and shelter. But in regions of less abundance, a simple fruit can have a powerful effect. Consider a Balkan story of peaches—and how they reunited a family, revitalized a village, and opened a community’s eyes to Christ’s love.
Ten years ago, Xhelal, a farmer in rural Albania, was struggling hard to make ends meet. Albania is one of Europe’s poorer nations. So when Xhelal’s fields failed to produce, it broke apart his family. His children were forced to migrate to Western Europe in search of work.
Xhelal was one of many village farmers in Rrumbullak hardened by difficulties but eager to reverse their fortunes. So they were open to ideas when they were approached by a Christian community-based initiative, later joined in partnership by World Poverty Solutions (WPS). Still, the farmers were skeptical. They had grown up under a dictatorial regime that prided itself as the world’s first to remove religion completely. To connect with them, the ministry team would have to patiently model God’s love through action.
Xhelal was the first farmer to offer his trust to the team. He agreed to let them test his soil and advise him on what to grow. It turned out the soil around the village was particularly well-suited for peaches and apricots.
A decade later, Xhelal’s once-failing farm is a thriving model of transformation. It has 400 peach trees as well as apricot trees, produces a variety of vegetables and herbs, and also has chickens. 80% of Xhelal’s peers followed his example by also growing peaches. Now the local economy has vastly improved. In another wonderful move, Xhelal’s children returned home to work on the family farm. Best of all, Xhelal and his wife have become strong Christians and are faithful witnesses in their village.
In villages like Rrumbullak, the sight of a simple peach tree carries a lot of meaning. Thank you for your prayers and gifts, which are helping Balkan villages like this one come alive to God’s amazing love and provision. If you would like to help, please donate using our secure online donation form. We are grateful to partner with you to see God bring in great harvests among the world’s neediest people.