Our journey across the World: HFTW Albania

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I was reading this morning from Richard Rohr, “Falling Upward” and was challenged.  This was from the beginning of the book called “The invitation to a further journey.”

“Each thing and every person must act out its nature fully, at whatever cost.  It is our life’s purpose, and the deepest meaning of “natural law.”  We are here to give back fully and freely what was first given to us –– by US!  It is probably the most courageous and free act we will ever perform – and it takes both halves of our life to do it fully.  The first half of life is discovering the script, and the second half is actually writing it and owning it. 

So get ready for a great adventure, the one you were really born for.  If we never get to our little bit of heaven, our life does not make much sense, and we have created our own “hell.”  So get ready for some new freedom, some dangerous permission, some hope from nowhere, some unexpected happiness, some stumbling stones, some radical grace, and some new and pressing responsibility for yourself and for our suffering world.”

I love the power of words and how they move me.  This paragraph I related to because I find myself conflicted and stumbling between two worlds, America and the rest of the world. After taking a trip this past summer to three different countries, my worldview changed drastically.  I guess I should go back to the beginning of this, “my second journey.’

In January of 2013, we were called to get involved with Hope for the World Missions.  We, along with a fantastic new board of directors, were charged with reorganizing Hope for the World.  It took two long years of meetings, redesigning logos, website, procedures, until we were finally ready to take a trip across the world with two videographers (Molly and Andrew) to our HFTW missions in Albania, Romania, and India.

In Albania, I knew what to expect, I had been there twice before and loved hugging and IMG_2170loving on the babies in the orphanage, spending time with our HFTW staff that I knew and thanking them for loving on the children and teaching them about the love of God. I was first introduced to the Gypsies here.   Little gypsy children would look up at us and ask for “Euro.”  One little girl walked up to us with a baby literally dangling from her arms and Molly asked me, “Is that a real baby?”  It was bundled up so it couldn’t move, and slept through her dragging it around like a rag doll.  We asked our missionary, Pam, and she said some drug the babies so they will sleep so that the children can carry them around and get more money from people, and some of them don’t make it.  Many of our orphans in Albania come from these communities and are “poverty” orphans.  Their parents are alive, but they cannot take care of their children, so they drop them off at our orphanages.   We may see the occasional homeless person, but it’s very rare, here in America, that we see children begging in the streets.  I had to ask myself, “What would I do if I couldn’t feed my children?“

HFTW Albania helps 6 orphan homes, a handicapped center, a senior citizens center, and we have a teen center for kids who age out of the orphan homes at 14.  Touching the lives of over 800 people a day, 480 of those being children.  We have a wonderful staff of Albanian Nationals who know to hold and love on the babies, nurture the children, teach and demonstrate the love of Christ, and then when they reach our teen center, we help with their education and teach them how to pay it forward by sharing the love of Christ with others.

OUR BIGGEST NEED IN ALBANIA

Our teen center called “the Hope Center” is our most effective area of ministry.  Our greatest need right now in Albania is to finish paying off this Center.  We have one more payment of $43,000 due in November.  Here is a video to show you more.  http://youtu.be/GWYZMP8rCAw?list=UUgbF6O4BiQrLzGKJF0xVnwA

To give to this need visit HFTW.org/give.  Please specify Albania: Hope Center

Tomorrow we head to Romania.  Join me as I take you to Salaj, Romania.  HFTW.org/Romania

 

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