World Challenge’s partners are reaching out to the children of the Roma community to help them grow towards their heavenly Father.
Ema’s father died when she was three years old. For any child, this would be a devastating loss, but it was especially so for Ema and her family as Roma who depended heavily on her father’s presence to protect them and his income to support them.
Now Ema is part of the Butterfly Project, run by World Challenge’s partners in Albania. She comes every day from home where she lives with her mom, brother and an older sister.
In their classes, Ema and the other children hear Bible stories, sing songs to the Lord, pray with their mentors, enjoy a meal, receive medical aid when needed and also are given assistance with their schoolwork.
The Prayers of Little Ones
This Easter, many families were able to come together with the teams who run the Butterfly Project and celebrate. “It was such a great joy to see and hear people of the community sing and praise the name of the Lord,” our partners shared. “Together with the teachers, the children prepared a special program, with a drama, music and dance. They were very excited to sing an Easter song to worship Jesus.”
Attendance from the community was high, and people seemed happy to come to the church and learn more about God.
For the team, this was a special blessing after the year of quarantining and lockdown that had isolated so many people at home, away from family members and friends. Easter proved to be a time of extra celebration because so many in the community had felt this pressure.
This experience had also led to a number of discussions about psychological and emotional health with the children. Ema had joined several group discussions about the wide range effects of the pandemic. Our partners explained, “We had a sensibilization meeting to talk about illnesses that affect the human body and the life of people, and how important is to support these sick people in prayer…”
The children often pray together for the sick people and for protection over their families. They believe in the power of prayer.
The Quiet Growth of Faith
Ema turned seven years old about a month ago, and the teachers and other children celebrated her all together. A birthday song, cake and party games—these proved to be an unusual and special treat for little Ema.
The love, care and sense of family that she has found at the Butterfly Project has touched her heart. She is opening up to others, revealing a sweet and generous spirit as well as the ability to lead the group. “Ema also loves to paint and sing,” our partner noted fondly, “and spending time with her, you can easily notice that she shows her feelings through colors and dancing.”
Our partners have expressed that their hearts are full of faith that God will continue to bless this community and that he is raising a new generation of believers who will testify to the goodness of the Lord.
Meanwhile, Ema’s conversations with her Creator rise as delicately and lightly as butterflies, each time carried on wings both fragile seeming and incredible strong.