An Open Window of Blessing in Albania
Transformation starts with the unassuming message that Jesus loves you. Those three profoundly simple, but potent words have the power to change the course of history, but they can also humbly save a family by first touching the life of an innocent child. In our most recent trip to the Balkan region of eastern Europe, we were blessed to hear about the story of a little girl who helped to restore her family through the love of Jesus Christ.
There are thousands of ways God chooses to change people’s lives. Often God chooses to use children to bring about change in a family. When family relationships are broken, and darkness rules the parents’ minds, a child can often bring the light of God into their darkness. This is exactly what happened to Monda, a mother of three, through her daughter Igla.
Monda’s family, as many others in Albania, moved from a remote village to an urban area because it offered more employment opportunities and chances for a better life. Despite being able to find a job in tailoring factory, life wasn’t getting easier for the family. They were in an unknown place without relatives and friends and both parents were working long hours.
Monda was lonely and there was constant fighting within the family. Her mother-in-law and her were constantly in conflict, barely speaking in the 10 years she lived with them.
But when Igla became part of the children’s ministry at Iba Church, one of the churches we partner with in Albania, the family situation started to change. As Igla started to make friends and learn about the love of Jesus, she started to ask her mom, “Mom, why you don’t come to church? There are lots of other moms coming to the church”.
Igla’s persistence convinced Monda to start attending the lady’s meetings at the church. She got to know other people in the church and make new friends. Once the women at the church realized that Monda only had a basic education, they began to teach her about different topics, like family relationships, moral values, hygiene, and the importance of her children’s education. Monda saw this as an “opened window of blessing” in her life.
Listening to the Word of God and discussing the weekly Bible lessons began to change Monda’s heart and attitude. As this mother’s life was being transformed, her family was also undergoing a change. Monda’s transformation was now being reflected in the behaviors and relationships in the family, especially in her relationship with her mother-in-law.
Monda recalled what her relationship with her mother-in-law was like before she started attending the church: “We were living in the same house and didn’t talk with each other for ten years. She didn’t want me to touch her things,” says Monda. “She never helped me with the housework or caring for the children, but during the last two years our relationship has changed, she takes care of kids and helps me”. Now that the love of Jesus has entered into her family’s hearts, Monda’s life has changed for the better. The relationship with her mother-in-law was restored, and the family is experiencing peace and joy.
Children can often be overlooked and undervalued in society. Even when they are acknowledged, they are often seen as a generation that will only affect the future, but they are also powerful agents of change in the present. One little life changed the course of three generations of a family.
Thanks to your generous support, we are able to see our work transform lives and can share amazing stories like this one. We believe that God does powerful things through the smallest members of society so that His glory and fame will be heard throughout the world. Just as Jesus came as a child and changed the world, we believe that the children can and will change the world, one family at a time.