In Albania, God reached out to one mother in a heart-wrenching situation to restore life, hope and joy.
When Zamira and her husband were informed that he had cancer, it was essentially a death sentence.
The country of Albania has only one public hospital that offers radiation therapy treatment. “Cancer is a major public health problem in Albania,” reports Alejandra Silva for IAEA, an agency dedicated to helping cancer patients in Albania. “According to the Ministry of Health, the disease has become the second most important cause of death…”
While strides are being made to help cancer patients, these innovations still aren’t available yet to people living outside of Albania’s capital like Zamira and her family in the small village of Poloske. Her husband eventually lost his battle with cancer, leaving Zamira to raise their three children and care for her sick father-in-law alone.
The poverty that she faced deepened and compounded her grief and heavy questions about what the future held for her and her children.
Serving God’s Beloved
Several of World Challenge’s partners in Albania work to support widows both emotionally, spiritually and practically. They organize meetings with the widows to bring them into a supportive community and help them escape isolation.
In their Easter celebrations, they invited many of the widows who are part of their program to a service to worship and listen to an Easter message. “During the meeting,” our partners shared, “the women shared testimonies of how God has taken care of them and their families. We shared a story from the Bible and talked with them about the love and forgiveness of Jesus.” They also held a prayer time, if any of the ladies wished for prayer before serving everyone in attendance a meal.
The Albanian Widow Project has supported many of these widows during the months when they faced the Covid-19 lockdown, offering food packages, hygienic products and medicine. A team of volunteers has been in contact with them, calling or meeting them in their houses, encouraging them and reminding them of the love of Jesus.
“We have seen God bless their lives and answer their prayers with miracles of healing and peace,” our partner shared. “Some of them have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, and others come to the church. The hope of Jesus has filled their hearts.”
For some of the widows, they have witnessed God move in very tangible ways to meet these women’s needs, like with Zamira and her family.
The Father’s Healing Hand
Zamira’s little girl who is eight years old suddenly became very ill, a frightening situation for any parent but especially for one who has already seen tragedy strike their family.
She took her daughter to the hospital in nearby Bilisht, and doctors had crushing news. Her daughter had an unusual heart disease, and the physicians urgently advised surgery. Shaken, Zamira prepared to travel to the capital where there was a hospital big enough to conduct this critical surgery. She asked the widows group for prayer, and they gathered to ask God for healing and mercy on this little girl’s heart.
Zamira brought her daughter to the hospital in Tirana, deeply worried for her life. Medical scans were run, and nurses came and went while she anxiously waited.
Finally, a doctor brought her into the room. Their tests had found very little; her daughter no longer needed surgery or even any special treatment. Her medical situation was gone. Jesus had heard her prayers and healed her daughter. She returned home with a healthy child and this incredible news.
“She is so thankful for our team supporting and being near her in this hard situation,” the team wrote us. “Zamira is full of hope and has a new confidence that God is her protector, and he will never forsake her and her family. We pray that God will use this little girl’s life for his glory and that he will be her heavenly Father, guiding and protecting her in all his ways.”
We join them in their prayers for Zamira and her family, and we invite you to pray with us for the many lives being touched by Christ around the world.