One hot day this spring, Fier Zoo in Albania welcomed a very special group of visitors—Roma street children on their first-ever trip out. The Emmanuel Centre ministry in Lushnje, with which OM partners, had organised this treat to reward the children for their progress in reading and writing. For these kids to even attend these lessons is a real breakthrough. They are living in a culture where parents often despise education and have the kids lined up for careers in begging and thieving instead.
Seeing the animals drove the kids wild with excitement. As she shared their joy, OM Albania team member May remembered God’s promise to her and the other Emmanuel Centre staff: “Those who go out weeping, carrying seeds to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” It had been a challenging few months; the children wanted to learn and try their best, but fights kept breaking out and it was often more fun to throw paper and pencils than write with them.
“But in the end, they did learn!” says May. “When the kids were full of frustration, wanting to give up, I could encourage them in a particular way. If I, as a foreigner, can learn to speak, read and write Albanian, then they as native speakers can surely do much better than me!” May concludes, “It’s just another example of God’s amazing grace. Now we are learning numbers, and the kids actually like it. Many thanks to all who pray for this ministry—our God is so powerful and amazing!” Please pray for May and the children in the Emmanuel Centre.
Credit: OM International