by Ashley Henderson
Every year for the past twenty years, a group from Christ the Rock Church near Bristol, England have come here to Korca to minister. They work with the residents at a government-funded home for those with disabilities and run futbol camps in Pojan and here in Korce. You can read about futbol camp in another article.
The program at the Azil was all about seeing the wonder of God in nature; in the rain, snow, sunsets, rainbows, and flowers. Each day consisted of a lesson about one of the things above and a verse to go with it. They would do a few worship songs and then do a craft that they could put up in their room or give to a friend. There were a few days that the team would take the residents out for something special.
They went to the park a few times and played with frisbees and kicked the ball around. They went to the arcade to play air hockey and bumper cars. After the arcade the group enjoyed dessert at one of the restaurants near the park. On another day they went to a local village called Voskopoja to visit an old monastery and to enjoy a hike in the woods. The residents enjoyed the nice weather and being in nature.
One day each week the team took some residence to the pool for the evening. They swam, had dinner, and an ice cream treat afterward. They had a blast swimming and playing with the floaties. You see all the fun they had from the photos below. The two weeks that the team are here is all about fun and having special experiences with the residence, but more importantly it is about sharing the love of Christ.
The stigma towards those with disabilities is just now starting to break and we want to make it dissolve. For many years, parents would keep their children in the house for fear of bringing shame upon the family and pain upon their child. Changes have been made recently, but so much more needs to be done. God loves everyone because we are His creation and we want to show Albania and the world this very truth.