Christmas is a wonderful time of the year filled with joy, festivities, and holiday traditions. For us, at Kenedi it is a busy time filled with ministry parties, Christmas sermons, community outreach, and a theatrical production. By God’s provision and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our many projects were successful in spreading the Christmas message and the love of Jesus Christ. Below you can read a snippet about each event and enjoy some photos. Merry Christmas.
Church Plants-all of our church plants decorated their churches for Christmas and had a few parties with their ministries. Christmas carols were sung and some put together small nativity dramas. They went around the village and delivered gifts to families.
Children’s Ministry- This year, the children led the program and parents participated. Some read bible verses, some sang Christmas songs, and a group did a dance. There were games and a puppet show to tell the story of Jesus’s birth.
Shqiponja- Our Korçë-based preteen ministry has four zones around the city. For their Christmas program, each zone had a few performances: skits, singing, dances, and pantomimes.
Nje Brez I Ri- The Junior High ministry in Korçë invited the junior high groups from our village church plants and Pogradec for a night full of games, gifts, worship, dramas, and the Christmas story.
Youth Space- The High School group in Korçë invited the other groups from our village church plants and Pogradec for a night like Nje Brez I Ri’s. Some of the groups contributed with skits, music, and games.
Day Center- The day after Christmas, the day center had a Christmas party. The kids invited their parents to celebrate with them and the center staff.
Seniors- The seniors that gather at the Korçë church daily, had a party of their own at the church. Food and wine were served and traditional music was danced to.
Special Education-On Christmas Eve there was a huge party at the group home. Some members of the church joined them for dancing and gifts. The director had the place decorated and made their Christmas special.
Hospital Outreach-For almost twenty years, a group has visited the children’s hospital on Christmas to deliver presents to patients and their parents. This year the children’s ministry leaders and a few of the kids took on that responsibility and had a great time doing it.
Boys and Girls Home- Each house had its own celebrations with gingerbread decorating, presents, and other festivities. The boys home opened in January so this was the boys’ first Christmas in the safe house.
From the Kenedi Foundation Family to all of you, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! God bless you.nnnnhhnnn
On Tuesday, November 26 just before 4:00 in the morning, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the village of Thumanë near Durrës, Albania. Across the nation, 7,900 buildings were damaged, leaving 40 churches without places to meet; 6,000+ were left homeless and searching for shelter in hotels, tents, and with relatives; 3,000+ were injured; 51 people died making this the deadliest earthquake in 2019. Thankfully, 45 individuals were recovered from the rubble by rescue teams that came from across the world.
Desiring to pair deeds with our faith, we jumped into action immediately (James 2:14-17). By Wednesday night, a group of Kenedi volunteers arrived in the village of Pezes bringing tents, food, heaters, soap, and hygiene to the people in need. Since that first week, we have sent at least one group per week to the village near Durrës to provide for the many needs of the victims.
Last week, two teams from Korce and another from Pogradec made the two and a half journey out to Thumane to partner with a local church in their aid attempts. The building the church was using was irreparably damaged and marked with a red X. This mark serves to warn anyone who enters that they are in danger. Each team member tensed as we entered into the building we were just told was unsafe.
Once inside, all fears were lost as our task was set before us. The entire first floor was filled with bags of clothing, juice, water, and miscellaneous items sent from all over the world. The team was directed to open each marked bag of clothing and repackage in a box complete with clothing for men, women, and children. After about an hour, there must have been twenty to thirty boxes stacked high by the door. After a quick rest, a honk was heard in the road as a yellow van approached. Almost instinctively everyone picked up a box and took it outside, repeating this action until the van was full.
After the clothing packs were delivered another batch of donations came on a flatbed truck with no sides. The group of workers formed an assembly line to unload all the supplies quickly and safely. The bags of clothes from the truck replaced those that were just given out and cans upon cans of beans, hot dogs, corn, tomatoes, and soups were loaded into the limited space left on the ground floor of the structurally compromised building.
The final job for the day was unloading another van stocked with lunch items. Pasta in tin packages, hard-boiled eggs, bread, sandwiches, fruit, and yogurt. Once again, the team fell into a seamless assembly line that reacted to and anticipated each other’s moves flawlessly. There is something so beautiful about strangers working together harmoniously for the benefit of other strangers, all out of love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
With the harsh, winter weather settling into the country it is our priority to ensure that the families affected have what they need to fight the elements. At this moment, the best course of action is to deliver food, warm clothes, blankets, and tents to the families in need. As Christmas comes and goes, our plan of action will change but our focus will still be providing care for everyone.
We will come alongside the churches in and around Tirana, enabling them to support those in need and display God’s love in a tangible and necessary way. Working hand in hand with these leaders will create a relationship-based ministry. We will provide food and other supplies to the families.
As our volunteers get to know the children and their families, individual needs will be met. These individual needs are often the gaps that are overlooked by the government and other organizations. Instead of delivering twenty pairs of shoes to a group that needs medicine and a tent, we can provide each individual with the exact item they are in need of.
Preparing and delivering food is a complicated process because it has to be prepared and packaged in separate locations before being delivered to the families. Taking this into consideration, we bought a food truck that will enable us to provide fresh, nutritious food efficiently and as needed.
Another stage in our plan is to create a child-friendly space. We were approached by local authorities and the National Christian Alliance to provide psycho-social support for the children that may have experienced trauma during this event. Our desire is to create a place for them to play in organized settings and receive help from the trauma they have experienced. These areas will allow children to return to a sense of normalcy and to healthy routines, what every child needs in the wake of a disaster. (James 1:27)
We have received calls and messages from supporters and friends around the world, asking what we need. Clothing and food have come from many nations and places within Albania. Our plan is transitioning into the second phase which consists of individual care and the food truck. What we need most is your financial support to purchase things like medication, glasses, shoes, and tents. Your donations will also support the upkeep of the food truck. If God is calling you to give please click here. Choose Earthquake Assistance under Category & Funds.
Whether you choose to donate or not, we ask that you please pray for the families of those who lost their lives, the families that are displaced and looking for a place to stay, and for authorities and charities to meet the needs of the people the best we can. Pray that we use this as an opportunity to draw people closer to God. May God be with you.