A Much Needed Delivery

On January 27, 2021, after two months on the open sea, a forty-foot shipping container arrived at the Durres port from Detroit, Michigan. Kenedi Foundations receives many containers throughout the year from all over the world, but this one was different. It was filled with medical equipment that is absolutely essential to caring for people during this pandemic. Who do we have to thank for this donation? A new charity called Ignatian Way founded by Armando and Mary Jane Kurili.

Armando was born in Korce in the midst of Communism. He escaped to Greece in his early twenties with the intention of never returning to his hometown or even his country. Mary Jane came to Albania with CRU Missions in 1991. This trip sparked a passion for the Albanian community and started her on a journey that would eventually lead her back to Albania. When she returned to the states Mary Jane met Armando and they were married soon after.

Fast forward ten or so years and God called the Kurilis to minister to the large Albanian community in Detroit. And in 2018, God placed another call in Armando’s heart; it was time for him to return to Albania. Together, with a group of sixteen individuals, the couple traveled to Korce to facilitate VBS and ESL in the small village of Sheqeras. Since that trip, the Kurilis have returned to Albania a handful of times and the most recent was to distribute the contents of the container that they had spent months collecting and organizing.

The container held respirators, bi-paps, nebulizers, walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, clothing, and miscellaneous items useful for ministry. These items were donated or bought with donated money which primarily came from individuals. The entire process required $8,000 and a year of fundraising and planning.

While visiting, the Kurilis met with the directors of the hospitals in Korce and Tirana, respectively. They contributed eleven respirators to Korce and fourteen to Tirane. Armando’s occupation is in the medical field; specifically in respiratory equipment design. He passed his knowledge to the medical team at each hospital and to the staff at Vila Kenedi, the home for the elderly.