Her name is Lule which in Albanian means flower. She is truly a beautiful flower that many people would pass over. Her left eye is missing and the left half of her face is severely deformed. I met her over 6 years ago when her little boy would come to church with her and color on the walls during the service. She came for a while and then dropped out. We tried to encourage her to return, but she said she was Muslim and that was that. Over the past year her two boys have been attending children’s program and were angels in our recent Christmas drama. Lule has been coming back to church and ladies Bible study and now she is coming to English class each week with her older son. She is an intelligent bright young women eager to learn.
Today in ladies Bible study I asked the ladies to fill out an index card with their names, ages, number of children, and a prayer request that I could use during my quite time. I noticed during the lesson Lule was crying quietly, which is very unusually for her. After class Lule, who is new to the group, spoke to Lejla and I. “If I could say what my most important prayer request would be,” she stopped to draw breath. “I would ask God that my husband would not drink raki (Albanian vodka). He comes home so drunk that he yells and throws things. He scares the children so much. When he comes home like that the boys hide and cover their eyes and plug their ears so they do not have to see or hear him.” Drink is a huge problem in Albania specifically among the men. They get together after work and often someone brings raki. Meanwhile the wife sits home with little food for the children and worries about what will happen when her husband returns.
I was taken back that this precious young mother did not say her most important prayer request is to have her face repaired and her eye restored. She has accepted her appearance – she just wants her husband to stop drinking.
Norm and Fredi are going to begin coffee hour with the men of the women who attend Friday Bible study. Many of the husbands are unemployed and could come. This could be a very vital beginning in their lives. Please pray with us! Thank you!