Monday, April 2, 2012
I want you to know about a precious friend of mine named Lule. Her name means 'flower'. She brightens every room she enters. And yet, her life is surely not without trials. She was born with a tumor on her face and as she grew, it grew. Her parents were afraid of hospitals and doctors during communism, so they did nothing. The tumor continued to grow. Lule married a man from her village and they had 2 boys, Klevi and Ricu. The tumor grew rapidly during her pregnancies. It was time to remove it. As the doctor removed the tumor her right eye sunk back into her skull and the right side of her face and head were severely deformed. Now her eye can no longer see since it is covered with bone and skin and many of the nerves in her face were damaged in the operation. She wears sunglasses and her hair over the right side of her face so people do not gasp when they see her. She works long hours at a sweat shop sewing cuffs on pants 6 days a week. She said to me recently, "I use to think how wonderful it would be if for 5 minutes my face would be normal and I could look into the mirror and see myself. I would take a lot of pictures and keep them forever. Then, I could go back to looking like I do now, that would be OK. Just so I could have 5 minutes to be normal!" Two years ago I asked prayer for Lule's husband, Besim, that he would stop drinking. He had become a alcoholic and was abusive. Our prayers were answered! Besim stopped drinking. He would not drink even a sip! Their home life changed and things were really improving. Through the miracle of her husband giving up alcohol, Lule trusted in Christ. Many of you rejoiced with us in her decision! Jobs in Albania are very difficult to find. In addition, Besim had lost an eye, so he was handicapped. People with disabilities are not readily accepted in Albania. Besim could only find work in Greece cutting down trees. Two months ago, Jan 24, 2012, his chain saw slipped and severely severed his leg. He was working in the woods alone so there was no one there to help him. He fell there in the snow, and his body was found 2 days later. We do not know if he ever trusted the Lord as Savior. We are hoping that in those last moment of his life he called out to Christ. We will not know till we get to Heaven. It is hard to understand this type of suffering. In fact, I can not understand it. I am not going to try. I am just going to give it to God who is in charge. I am going to love my friend and hold her up in prayer. I am going to tell people her story. I am going to raise awareness for those widows and fatherless children whose lives touch me... and I hope in turn can touch you. I am going to ask you, Can you help? Can you pray? Can you give? We often invest in something for the future. You can invest in the lives of two little boys and their mom! I know that many people can not give funds, but can you pray that someone will? Can you pray that Lule could have plastic surgery? Could you pray that Lule and the boys will stay faithful to God? What an opportunity you have before you! It is so worth it!