Opened in 2010, the Hope Center in Marikaj is the answer to years of prayer. This lovely facility in the Tirana suburbs was conceived to house our orphan children after they are too old for the state orphanages.
Fully staffed with Albanian natives (and one practically Albanian American named Pam), the Hope Center is able to house a growing number of orphaned teens in order to facilitate their education, assimilation into the adult world, and most importantly, their spiritual growth.
Before the Hope Center, we would often see the evidence of our former children in the adult world with nowhere to turn but drugs, crime, or sex trafficking. Our Children in the Hope Center are cared for, educated, well fed and taught how to function in Society. It is SUCH A JOY to see them excited about the future and furthering their own faith!
But it doesn't stop there...
With this wonderful facility, it did not take our dedicated staff long to begin reaching beyond the teens at the Center, and out to the surrounding community.
Unlike our orphanages, all of which are in Albania's larger cities, we chose a location for the Hope Center in a small, quaint and peaceful suburb. The population here has scarcely been exposed to any religion but Islam, or at least until Hope for the World got there...
Using things like the enclosed soccer court, basketball gym, and GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED LOVE, we began reaching out in small ways; Bible lessons for the community children led by our secretary Ledina, devotions with the old men by Perparim, even the teens themselves are excited and involved with this new community project.
The Lord says, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be also."
In that sense, we've had a church in Marikaj since day one, but get a load of this answered prayer...
The past 25 years working with the orphans of Albania has provided more spiritual satisfaction than we could have ever imagined! We have seen it grow and expand beyond our wildest dreams with your prayers and support.
From one orphanage to six, plus a retirement home, handicap care facility and now the Hope Center, we have been beyond blessed to see God's hand at work this past quarter century.
While we have striven to keep Christ at the center of every part of this now sizeable work, it wasn't until the last couple of years that the door was opened for us to plant our VERY OWN CHURCH!
Our very own Perparim is pastoring a growing congregation of Albanians who had never heard the story of Jesus! With the undying help of the staff and teens, we our excited to see this work continue to grow.
Marikaj and the Hope Center are a new, exciting and rapidly developing branch of our work. From housing, feeding, educating and discipling the teens, to community outreach and now a seedling church (Praise the Lord!), we are so very excited to see this work continue to grow.. but we can't do it alone.
Get Involved in Marikaj!
Along with caring for the needy in Albania for over 25 years, Roger and Cherie have spent a lifetime in Evangelism, Gospel music and soul-winning services for Christ Jesus.
"...be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." - 1 Cor. 15:58