Ermine Telaku – Widow in Kosovo
There is something true, something intrinsically good, about the idea of taking care of widows. The Bible says we should do it and even refers to it in James 1:26-27 as “true and undefiled religion.” God Himself becomes the protector of the widow and the orphan. The distress that a widow experiences is deeply felt. She is vulnerable without a husband to provide and care for her and her children. We are thankful for the sponsors at MP who are taking care of many widows in their distress.
Ermine’s husband died 2½ years ago while building a wall in the rain. The ground shifted and the wall suddenly collapsed on him. Today Ermine remains energetic and hopeful. The husband’s parents help her. MP sponsors provide monthly groceries.
Valbona Hoti – Widow and former Pastor’s Wife
Valbona’s husband, Skender, came from a Muslim family but became a Christian as a young man. Valbona and Skender married in 2002 and then had three children. They started a church in their hometown of Gjakova, Kosovo.
“My husband was a great man, a great husband to me, and a great father to our children. He was a church leader and an English professor. I have learned a lot from him in life. He gave his best to serve the Lord and to direct people to Jesus,” Valbona shared.
“It was December 24th, 2016, and we were at home. I was with the kids in one room and Skender was in the kitchen. In one moment, I heard a big explosion and I ran and saw the kitchen filled with flames and smoke. A propane bottle had exploded.
“My husband was there with his clothes on fire. We rushed him to the hospital. The roads were snowy and icy so it took us two hours. A week later he died of his burns. We could not get him better medical treatment.”
Today, Valbona supports her family with a small government assistance check and monthly groceries that MP sponsors provide. Her dream is to one day own an apartment as a permanent home for her children.
Shyqerie Musaj – Widow
Shyqerie and her husband experienced a terrible auto accident in 2011. She held onto her two-year-old son Denis, protecting him from injury. Her four-year-old daughter, Denisa, broke her leg. Shyqerie’s husband died three months later. Shyqerie suffered head trauma and has not fully recovered.
Today, Shyqerie suffers from anxiety, depression, and a form of PTSD. She is often paralyzed by fear. Her mother has moved in to help care for the children who have TB. The house has fallen into disrepair and needs extensive renovation. Mold covers the walls of several rooms due to outside moisture.
“I remember a very hard time when I had to hold my daughter while they reset her broken leg. She screamed and cried and I could do nothing. I don’t know what would happen to me without my mother,” Shyqerie said.
I feel like I am doing better now. My mother still helps me but I am able to help my children now. It is difficult without a father.”
Shyqerie and her mother are grateful for the groceries provided to them by MP sponsors. Their hope is to fix up their house. It needs electrical work, a new roof, insulation and plaster, and new flooring. Mercy Projects would like to help with these needs.
Mercy Projects in Kosovo partners with the local church to assist these widows and others like them. Our missionaries visit them, encourage them, pray with them, and teach English to their children. At the same time, widows continue to need substantial help to make it through the coming winter.
We believe the Lord would have us renovate homes for the various widows according to their needs. If you would like to help with this project, called “Helping Widows,” please note this on your check or return card. This is in addition to ongoing sponsorship support.
We recently finished construction of a new home for the widow Ajne and she has moved in. She said recently, “I feel so much better. A burden has been lifted from my shoulders. ‘Thank you’ does not express what is in my heart.”
On behalf of Ajne, Shyqerie, Ermine, Valbona, and the many others in both Ukraine and Kosovo, thank you for practicing “pure and undefiled religion” by remembering and supporting these widows.