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Sukth: One year after the floods

Posted by Miriam Gorrea on

Besi and Miriam Gorrea live with their children in Sukth, Albania, where God is using them to lead a young church. Pray that God will give then energy and enthusiasm for the work ahead!

Many of you heard about the flooding which occurred in the area surrounding Sukth Evangelical Church in the first week of January 2016. The water level was over a meter high and it turned the lane, where the church is, into a river. Homes which were low to the ground had filthy water come flooding in late at night, catching many off guard and unprepared. The next day as the water subsided, a thick sludge was left covering the floors, beds and belongings of many of the households. Working together the families and neighbours sought to reclaim their homes and spent days digging and washing to return their homes to a livable state. Those who lived on higher ground and had not been affected offered shelter to those who had. The community pulled together as best they could to return normality to each home. Household electrics were ruined, furniture was saturated by the sewage-filled water, and any belongings left outside had been swept away.  

So many of you responded to the great need that the church was able to supply new mattresses and washing machines to the church members affected and other neighbours as well. We want to thank you for your generosity which blessed so many, and met them in their hour of need. In a country where the government does little or nothing to help, as a church we were able to step in and supply the people’s real needs, thanks to your kindness.

As a family we (the Gorreas) were in England when the flood hit, but since coming back we have heard the stories of that night. We heard about the aftermath and we have been saddened by that which was lost, but it has been amazing to see how so many will laugh as they recount the flood.

In a meeting with teenage girls of our church, we were discussing Matthew 6:19-34, talking about what our treasures are here on earth. I began to say that we can understand what earthly possession we hold most dear by asking the question: what would we take if our house caught fire? I stopped myself as I realized these girls had been through this situation, not by fire but by flood. I began asking each of them how they reacted when they realized the water was coming (some just had a matter of minutes before their homes were filled) and they began to recount, with cheer, that infamous night. One recalled how she had burst into tears in panic, not knowing what to expect, and had thrown a few objects up on top of cupboards then left to seek refuge with a neighbor. She then admitted that once she arrived at the neighbour’s she phoned her mum back at the house to quickly move the wifi router to a high place! Teenagers world wide can relate to this! We laughed together and then another girl said that she wasn’t really thinking about what to save, but was embarrassed as she was forced to go out of the house in her pajamas! She was embarrassed to admit this but I felt touched by both these girls’ real experiences and honest accounts of something which truly must have been traumatic for them!

In the last month we have had another week of torrential rain and the river came close to breaking its banks again, the atmosphere in our neighbourhood was tense as we all braced ourselves for the worst. The fear that the flood will reoccur is real for all of us here, and is an issue all over Albania. I admire the Albanian people for all they have been through and continue to live through. So often it is difficult for the people to have any hope for a future, for themselves or their children, and we pray that Jesus will continue to work in the lives and hearts of Albanians to bring them the true hope found in knowing Christ.

Tags: church planting, flood, sukth


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