Evangelical Christians from Albanian churches turned out in force to help victims of recent large earthquakes.
The first earthquake struck on 26 November and measured 6.4 on the Richter scale. It was followed by smaller quakes, which hindered relief efforts.
The death toll is believed to be at 51, with more than 1,400 buildings damaged in the capital of Tirana, and approximately 900 in nearby Durres.
Pastor Gentjan said there are thousands of people still without homes. He told Barnabas Fund, ‘These people are really big time in need’. He mobilised his church members to help earthquake victims.
Food, water, blankets and mattresses were top of the pastor’s list of material needs, but the members of his Ray of Light Church are also giving spiritual help, prayer and, above all, love.
Missionaries in Durres wrote to Evangelical Times, stating, ‘Thousands are sleeping outside in tents but some are being moved to hotels. People are clamouring for the most basic needs such as food, nappies and blankets.
‘In the medium term, things like housing, counselling for those traumatised by this tragedy and also food that can be stored for some time for the longer term needs of these communities’.
They said evangelical churches have been ‘at the forefront on the relief’ operation, but while churches around the country are bringing help, they are obviously limited in the resources that they have.
The missionaries wrote, ‘The nation has been touched as a group of believers gathered in the main square in Tirana to pray for the situation.
‘The Illyrian Gospel Trust has launched an appeal for the victims of this disaster. If you would like to help we can send details of our bank account. All money will go to the Albanian Evangelical Alliance who are co-ordinating the response of the evangelical community in Albania’.
Contact [email protected] for information.