Radiant Smiles

Mission Without Borders support transforms family circumstances leading to discovering Jesus.

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"their lives took a turn when they became part of Mission Without Borders family sponsorship program."

Daniela, 37, and her husband Armado, 41, grew up in poverty in southwestern Albania. When faced with unemployment and increasing poverty while raising two children, they courageously decided to relocate in pursuit of a brighter future.

Much to their dismay, upon settling in Fllaka, a rural area outside of Durres, their challenges persisted. Job opportunities remained scarce, leaving them fraught with worry about securing essential provisions like food and warm clothing for their children. Looking back, Daniela remembers finding it challenging to smile as she was filled with anger and sadness feeling trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle of hardship.

Their eldest son, Engjell, 15, said, “I don't recall much from my younger years, but the image of my mother in tears and scolding me when I made mistakes is a frequent memory.”

Armado, 41, said, “As the head of my family, navigating through the challenges of unemployment and meeting our family's needs was a hard task that left me feeling disheartened. Daily arguments and disagreements became the norm, and the idea of being at home was not something I relished.”

Everything began to change for the family when Mission Without Borders, who work in Fllaka to support families living in poverty, were made aware about the family’s struggles.

“It was a sister in Christ who told me about a woman in her neighbourhood who was really struggling and asked me if the Mission and I could help her,” said Arjana, MWB’s family coordinator in Fllaka.

The family began receiving regular visits from Arjana. She spent time with the family, brought them regular food and hygiene items and other necessities, and provided much-needed counselling and emotional support.  Arjana said, “As we gradually invited Daniela to come along to Bible studies and church gatherings, something profound started shifting within her heart and mind. At one meeting, Daniela found herself moved to tears and willingly accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour.”

Daniela said, “Before I became a Christian, I found difficult to summon a smile or experience any sense of well-being. But when I met Jesus through the Mission, things started to change day by day and I found myself smiling more and more. I got baptised and Jesus has become the cornerstone of my life and perspective. Ever since I welcomed Jesus into my heart, I've consistently reminded myself, 'I will have faith, and I will not be afraid.”

Engjell described how his mother’s tears gave to a much happier atmosphere at home. He said, “The Mission’s support – the monthly boxes of food and those with food and gifts for Christmas, the school supplies, and the youth meetings all bring me immense happiness. As I grow older, I even try to help out my father at work."

Arjana said, “The love, encouragement, and support we gave Daniela and Armado became a beacon of strength and hope. From a woman engulfed in despair, feeling powerless to alter her circumstances, Daniela suddenly found herself empowered with a renewed sense of hope for the future. The Mission’s support helped her to believe that positive change was possible for her family.”

Looking ahead, the family is optimistic about their future. Arjana said, “We hope to provide the family with a self-sufficiency project next year, to provide them with barber tools, as a step toward fulfilling Armado's wish of working as a barber.” Daniela says, “I am truly thankful for the impact on our family's life, for every change made in every aspect of our lives.”


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