1Salije in her remaining ‘safe

Salije in her remaining ‘safe’ room.

1Picture 2 The destroyed Room

The destroyed room (previously their bedroom).

1Picture 1 Salije’s house

Salije’s house.  

Can you help earthquake victims?

For a number of years now many of us across the Melton Team Parish have supported the work of Alma Syla in the Albanian villages and town of  Lushnje, Drenge and Bitaj with a number of you even joining me to visit Albania to minister and to see the work going on there for yourselves. 

Many of you have also met Alma when she visited us and know first hand the wonderful work she is doing there.
The Bee Project is just one example of ways in which we have supported her work as a Parish and now I am appealing to you for help with another urgent need.

You may remember seeing a brief report in the news about North Western Albania being struck by a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake on November 26th, 2019. Although the epicentre was some miles north of Lushnje and the villages of Drenge and Bitai where Alma Syla lives and works, several homes in the villages were badly damaged by the quake. 

Some of the people affected attend the Bitaj Church and one elderly couple who have hosted Alma’s weekly ladies meeting in their home for several years are now unable to use part of their house because it was so badly damaged as it is unsafe. Some of us have been to Salije’s home and enjoyed fellowship there with Alma and many ladies from the Bitaj Church.
At my request Alma has had a builder look at Salije’s house in Drenge to assess what we might do to help this couple. The best option seems to be to build a new room for them rather than try to repair a very poorly constructed building.

The size of the room we could build will depend on how much money we can raise. My current target is to raise £6,000, which would give us a modest addition and allow them at least a safe place to sleep and relax in. We will not start any work until we are sure of what will be entailed and have a proper plan in place along with a reliable costing. 
Meanwhile, I would like to start raising funds so we are able to do something as soon as Alma gives us the go-ahead. If you are interested in helping to plan or participate in some fund-raising events or if you or your church would like to make a donation to the project costs, please get in touch with me and hopefully we can work together to achieve our goal.   
A first fund-raising event is already scheduled for Saturday, March 7th, when we will be hosting the Burton Village Hall Coffee Morning. Please come along and support that if you can and please let me know if you are able to help with either making things we can sell or by helping on the day.
Meanwhile, please pray for Alma and the people in Drenge and Bitai most of whom already live in very poor conditions and whose lives have been made even harder by the damage caused by this earthquake and aftershocks.
And please get in touch with me if you would like to be involved in fund-raising or have some great ideas for this.
Thank you,
Janet King
Pioneer Minister and Churchwarden St James Church, Burton Lazars.
Email: janetking476:gmail.com or Tel: 01664 372373.