Maandelijks archief: mei 2019

Finding our way………

Friday evening we came home from Albania……. and as it was my fourth time going there I know it takes time for me to adjust to “normal Dutch” life again. Every year it seems it takes a bit longer, every year I leave a little peace of my heart in Albania……….

Sharing our stories, going to church, talking to friends and family, it is all helpful and I love it. But still……. my days feel empty and are filled with nothing that really seems to matter…….. for this moment. So I just embrace that feeling, embrace the fact that God gave me this ambassadorship, embrace the fact that my heart is in two places.

So if I call you or send you a text message these days, know that it is because I need to find the peaces of my heart and the meaning of my daily life in Holland again.


Safe home……. but what is home?

This morning our journey back home started at 8.45 o’clock in Korce. Atty and Dick dropped is off at the busstation in Korce. And within 3 1/2 hours we were at the airport of Tirana to step into the house 12 hours after leaving. The first 3 hours driving through beautiful nature, enough time to reflect on the past days in Albania, on everything we have done, each wonderful person we met and all the stories we have heard. For me coming back in Holland is always a mixed feeling; on one hand it is good to be back surrounded by my own stuff and my friends nearby, on the other hand everything I do here seems so little compared to everything we can do in Albania. So home is my hone but does bot really feel like home…… at least not the first few days when I am back.

I am so grateful for the people we have met…….. for every gift we could give that meant so much for the people……..for all the people in Holland that gave money and traveled with us through prayers and reading the blogs………… for our health during the visit and healthcare in Holland……… for people with vision for the churches and the projects under the umbrella of the Kenedi Foundation………. for Atty, Dick, Klodi and Eni (and the kids) that make us feel like family………… for everything God showed us and gave us during our stay……….

Although home does not feel like home at the moment, I know that my place is here, at least now. And only God knows what the future has in store for us.



Albania day 5 – visit to Simorela and almost saying goodbye

Sometimes you meet people, they touch your heart and never get out of your heart and mind. Last year we met Simorela, a young girl who got pregnant from a rape, had a girl and is only in her own family to help them wash, cook and take care of them. This year we asked them what they really need and with great shame Simorela told that they really needed a washingmachine . She was already doing the laundry of 6 people by hand for months. And today was the day we started by buying a washingmachine. Because of all the dutch people that contributed in giving money, we were able to buy a good working and well fitting washingmachine which will work in their small poor village. We drove through the mountains to reach the small village. Simorela saw me and shouted “Danielle”, even though she did not know we were coming. We brought a bag with clothes and stuffed animals for her daughter Endi and installed the machine. Simorela could not stop hugging us and cried so sadly when we had to say goodbye again. To think that there is hardly anyone taking care of her or looking after her breaks my heart. But to know that she will feel the love and our care every time she uses the washingmachine is a bit of comfort in saying goodbye. Forever in my heart Simorela and Endi, see you next year!

Endi, the daughter of SimorelA

After lunch Jeshua and I went to the old bazar to shop for some souvenirs and then I dropped him off at Eni and Klodi’s house for a bible study with some Albanese youth. The days went by so fast and although I do not like saying goodbye, unfortunately the time has come we have to say goodbye to several people that touched our hearts and will stay there forever. We went to the girls safehouse to hug and say goodbye…….. ‘till next year, dear girls!

The evening we spent with Klodi and Eni, having good conversations and enjoying the last evening together. Forever in our hearts sweet friends ❤️. And now off to bed, because tomorrow our travelling day to Holland starts at 8.45 o’clock.

Albania 2019 – day 4: daycenter and churchplans Kenedi Foundation

The day started with a visit to the daycenter, where the streetchildren can come, have a meal and get showered. And because it was a special holiday (may 1st) the kids were all there, waiting for us to come. We gave the gifts we bought for them, special things they really needed (soupplates, teacups, deodorant, schoolmaterials and of course footballs) and because the desert was yoghurt and fruit they told us they were re going to use the soupplates later that afternoon for their desert.

The kids wanted to play with us and so they played a game called “base”. The room was divided into 4 different parts, every part had a number and later a name of an animal. The leader is in front of the kids, with his back towards them, the kids choose a corner and when the leader calls the number or name of your corner you are out of the game. With so much energy they played this game and Jeshua joined them. Again, the language barrier was hard, but we are learning 😊. After the games they sang several songs for us. It is wonderful to see them singing about Jesus and God, using their whole body. We heard some songs we know in dutch and english and although we did not understand the words, we could see what the songs mean to them. It is so good that the word of Hope and Love of Jesus is being told to these kids too. Although you know they go back unto the street after the program, a little seed is planted with the words and the songs.

Looking at the gifts we bought…….

After an hour we went to Maliq, a little village about 30 minutes drive from Korca, where the new boys home is opened. Orphanage (or left behind) boys are getting a place to stay, with love, care, a bed, people caring for them, a shower, food and clothes. We brought three little bags with new clothes for them, we looked inside the house and met the three boys that are in the house at the moment. Once the situation is stable for these three boys, they will expand with a new boy, to make sure they have a stable house which stays stable. Outside the boys have a place to play football, to run around and get rid of energy. Jeshua played some football with one of the boys and then it was time to leave. Because it is may 1st the tradition in Albania is to go out and have a picknic and that was exactly what they promised the boys to go and do. So we went and visited the church of Maliq, which is also part of the Kenedi Foundation. A small church in an old former Russian building, where a lot of work still needs to be done, but where 175 people attended the service last sunday. I do not know where they came from, because the village is small, but they even were standing outside to hear the message of hope. Also run by a man with a passion and heart for God and this village and church.

Playing football with one of the boys from the boys home in Maliq

From Maliq we drove to Pogradec, a beautiful little town near the lake. The church in Pogradec is also part of the Kenedi Foundation, but fully self sustaining. What one man with a heart and passion for God can do is amazing. A coffee shop downstairs, on the first floor will be a bed and breakfast and the top floor is the church. The key to this is: the church is the most important part and from the church you can build other projects in which you can show people who you are and what your message is. When you put the church and God first, He will help you expand and stay healthy as a church. Once the bed and breakfast is finished we will definitely visit it on this beautifull spot.

The last place we visited was Sheqeras, a very small, old village with a church that was build and finished last year. About 30 – 40 people attend church on sunday, all from the village. They have youthmeetings and are trying to make a difference in the village. The history of the country but also the growing of the Kenedi Foundation and its work is so interesting, we were happy to see and hear this.

Church in Sheqeras

With so much information, stories and pictures in our heads we went home. We have enough plans for tomorrow, so tonight will be pretty quiet. Tomorrow will be our last day in Korca, friday we have to leave again. But it is not friday yet………