On our second day in Albania we met Amelia (as with the others, we changed her name for this blog). Like the others, Amelia had found hope and purpose in her work knitting for Dawn, despite terribly difficult circumstances. She greeted us with joy and welcomed us warmly into her home, and her 2 children took very good care of our boys while we were there.
Amelia’s story was difficult to hear. Her husband, like Helena’s, drinks a lot and is abusive towards her. He spends most of his time and most of their money drinking. Like Helena’s husband, he travels abroad to try and find work. He is often in Greece trying to find a job, and most of the time he does not find any work, as Greece is a struggling nation these days as well. Amelia told us it is actually easier on her when he is away because there is peace in her home.
Several years ago, Amelia had a terrible fall from a second story balcony and broke her back. She was forced to move back in with her parents as she was bed-ridden and unable to care for her children. She lay flat on her back in that bed for over 3 months before she met Dawn. Dawn heard about Amelia’s situation, and even though they had never met she came to Amelia’s bedside and prayed for her healing. Miraculously, 3 days later Amelia got up from her bed and began to walk around.
Unfortunately, Amelia’s back has not healed properly, and she lives with constant pain. There are things she can not do around the house, and she is forced to rely on her children to help her. Also, her medical bills have created debt and with the lack of work for her husband and her inability to work things have been difficult.
However, amidst and despite of the incredible pain and difficulty of Amelia’s situation, she has found hope in her work. Working for Dawn has allowed her to work from home at her own pace while looking after her children and her back. She also told us that before her job working with Dawn she had no oven, fridge, or washing machine, and now she has all three in her home. Knitting is putting bread on her table and offering a brighter future for her family.
As we prayed with Amelia and cried with her over the things she has endured it was very clear to us that there is injustice and brokenness in the world and in peoples’ lives, but that God is also present and that he cares deeply about his children and wants to bring wholeness to them. If we can participate in one small way in that by bringing Amelia’s beautifully knitted goods to the marketplace in order to support her and others like her, it is worth spending our last penny and scrap of effort to do so. When people buy her goods they aren’t just purchasing a scarf or a headband or gloves or a boot cuff, they are participating in the story of hope and justice.