The Church in Gjakova

            It has been almost 10 months since Pastor Skender was buried and went to be with Jesus.
Last year in October and November, Pastor Skender was _DSC0149visiting churches in America to raise support for his church in  Kosovo. He always dreamed big – mostly for the people he mentored rather than for himself. He always wanted the people who were close to him to learn and succeed and that’s why he spent so much time acting as a father to his students.
On a very cold day on January 8th, almost everybody went toIMG_0113 Pastor Skender’s funeral, to not only pay the respect but it almost seemed as we still wanted to believe that God was going to do a miracle right then. Unfortunately, for us, that did not become true.
The house where the family used to live is still burnt. Valbona and the kids are renting an apartment somewhere on the fifth floor with no elevator. Sarah and Deborah go to school every day and they’re doing a great job at studying. Valbona stays with Sion as she tries to figure out to find a place where they are going to call it home. Every single day when Valbona wakes up – it is hard for her to accept the reality. “I feel like he has gone somewhere and he will come back” – Valbona says.
Sundays are rough! There are times when no one shows up anymore: some of them are back to college, some work and some just haven’t made peace yet with the fact that our Pastor is gone.
Pastor Slemani tries to have Sunday service also with the church in Gjakova but there are times when it is difficult even for him since nobody wants to allow anyone to take Pastor Skender’s spot in their lives.
Meanwhile, the same applies to the English courses as well. No10557502_10204661753887063_2023447194390822662_o more students, no more English, no more Summer camps, no more visiting families and no more happily going out for coffee after Sunday service. As unfair as it seems this is the reality and we always trust that God is in control of everything. What we cannot comprehend He has already comprehended before we did exist.
Let us remind Pastor Skender’s family in our prayers. Also, continue praying for Debora as she gets to register for high school next Fall.
Please pray for Valbona and the kids to find comfort in Christ and for God to continually provide for them: financially and spiritually.
Please also keep praying as Balkans Partners is trying to get close to making a decision for a regular meeting place that is on the ground floor!