This last month Eve, Savannah, and Sophia went to a church in the north part of Tirana to help a program that serves poor gypsy women and children in the city. The program gives food and clothing to some of the poorest families in town and uses the time to get to know the people and share the gospel with them. When we heard of what they would be doing we were all super excited that the girls would get to be involved.
When Scott dropped the girls off on “prison road” the girls weren’t sure what they would find. We know the gypsies are poor. We see them everyday begging in the streets. But we haven’t really been able to serve in the Gypsy community yet because of the language barrier. None of the gypsies speak or understand English and our Albanian is still very limited at best. Seeing the half naked 6, 7, and 8 year old gypsy kids carrying their baby brother or sister in the streets to beg for money is heart wrenching but we haven’t had a good platform to get involved in their lives yet. So when the girls showed up they weren’t sure what they would find.
Because of the language barrier when the jobs were divvied out the Kemp girls were asked to take care of the kids. If you have known Eve for any amount of time you know this job is right in her wheelhouse. So while the women that speak Albanian were getting to know the mothers, Eve and the girls would take care of the kids and babies. Love on the babies- a simple task, right?
As the women started coming in and bringing their babies to Eve and the girls it was quickly obvious that this would not be your normal task. This wasn’t going to be like a typical church day care on Sunday morning. The babies that were coming in were a new type of filthy that we haven’t experienced yet. Every baby smells like urine when they wet their diaper. But these babies have been covered in urine for a time untold. They are covered in layers of dirt
that don’t come off with a normal bath. They have sores on them that aren’t easy to look at for long. They have blood all over them that has been dried and caked on them for too long. This isn’t you’ve been playing in the dirt and grass on a hot day type of stinky and dirty. This is a turn your head away and distance yourself type of stinky.
So, here our girls are. Looking and smelling pretty and clean. Healthy and gorgeous as always. And here are these babies. Who would think we could come across babies Eve wouldn’t naturally just throw herself at? So there are girls are and one thought keeps coming into Eve’s mind over and over again: these are who He came for and who He loved. What a thought! We look at our babies, dressed in their cute little clothes, clean and pretty and adorable, and they are so easy to love on. But Jesus didn’t come just for them. It must have driven His desciples crazy that He spent so much time with tax collectors, prostitutes, children, the outcasts, and those that nobody else loved. I mean following a King Jesus that only associated with royalty would have been easy to follow. Or at the very least a middle-class Jesus that understands the plight of the poor but is more comfortable with the respectable, honorable members of society. That Jesus would have been easier to follow. But He came for the sick and the needy. He had compassion on those society shunned. He cared less about what the important people of the day thought and how He appeared in the eyes of men, and He cared more about the plight of those the Father loved.
So we learned a valuable lesson that day. Our girls got a taste of loving on the unlovable. We got a taste of what His love is like. Of seeing through the stuff on the outside that is temporary and unimportant, and loving what is on the inside. We also realized that as dirty as those kids were, spiritually we are just as filthy, and Jesus loves us anyway. We have a good God!
Thanks for following along in our adventures! We are thankful to God for you and for all of your prayers for us. Don’t forget to read the prayer requests on the prayer requests page to keep up with our latest requests.
Thanks and God bless!