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Cairn Students Serve in Mission Trip to Albania 

Mission Trip

From May 28–June 8, a group of Cairn students and alumni traveled to Albania with the purpose of partnering with Fondacioni Jo Gjakmarrjes Po Jetes, which means “No Blood Feuds, Yes Life Foundation,” to carry out the foundation’s mission of supporting and encouraging those affected by blood feuds prominent in Northern Albania. Blood feud is a practice that traces back from over 500 years ago. Blood feud culture demands that if a murder is committed, a murder must be executed in retribution. Over the years, the feud developed into continual, back-and-forth killing between families, as retribution is not often taken out on the original murderer. This mindset has created a continual, unbreakable cycle. Unfortunately, the Albanian government continues to deny its existence, perpetuating the problem and causing many families to suffer for generations.

As part of working with Fondacioni Jo Gjakmarrjes Po Jetes, the group aided in running the foundation’s Kids Camp, aimed to serve children affected by these blood feuds, as they struggle with the loss of family members and breaking away from the ideals of blood feuds. Children of these blood feud families often skip school, struggle with maintaining their mental health, often feeling unloved. The camp offered respite for these children, where the mission team could spend time with these children. This simple act had a profound impact on the children and the team, as they showed them the genuine love and compassion of Christ, learning about the brokenness these children endure. Students also had the chance to lead a worship service at a local church in addition to sharing testimonies, reading Scripture, singing worship songs in Albanian, and praying together.

Despite the negative culture surrounding blood feuds, the mission team was able to appreciate other Albanian traditions such as investing in deep relationships, partaking in meals, and hosting sports events to continue to develop the sense of community they had quickly come to cherish in their time in Albania.

One student, Gabrielle Parache, said of the trip: “I am immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to go on this mission trip. It was a blessing to work with the children there and to see the amazing things the Lord is doing in Albania. The Lord used this trip to increase my faith and develop me spiritually.”


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