Church Groups Aid Albanian Villagers

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Nearly every resident of the Albanian village of Gredec is homeless after a Communist-era ammunition dump located near the town blew up last month.

The damage, however, is greater than just the lost houses. Nearly every family in the small community had a loved one killed or injured in the blast.

Albania's tiny group of Christians have been busy, trying helping heal the town's wounds.

26 Dead, More Than 300 Injured

It was reported that the blast was heard 100 miles away. Twenty-six people died and more than 300 were injured when the old ammunition exploded.

All that remains of the village is a huge crater and the shattered remains of houses.

Residents have received only token compensation by the government for the disaster, which occurred five weeks ago. Those who decided to stay are living in tents. It is estimated the repair of their houses will take months.

Meanwhile, there is no electricity and the people are having to rely on unsafe well water.

Albanian Army officials warn live ordinance may be buried in the area surrounding the town.

However, Christian groups in Albania, supported by churches as far away as Scotland, are trying to help the victims.

Mission Possible in Tirana rushed in beds, mattresses and truck loads of food to the villagers.

CBN News accompanied one such delivery, which included special treats for the children. They also brought along a team of young Christians to entertain the residents.

Every child received a toy and every family was given a supply of food.

Most of the families are cultural Muslims, who have never been exposed to Christians until this disaster.  Now churches are welcome in this village, because they are bringing practical help, as well as something else that's desperately needed - hope.

*Original broadcast April 25, 3008.

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