Country-gospel singer Michael Ramplin likes to combine three of his passions – music (country – gospel & country), an orphanage in Albania and, of course, his faith in God. With few exceptions over the last twenty years Michael jets off regularly to Albania to support the children of the orphanage in Sarande. With the backing of the church and individual supporters he is able to buy the children things they need, such as clothing, and he takes the children and staff on a coach trip, usually to a small coastal resort. Most of all, he encourages the children to have faith in Jesus. Michael usually borrows a guitar from the local church and sings songs with the children. They simply adore his mixture of old country music and gospel, joining in and singing along, giving the staff, Michael and most importantly, the kids, a really enjoyable, uplifting and valuable experience.
The director and staff at the orphanage do a great job; they really show loving care for the children. There has been a bible class in the orphanage for many years now, run by various Christians. There is also a youth group every week, which some of the older children attend.
Michael started this work with two friends about 20 years ago, calling it ‘A Cross in Albania’. The other two had to retire from the work, and sadly one of them passed away in 2018. In memory of this person, the room in the orphanage where bible classes are held was named ‘A Cross in Albania’.
There are about 40 children in the orphanage; some are orphaned whilst others come from broken homes. The children attend the local school until they reach 16 and then usually leave the orphanage. Some go onto further education and, where possible, others go to live with a family member.
The children regularly attend a local church and Michael also goes to a Roma church about six miles from Sarande to support its congregation. The orphanage tries hard to raise the children to achieve their potential in a land short on opportunity, more so for those with disadvantaged backgrounds. Michael shares with them the wonderful message of God’s redeeming love, entreating them to follow Him, asking Him to take care of each of them, both in the orphanage and for the rest of their lives.
If you would like more information about Sarande Orphanage, or if perhaps you would like to make a one-off donation or become a regular sponsor – or just pray for the work of the orphanage and Michael, please contact us.