Former Carson Valley couple bringing Christmas to Kosova |

Former Carson Valley couple bringing Christmas to Kosova

by Kurt Hildebrand

A former Carson Valley couple living in a Kosovo village victimized by Serbian nationalists continues their good works.

By bringing back crocheted crafts produced by the 158 widows living in the village of Krushe-e-madhe, Don and Marti Denham are helping the people rebuild their village and lives.

Caren Witt of Down on the Farm Country Gift Store is providing a place for the material for the third year in a row.

Each piece includes information about the woman who created it and a suggested donation.

Fay Bartlett, who handles the bookkeeping, said the widows have raised $3,000-$4,000 through the sales of their crafts.

“She has done a magnificent job,” Bartlett said of Witt. “Caren gives every cent back to the widows. They’ve been doing upwards $3,000-$4,000.”

Bartlett visited the village last year with a team from Valley Christian Center, who took children from Kosovo into neighboring Albania.

She spent two weeks in and around Kosovo, meeting parents of the kids and contributing to a few projects.

At 71, Bartlett said she is looking forward to going back to the village next year.

She said that for all the media reports, there is really very little fighting that affects the village.

“We went over after the big skirmish last year, but that did not affect the little villages where we were,” she said. “People knew some of those involved.”

She became bookkeeper for the project shortly after her arrival in Carson Valley five years ago.

The Denhams have been living in Kosovo since 1999 when they sold most of their possessions.

They moved to Gardnerville in 1989.

They are members of the Valley Christian Fellowship. They came home to the states on Nov. 11 and are preparing to return in January.

The couple established a youth center in the village, and they’ve been teaching English and spreading the gospel while they’re there.

“The parents are told up front whether they mind their kids going to the center,” Bartlett said.

“The parents living there had not had a big problem, but on occasion some have been persecuted. One of the kids who went to the camp this summer suffered great persecution when his family found his Bible.”