Sharing the Best We Have
Posted on May 4, 2020 by VMMissions Staff
A celebration in heaven is taking place, even though on this earth the situation is sad!” This is Solange’s testimony as she sees God working powerfully in Albania among people who are encountering the gospel for the first time. Sanie and Monda are two women who have accepted Jesus and are being discipled by Solange.
Solange’s friend Sanie grew up in the time of communism. Throughout that era, she could not confess any kind of faith. But today she is happy to be following Jesus. She is thirsty for the word of God, and with great joy, she comes to study the Bible. She has had an extraordinary experience in this life with the Lord.
Sanie exclaims to Solange, “Why did I waste so much time and not make this decision before? I feel a transformation in my life from the inside out!” She has already finished the first study, which is the basics of the basics, called “Kush është Perëndia?”[Who is God?]. Next, Sanie, Monda and Solange started reading the book of John together, writing down and memorizing the key verses. This was a beautiful thing for Solange to see. Sanie began to understand that people who do not believe in Jesus will not be saved, so she began to pray seriously for her atheist son. Sanie is the first candidate for baptism next summer at Guri I Themelit, the Mennonite church in Lezhë, Albania.
Likewise, Monda, after beginning discipleship, experienced a miracle testimony in her life through prayer. She began to understand that God is not limited and can bless all who believe. With hope in her heart, she then brought together for discipleship her aunt, Bardha, and her co-worker, Flora. They also accepted Jesus, and have been discipled.
Women from the Lezhë church attend the first conference for women in Albania’s north. Courtesy of Solange Tartari
Flora in particular has a very sad story. Her interest in the gospel was piqued as soon as she heard that the Tartaris were involved in prison ministry. This was because her husband is in prison, serving a sentence for a murder. As trying as this is, serving the court-mandated term is but a small component of the far more demanding, centuries-old system of retribution called “gjakmarrja” [blood-taking]. According to this system of justice, outlined in the ancient Albanian Kanun code, because blood has been shed, the family of the victim considers themselves justified in seeking blood for blood, typically targeting either the perpetrator himself or another male from the family. Indeed, the honor of the deceased demands it.
Thus, none of the men in Flora’s family can go out on the street—at any moment one of them could be killed by someone from the other family. For this reason, her oldest son has fled to another country; the youngest cannot leave the house. In an effort to enhance the safety of her sons, Flora moved to Lezhë and is living with her sister; she works hard to support her children.
Solange shares that the first day she met with this group of women for discipleship, Flora’s countenance was very dejected. Now, it seems she is a different person. The strength she has found in Jesus has been supernatural in her life! Solange says, “We have faith that God will transform her family situation! Her prayer is that her husband will seek forgiveness and be forgiven.”
As Solange concludes, “We all have challenges in life. The least we can do is simply share the best we have in love for others: Jesus! He makes all the difference in us! May God continue to work in hearts for his glory in Lezhë.”