Faith Commitments Blossom in Albania
Matt and Caryl Aukerman began serving with Global Partners in Albania in September of 2006. While serving in Albania, their vision is to “catalyze a movement of disciples who are growing in their own faith, while also reaching and discipling others.” Currently, they are focused on personal evangelism, discipleship and neighborhood children’s ministry, as they work toward that goal. They also provide leadership in raising Albanian leaders at The Church of Hope. Recently, they have seen significant growth in various faith journeys in Albania, which they share below.
Several Albanian teens have taken big faith steps in past months even though the youth group at the Hope Church in Durrës has remained small, following the disruption of COVID.
Oren* committed his heart to Christ as a child and grew up attending kids club, small group meetings and church. Now sixteen, he has begun stepping up as an emerging leader, taking several turns at our Sunday gathering directing the lesson from God’s Word. He also speaks to his friends openly about his faith in Jesus – no small thing in a country where most people identify as Muslim. His witness is impacting others.
Aaron* is one friend influenced by Oren. Months ago, he began attending youth and Sunday worship with his friend. A Muslim by background, he explained that he was coming out of respect. Aaron’s conduct, however, was oftentimes anything but respectful. He would laugh and distract others as they tried to worship and learn. Matt pulled him aside more than once to talk about his behavior. Over time, Aaron became more serious and interested until, as 2022 began, he decided to follow Jesus. As Oren did for him, Aaron in turn is vocal with friends about his new-found faith, and advocates for Jesus with Muslims he interacts with via social media.
In recent months, Larisa* has renewed her involvement in the youth group and church. As summer began, she wanted to find a summer job. She ended up turning one down, because it would’ve required her to work when church meets on Sunday – a sacrifice she was not willing to make. Instead, she trusted God to provide another job that would allow her to attend church. A couple weeks later, the employer contacted her and offered her the same position but with church time free.
Please pray for next-generation Albanian believers!
*Names changed due to security guidelines