Our Albanian Christian friend posted on Facebook that never in his life had he felt as scared as he had that September day. While we were in the US, a couple of sizable earthquakes, followed by aftershocks lasting throughout the night, jolted our neighborhood in Durres, Albania. Worst of all, people were terrified to sleep in their homes and shaken psychologically.
Albanians have been shaken and psychologically scarred even more so by over four centuries of rule by Muslim Turks and over four decades of rule by a dictator who pursued a ruthless agenda of establishing a completely atheistic state. With Albania now a democracy, we rejoice at the complete freedom we have to share of our hope in Christ and aid in the development of a church here. We delight in how God has radically changed lives in our neighborhood, like that of Everest*, who used to say that the stories he read in the Bible with missionaries were just fairy tales, but now is a lay leader in our church. Then, there is Kara*, whom we have known for years as a mischievous child, but also a faithful attender of Christian meetings. Now she gathers groups of her friends at school to read the Bible with them. In fact, we have a group of believers in Durres with stories like these who now make up our small church.
Will you pray along with us for God to move the hearts of those we are ministering to in Albania to fully commit themselves to Christ? Will you pray along with us that people will not forget the earthquakes but instead leave behind fear to embrace the urgency of where they will spend eternity? Will you pray along with us for us as missionaries to have boldness and wisdom as we share our faith and minister here? Will you pray along with us for Christians to not get so focused on their daily lives and making more money that they forget the importance of their faith and growing closer to Christ?
We pray for more earthquakes, but this time the spiritual variety. We do not pray for the ground and buildings to move, but for centuries of spiritual strongholds to be shaken and broken down!
* Name changed for security reasons