The core group of Priority Associates under Doris Weathers leadership wanted to do more in the way of missions. Being ill, Doris was unable to attend the last meeting. Teresa Hamby urged the group to pray in Doris’s absence the Prayer of Jabez: “Oh, God, that you would enlarge our territory!” (1Chronicles 4:10) We, of Priority, do believe God has enlarged our territory and given us the opportunity to pray for and support the cause of Christ in Albania and beyond.
The core group along with others present on May 1, found themselves blessed in the midst of five former Muslims of Albania. These missionaries are now with Campus Crusade for Christ and have been reaching out with the Gospel to Kosovo, Lebanon, Bosnia, Turkey and Albania.
Christianity is very young in Albania; they had been 500 years under Islam and 50 years under Communism. Bibles were forbidden until 1991. At that time Albania opened its boarders to allow the Gospel to be presented.
One of the missionaries to speak, Edi Demo, was born in 1978. He is now married with two small sons and comes from a Muslim background. He was reared without any religion in the most atheistic state in the world. Now Edi considers himself among the first generation of Albanian Christians. After World War II, Communism took over; they even destroyed Islam. No one could mention the name of God. But that was not all bad as it opened the door for the youth to want to know their Creator.
In 1991 Communism fell; freedom came to Albania after 550 years of darkness. Edi had lived with a big electrical fence around his country. TV was not permitted, only government controlled newspapers were allowed. There was no foreign trade. Edi had never heard of Coca Cola, nor did he know what bananas were. Albania, the size of Maryland had a population of 3 and1/2 million people, yet was isolated from the world.
Edi said that soon after Albania became free, American missionaries came to show movies about Jesus. He was very curious. He had been taught that his people were the best; he wanted to see what the Americans looked like.
Using the Gospel of Luke, the missionaries explained about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Edi wondered if this was a fairy tale, or did the Americans have such good medicine they could cause people to live again. He wanted to know more. In the process of his learning, Edi began to read his Bible. He couldn’t believe God’s Son died for him. But after much study and prayer, Edi gave his life to Jesus in 2001. His wife, Bona, and her identical twin sister are also Christians and serve along with Edi and other Albanian missionaries.
Next Priority Associates, Tuesday, July 31, speaker and soloist: Heather Neese, Cary, employed by Angel Ministries as Revival Assistant for Anne G. Lotz. Bentwinds Country Club/$10/person. Reservations: Faye Johnson 919-552-3763 or firstname.lastname@example.org.