For a number of years, Nancy along with the leadership and staff of Revive Our Hearts have had a desire to minister to sexually-trafficked women and Muslim women. Recently our Media Director, Wes Ward, was invited to visit several countries in Eastern Europe that would like to air Revive Our Hearts Radio. Since he returned, Albania is one of the countries we can’t stop thinking about and praying for.
Last month, Enkelejda—an influential Albanian woman God is using to impact her world with the Gospel through Christian radio—visited our headquarters here in Michigan. I had the privilege of listening in as she shared the plight of the women and children living in Albania. Her stories have lingered in my mind. I’ve been challenged to consider how I can help to strengthen and encourage our sisters in Albania. Perhaps you will be as well.
Enkelejda describes Albanian women as “used and abused.” Kidnapping, human trafficking, pornography, prostitution, and organ trafficking all run rampant. If you have money, you can buy anything . . . or anyone. Ordering a child seems to be almost as normal as purchasing coffee in a coffee shop.
It wasn’t always this way, but for fifty years, Albania was the most isolated, closed country in the world. Godlessness (atheism) permeated every aspect of Albanian life. Under severe communistic rule everything related to God, the Bible, or Christianity was totally eradicated–even from the dictionary!
All that began to change in 1992 when the borders of Albania were opened. Missionaries were finally able to bring the hope of the gospel into this dark land. Unfortunately, they were not the only ones coming to Albania. Sexual traffickers and kidnappers came in droves . . .
Today, according to Enkelejda, 70 percent of the population worships Allah in this Muslim-dominated country, and less than 1 percent worship Jesus. Of those who follow Jesus, 75% are women and young girls. These women, because of their influence on children, have incredible potential to effect change in the Albanian culture (as well as in other countries like Kosovo). But first they must be grounded in the truth of God’s Word. And that’s a challenge!
An Albanian who comes to faith in Christ begins at ground zero–they have no knowledge or foundational understanding of God’s Word. They have no Christian heritage. There are no older, godly believers to ask questions of or to turn to for biblical wisdom and guidance. Even the most basic tenets of the faith are completely unknown in this country once darkened by communistic rule.
Add the fact that for women there are only two Christian books translated into the Albanian language, and you begin to get a glimpse of the desperate need in this land!
Enkelejda is a woman God has raised up for such a time as this. Since 2002 she’s been airing Christian radio programs proclaiming the Gospel message and helping to establish women in the truth of God’s Word. Lives are being transformed as God’s gift of salvation is understood and embraced.
But she’s just one woman, and she’s asking Revive Our Hearts to step in and help her disciple and reach the women of her country, Kosovo, and Eastern Europe.
Would you join us in praying for an open door to proclaim the Word of God with these women in Eastern Europe? Would you pray for strength and encouragement for your sisters in Albania?
Lord, thank you for the work you are doing in Albania. Thank you for Enkelejda; for her passionate love for you and her resolve to be a vessel through which you bring the hope of the Gospel to the women of Albania. Would you show us how we can join you in what you are doing in Eastern Europe? Father, you’ve blessed us abundantly; show us how we can be a blessing to these women.