Faith vs. society in Albania

By May 28, 2014
Photo by SEND International

SEND International has many outreaches in Albania
(Photo by SEND International)

Albania (MNN) — The Gospel flourishes through hard times, but sometimes people resist simply because they are scared to change.

In Albania, the majority of the population is Muslim. SEND International has worked in the area since the early 90s when communism failed and the country fell into poverty.

Many Albanians have become refugees in surrounding countries over the centuries of violence and war.

*Keith, a worker with SEND, says, “God has been so good and opened up multiple opportunities to be a witness for Christ with these people. A lot of it has come through hard times.”

SEND’s initial work was to train Albanians how to farm. Keith explains, “The Christian community really jumped in and served God and showed love in a physical way, but at the same time [they] shared the Gospel and shared their lives.” From there, they developed relationships with the people that provided a foundation for the work they’re doing now.

SEND works out of many different programs including English camps, youth ministry, sports, and community health efforts.

“The Albanians are very hospitable and really appreciate what America has done for them, and that’s an open door. We just get into their lives and into their homes and do multiple different outreaches and evangelism and discipleship,” Keith says.

While many have encountered the Gospel, there is often hesitation to follow Christ. The reason for this may be hard for people of the U.S. to understand.

Keith says, “As Americans, we’re used to being individuals, and we pride ourselves in being individuals. That culture [of Albania] is more of a socially-centered culture. It’s scary to do something and be something that doesn’t fit into the traditional mold of society.”

Keith explains that to follow Christ is to step out from under the protective umbrella of society. SEND desires to help the Albanians understand that only in the arms of God can they truly be safe.

If you want to help, there are quite a few options to consider.

First of all, Keith asks you to pray: “Be praying for those that have been touched with the Gospel. Pray for boldness for them, for clarity in their hearts.”

You can go to Albania as a career missionary or for a short-term trip. Click here for a list of opportunities.

For those considering going to Albania, the ministry works in an area with a miniscule language barrier and where Westerners are welcome.

If you would like to give financially, click here.

Keith says, “A lot of Albanians are insecure [about] the future. A big part of that is that they have been either occupied or harassed over generations by multiple different political powers.”

These people are longing for the security that can only be found in following Christ.

* Full name not used for security reasons

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