From atheism to baptisms
Once the world’s first atheist state, Albania is now experiencing greater religious freedom and BMS worker Graham Sansom, who pastors Vlora Baptist Church, tells BMS 24:7 Partners how God is changing the lives of young people there. Here is the testimony of Drini who was recently baptised:
Drini was born in Vlora but his father was posted to a village to work where there was a deep Greek influence. One Greek tradition that existed was that an affluent man sponsored a boy from a poor family.
Drini’s father is nominally Muslim, but was happy to permit the sponsorship of his son for his clothes, school equipment etc. Part of this ‘agreement’ involved the child being baptised into the Orthodox Church.
So, when he was nine years-old, Drini was baptised. He does not recall any understanding of the event but does believe that God was graciously at work in his early life.
When he began Vlora University, Drini completed a slip to say that he would like to hear from someone at Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), so Edi – a member of Vlora Baptist Church fellowship – started to meet with him regularly to discuss the Christian faith.
After a year Drini decided that Jesus was “the truth and the way” and began to attend church.
After completing his degree he tried unsuccessfully to find work in Vlora. This was a testing time. Albanian parents make sacrifices to see their children through education and expect that, upon completion, their children will help to support the family financially.
Drini chose to follow Christ’s call to serve with CCC and wonderfully his father allowed him to. “My father is not a believer”, Drini said, “but he is big-hearted and said, ‘You must do what you want to do and if ever you find yourself in need you must come to me.’”
This young man is full of quiet enthusiasm and integrity and has committed his life to the Lord. Please pray for him.
Here are the testimonies of four other Albanian youngsters who were baptised along with Drini: