“Although at the time I didn’t know God, I now look back and see that God was looking after me,” tells Besim*, who came to faith whilst recovering from a heart attack.

The OM team first made a connection with Besim and his wife, Mirela*, through their two granddaughters, who attended the children’s programme at the Emmanuel Centre. The team at the Emmanuel Centre works primarily amongst the Roma community, sharing God’s love in both spiritual and practical ways. With the Albanian culture placing a huge emphasis on hospitality, the team regularly makes visits to families’ homes, where they are warmly welcomed.

One of these homes was Besim and Mirela’s. Through their visits both Mirela and her granddaughters had become believers, but Besim had not. “At that time, our team was all female,” explains Christine, leader of the Emmanuel Centre team. “Therefore, when we arrived at his house, Beism would excuse himself and leave the house.”

This all changed when Besim suffered his first heart attack. As he tells the story of the event, Besim humorously acts out the way he lay on the stretcher, unable to move. From the joy that he exudes, it is easy to see how his relationship with Christ made an impact on his life.

Besim received good treatment and was quickly able to return home. When he arrived home, the team came to visit. Being unable to leave his bed, he had no choice but to stay and listen. The team talked with the family about the gospel and what it meant to follow Christ. During this time, Besim came to realise that although he hadn’t known God, God knew him and had been watching over him, before and after his heart attack. This revelation led Besim to put his faith in Christ.

With prayer and support from his family and the team, Besim made a good recovery, but Mirela remained concerned for her husband, in case it should happen again. She didn’t want to leave him alone at home, causing an obstacle to her regular attendance at the Emmanuel Centre women’s meeting. The first week that she brought him along, Christine gently informed Mirela why she could not allow Besim to attend the meeting. “If I allow Besim to stay, then the other women may feel uncomfortable about talking openly, and their husbands will not like that a man is there,” explained Christine.

However, she did not want Mirela to miss out on the meeting, so Christine suggested that Besim could sit in the church, above the room in which the meeting was held, where he could read the Bible, pray and worship God.

At first, Besim was hesitant, due to still being young in his faith, but when Christine and Mirela returned to him after the meeting, he was captivated by the presence of God and was reluctant to leave. “Now, this has become a regular thing,” tells Christine. “Every week, he really looks forward to it, and his faith has become very strong.”

Growing in faith

After some time Besim suffered a second heart attack. His experience was like the first, except this time he knew God was watching over him. Before leaving the hospital, Besim was told by the doctors that they had put a stent in and, therefore, it shouldn’t happen again. So, it was unexpected when, recently, Besim suffered a third heart attack. At the hospital, he was surprised to learn that the time before, the stent had not actually been implanted, but was informed that this time it truly had.

Since then Besim’s heart has remained healthy. The OM team continues to meet with him and his family, and he continues to grow in his faith, with a desire to share it with others in his community.

Pray for Besim and his family. Pray for continued health and opportunities for him to share his faith with others. Pray too for the Emmanuel Centre team as they seek to show God’s love to the Roma community.

*name changed

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Physiotherapist Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a heart to serve disabled children, and want to serve God outside your native country? If this is so, OM Albania is in need of a physiotherapist, who can help handicapped children.
Full Details
Women's Ministry Worker Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleMany women in Albania are living without hope. They work very hard both in and out of the home and are often limited by their husbands or fathers about where they can go and what they can do.
OM Albania seeks to give these women the hope found in Jesus, so that they can find out about God's love despite their difficult circumstances. If this is something that you have a heart for, join us!

Full Details
Writer Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleA writer in Albania will be writing stories for the purposes of advocacy, recruiting, financial development, education, awareness and prayer. The position involves producing insightful and engaging content of ministry, culture and people. They will be used in print and online publications to encourage engagement with OM through prayer of, giving to, or joining missions. OM writers share stories of God’s work through OM in an accurate, culturally sensitive way.
Full Details
Loving Kids with Special Needs Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a heart to work with children with special needs, and do you want to serve God in a country which is not your own? OM Albania is in need of a physical therapists, but also for people that have a heart for the handicapped.
Full Details
Accountant Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAs an accountant on the mission field with OM, you will use your financial management skills toward the purpose of seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers established among the least reached. This important role is vital to ministry on the field. As an accountant in OM, you would provide accountability for the cash transactions conducted on the field and perform duties to assist with accounting functions pertaining to bank accounts, budgets, journal entries, financial reporting and administrative changes, guided by precedent and guidelines of established polices. Participation in local ministry and team life may also be aspects of your role.
Full Details
Short-Term Mission Coordinator Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAlbania needs someone who is passionate about evangelism and enjoys motivating people to serve and be involved in mission.

The evangelical church in Albania is just 0.5% of the population. Many people have not heard of Jesus and the church needs help to spread the Good News. There are people and churches around the world that want to come to Albania. You could be the link that brings these together.

Full Details
Personnel Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you an organized, people-oriented person, who likes to recruit workers for the least reach countries? If you answered yes, this is your opportunity!
Full Details
Working with marginalized / Sinti and Roma Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleHow do you feel when you see children instead of going to school, collecting plastic bottles to have enough to eat?  Would you like to be part of making a difference? Could you see yourself loving and teaching them, sharing God´s word of hope? OM Albania has a ministry aimed at these people, the Emanuel Center.
Full Details
Music Therapist Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a heart to work with children with special needs, and do you want to serve God in a country which is not your own? OM Albania is in need of a music therapist - someone who has a heart for the handicapped.
Full Details
IT Officer Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you good with computers and IT and willing to use these gifts in overseas mission? We need someone to keep our systems functioning properly, to help our team in areas of IT that they don't understand and to handle security of devices and information.
Full Details
Church Planter Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleSince our beginnings, we have been driven by a deep conviction that everyone should have the opportunity to hear the gospel at least once. Sadly, there are still thousands of peoples and communities that have never heard about Jesus, ever. We are looking for people with a passion for Jesus and a passion to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers established among the least reached. We focus on evangelism, discipleship and church planting among those who have never yet heard of Christ.
Full Details
People Care Albania    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you love to listen to people's stories, build relationships and speak into people's situations? This role of people care is to be a person within our team who is focused on the mental and emotional well being of the team members and to give counseling if needed. We seek a person with a great love for their fellow Christians, and who desires to assist, counsel and provide spiritual care for our missionaries as they serve God in this country.
Full Details