In the small village of Gorre, which struggles economically and with unemployment, OM Albania partners with a local evangelical church. In September 2017, Erna* (a long term OMer) started a sewing course to teach ladies skills that would financially help their families and provide an opportunity for them to hear the gospel. This group of 10 ladies, two of them being from the church, enthusiastically learnt how to make women's clothing.
Once a week, Erna does a Bible study with the group, encouraging them to read the New Testament; those who did not have one at the beginning of the programme, received one. Interestingly, one of the ladies who was quite sceptical in the beginning, was the first to start reading the New Testament! Though the women are from an Orthodox background, their faith had been based on observing traditions and religion. They had many different questions, and the Bible study became longer every week. After some time, Erna and her helper explained what it meant to be saved. When Erna asked if anyone wanted to commit her life to Jesus, a few women said, “Yes” immediately, while others had more questions. After explaining the gospel clearly, emphasising it was a personal decision coming from the heart and not to please her, Erna led the ladies in prayer. Afterwards, when she asked who had prayed, Erna found out all eight ladies who had not known Christ as their Saviour had prayed.
Erna shared, “It was hard for me to believe it! Yes, I had prayed for their salvation, but I was so amazed at what God had done in their lives. Glory to God for this awesome miracle!”
Within a week, all the ladies reported that they had seen changes in their lives. One lady asked, “What happens to my children and husband now that I am a believer?” Erna told her that each of them has to make a decision, but that she should pray that the Holy Spirit would touch their lives.
The Holy Spirit did powerfully move in one woman from the sewing course who seemed to have previously committed her life to Jesus, but had turned to following superstitions and traditions. This lady had superstitious items in her home; however, after hearing the truth, as far as Erna understands, she cleared her house of them.
Although the sewing course finished, the ladies wanted to continue the Bible study. A number of the women from the course have been attending, as well as other women who were not in the sewing training.
Family members can make it difficult at times for some of the women to attend Bible study; please pray that the ladies will not face family opposition, but will have the permission and desire to go to church and the Bible study. Also, please pray for Erna as she continues with other sewing courses—that more women’s hearts would be as open as these precious ladies from Gorre. Pray for Albanian women to be strengthened and to together grow spiritually as they sow into God’s Kingdom.
* surname not mentioned for security reasons