“Since I was a child, I obeyed all the rules of the Quran. However, I never felt anything. I was just obeying my father,” Xhoel, a 26-year-old from Sauk, Albania explains. She continued to obey her father for many years, eventually marrying a man she didn’t know, but who her father chose.
At first, their marriage was good. Soon things took a turn when she found out that her husband was drinking and gambling all their money away. In her religious and social culture, women learn to stay quiet and do nothing. So that’s exactly what she did. When they had their first child, the problems only worsened. And when Xhoel finally decided to speak up to her husband, he hurt her.
She says, “I had no place to go. Despair filled my heart. One day, a friend saw me upset and shared about Jesus. She told me how her life changed and my life could change too. She invited me to her house where there was a Project Philip Bible study once a week with other women. Reading the Bible…that was unthinkable in my family.”
Despite her fears, Xhoel decided to go. She says with a smile, “I really had a great time there. I understood more about love in that place, especially how much Jesus loves me. He could change my situation!” Xhoel has gone to the Project Philip Bible study every week since that day. While studying God’s Word, she found new life in Jesus Christ.
When she finished her study, she received a Bible of her own. At first, she read the Bible in secret because she knew her husband wouldn’t allow her. But she also prayed every day. Xhoel reports, “He started to believe, and since then we have peace in our home.”
Being a Christian in Albania means you are in the minority faith. Encourage the under-resourced church by giving today to plant Bibles and biblical resources.
The ministry of Bible League New Zealand is able to plant God’s Word solely through the generous support of the Christian community.