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You are helping us to reach the Muslim people in the Balkans and to help the church spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over the Balkans.
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My name is Alida and I am from Kosovo. I was raised in a Muslim family with 5 other members. After the war in 1999, I started going to this ‘church’ for English classes and also Bible studies. I became a Christian in 2005. One of the reasons why I decided to accept Jesus in my life (out of my parents’ will and knowledge) was because every time I was around Christians they would talk about God’s love. They would talk how God loves you. It was something that I had never heard before, how God who has created everything loves me. Why would He love me? Isn’t He busy doing some more important things? These were some of the questions that I had wondered about. But no, I got to understand that God, the Creator of the Universe loves me personally, and is interested in me specifically. That was the main reason why I decided to believe in Jesus, the living proof of God’s love!
After I became a Christian, it wasn’t that easy. There were many struggles being a Christian in a Muslim family/society. Not being able to share and talk about God was probably one of the hardest. I have 3 other siblings, 1 older brother and a younger brother and a younger sister. Slowly, my younger siblings came to the Lord too and some things got easier, at least now I was able to talk more freely with my brother.
When I was going in high school, one of my biggest dreams was to go to college in America. I had no idea how that was going to happen, but I kept saying that God has a way. Before college, God led me to YWAM (Youth with a Mission) to do a Discipleship Training School and was able to go to Costa Rica for a 2 month mission trip. This was one of the seasons where God truly changed my life. It was a time where I got to see more of God’s character, to see who He is and what He does. I used to think that everything was superficial and nobody really cared about anybody else. That everything was for a reason and everyone wants something in return. Instead I learned that God does things out of His great love. His full provision for my school was not because I deserved any of it, but because He is for me and loves me.
After finishing DTS, God was leading me to do the School of Biblical Studies, again with YWAM. I didn’t want to do it, because college was in my mind and that’s all I wanted to do. It was a battle between me and God. Was I going to listen and obey Him, or was I going to do what I desired?! This was the time where God was teaching me to let go of my desires and believe that what He has for me is always better. I finally let go of college in my heart and I applied for SBS and was accepted. Looking back, that was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. SBS is a 9 month course where we study the Bible intensely and verse by verse, every single book, and learn to apply it today in our lives and society. It was great because it taught me even more about God and His amazing redemption plan, and His mercy and grace and so much more.
My life was changed, my heart and mind were renewed and I was overwhelmed by His goodness. I keep being overwhelmed every time I think of the great things that the Lord has done for me. Coming from a poor country, I would have never been able to come to America and pay for school. But instead, God has been providing for me ever since I started this crazy, scary and giant journey called Education. Living with God is like living on the edge; it’s scary at times but it’s beautiful because I see God showing up for me and always being faithful.
Even though I had let go of college, God made it happen. Things worked out for me to attend Oral Roberts University. Balkans Partners took responsibility to share awareness of my need for my studies and they took me as their project, they stayed with me all the time for 4 years till I graduated and got married. I am thankful to God for my Church “Mission Kosovo” Church in my birth country Kosovo, and I thank God for Balkans Partners coming alongside our church and people like me and raise me up and train me so I will serve God and have better life. Balkans Partners has many other projects that is working with “Mission Kosovo” Church spreading the gospel and seeing the Lord changing the lives of people. If you are a person who want to contribute and help reach out to Muslims in Balkans, consider clicking by donating below and giving to help out the church, pastor and individuals just like Alida to restore their lives.
Argolida Kela is one of the students that Balkans Partners have supported in the study with Youth With a Mission. Courses she has completed with YWAM include the Discipleship Training School and the School of Biblical Studies.
Here is what Argolida says about her studies.
As you noticed, my name is Argolida Kela, and what I can say to you is that God Loves You. I have been thinking what to put about me in this page, so I will make it short: I am a student, my heart is to lead people in worship and teach them about God. I love to go to different mission fields and talk to people about the good news of salvation. I want to share with you my testimony and how I met God and came to know the truth, – Click Here
On May 2017, Argolida Kela finished Moody Bible Insitute with a BA in Communications and Biblical Studies. She got married (yet with the celebration to happen in Kosovo) and lives with her husband in New York.
Prayers are still appreciated as living in a new place is not easy. The need now is to find a good job and a very solid church. Thank you for your support and your prayers.
Several years before the war in Kosovo pastor Skender was introduced to the Word of God – Bible from the leader of the Evangelical Church in city of Gjakova. Click here to read his testimony
Pastor Skender Hoti has started to study the Word of God – Bible in short Bible schools, seminaries, conferences, online, from the passion and hunger for God, a passion, and hunger that he has had till his last breath, because He was a passionate student of the Word of God and had passion to share it with others. Four years after the War in Kosovo pastor Skender was invited to take over and lead the “Mission Kosovo Fellowship” then called Emanuel Center Fellowship, a small church in the house planted by the Albanian Missionary under the leadership and support of several Missionaries from USA.
Pastor Skender lead the church with enthusiasm and passion and had the heart to reach out for Jesus to the community and people all over Kosovo and Balkans and start other new church’s. He preached time after time also in the other places in Kosovo, in the states surrounding Kosovo and Europe, those places that God called him. His big heart to reach out the youth especially, has made him to lead to Christ a big number of the youth and disciple them, by teaching them to know God and have relationship with Him and know the will and plan of God for their life. Pastor Skender was married and had three beautiful children. The pastor was also one of those regular and passionate bloggers, where He wrote articles and discussed with believers and unbelievers: Albanians and foreigners wherever they are. His articles have challenged and also made think about their faith many people around the world.
He liked very much to teach, preach, discuss, debate, around the issues of life, and also subjects and topics related to the Bible.
He was a strong supporter of the Albanian Ghegg dialect and many times preached and used that during his teaching.
He died on January 8, 2017, due to a fire that started at the house he was staying which was also the place where the believers gathered together. Unfortunately, his loss has caused a lot of pain and the church is experiencing a very difficult time.
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