Life without my dad is so hard. Sometimes, I still can’t believe my dad is gone.
I wish my dad was here so that I could tell him how much I need him and how hard has been without him standing by my side. The last time I saw him was 230days ago. Almost 8months, and it feels like 8days and I carry his memory with me everywhere I go. My mind knows he’s in a better place, where there is no pain and no tears. I used to say ”I can’t imagine life without my dad” And now well; I don’t need to imagine it, I love and miss him every day.
My mind still talks to him, my heart still looks for him, my soul knows that he is at peace. Not a day goes by that I don’t look at his pictures and smile. We hold our dad close within our hearts and there he will remain, walking with us throughout our lives until we meet again. You’re not here to look at me, but I know you’re in heaven and your living spirit is listening to me. Even though I want you with my full strength and love, I still have to say thank you to God for ever day of your life. You made us proud. I promise you daddy that your pride will be build day by day and we are going to be what you always wanted us to be; educated, having good grades and always walking in God’s Word.
– written by: Debora Hoti
Life is like a storm that collides but when we know that we have someone important who leads us to where we are supposed to go and He is someone that found me when I did not know where to lean on and everything in my life had no meaning. Jesus was always there.
In 2000 I had a brochure in my hand with Bible stories. The first story that I started to read was the story of Jesus on the cross and God started to touch me through that story. Immediately I went and told someone that was close to me that I started to read something really interesting. I told them that this person whose name is Jesus is innocent and look how the people beat Him and mistreated Him. During the time that I shared that story something in my heart would move. However, because I was in a Muslim family, it was very hard to express myself.
One month I saw crowds of people coming at a restaurant in front of my house where I used to live. They were preaching from the Bible but I couldn’t go regularly even though it was close to where we used to live. Our dad was very difficult and I couldn’t dare to ask him if I could go join that group of people and see what they’re teaching. If I asked him if I could go there I knew that he was going to threaten me even with my life. A year passed by and I started listening to worship music and this would make me feel amazing. I couldn’t dare to read the Bible much because the mentality of my family was like that of my father. One day I was invited to a family meeting and I didn’t know that God made it possible for the man that I was supposed to marry to be invited there to that party. We introduced ourselves and he wanted me to have 10 minutes to talk to him. He told me that he likes me and that he had seen me 2 years ago but he didn’t have a chance to meet with me but he knew who I was.
He told me that he likes me a lot and knowing that he knew me very well he asked me to go out with him on a walk so that we can talk more. So we went and talked about a lot of things. However, after 2 weeks I saw him again because he came over to my family’s house in Peja and my family accepted him because I already told them about him. It was at that time that he proposed to me and he told me that he was very busy directing some children’s meeting and also was in charge of taking care of the church that he was staying at.
In 2002 we were engaged and after 3 months we were married. Life went by and I was the happiest person in the world because I was blessed in this marriage. God blessed us with three kids; two daughters and a son and it was a huge blessing for me. He was the Pastor of the Protestant Church and we were a very blessed family with our kids growing up but the years went by so fast.
One night in Dec 28th, 2016 an explosion and fire destroyed our church where we also used to live. The building was burned completely. The kids and I were safe but Skender wasn’t. He was in critical condition as we were trying to do everything we could to take him outside of the country for treatment. On January 8th, 2017 he died, God decided to take him by His side. Life is very hard without him.
He was a very good dad to our kids and to the church as well as a very amazing husband to me. We miss him more every day because it is very hard to live life without the other half of your body. We are trying to walk forward and God is taking care of us in a very amazing way and He keeps us in His hand so that we can be strong in Him alone.
Now we live in an apartment which we rent, but I know God has a plan for us as He has been providing every single need. He will also provide a home that will be ours. We are all praying.
– written by: Valbona Hoti
Blediar Kela is a 6 year-old child that lives in our neighborhood. His two older sisters attend our church; both are Christians and love Jesus Christ. His family is Muslim in background.
Blediar broke his leg when he was hit by a different child with bicycle about three weeks before he and his family were to go to the church’s summer camp for families. He was sent to the doctor to be examined and the doctor treated him, but the problem recurred again one week before camp. The bone had cracked again where he broke it. He went again to the doctor and was treated again, and he was told to not step on the leg for 30 days. Because Blediar’s parents had applied for the camp, they took Blediar with him.
On the second day of camp in the morning meeting, Dr. Robert Primrose spoke on prayer as he had on the first day, and then we prayed for people that needed prayer. Blediar told his mom Valinda that he wanted us specifically to pray for him, so his mom brought him forward and one of the friends that came from USA, Brian Primrose– nephew of Dr.Primrose– prayed for his leg to be healed. A day later we noticed him being stepping on the leg though the doctor said to not do it. However, Blediar still feared to release his weight on it completely because of what happened to him before when the bone cracked.
Right after camp I was asked by Brian how Blediar was, and I had this answer for him.
Watch here and see the answer.
The child in the picture is the son of Bondi Halmuth (background–names are changed to protect the family). He is a faithful member of the church in Kosovo. He is holding his son Nick who was born 8 months ago and from that time till now his birth weight increased only 2 kg because he threw up anything He ate. Doctors several days ago admitted him in hospital and they learned that he was born with a serious anomaly. His heart is on the right side and that, with associated anomalies, was bringing problems in his health and growth. The church, along with people across the world, were urged to pray for God to heal the baby. A few days later, Nick was again examined and found to be healthy. In the time since, he has been gaining weight and functioning as a normal, healthy child should.
Bondi’s wife was Muslim when they married, and though they both wanted children, she was unable to conceive. Then the church prayed for her, and God granted them this child. At that time, the wife then chose to become a follower of Jesus Christ. God intervened to preserve the child he gave them, and they are grateful.
To introduce myself, my name is Alexa (editor’s note: name has been changed for Alexa’s protection) and I am from Kosovo, a state in Eastern Europe in the Balkans. Kosovo is a country whose population is 90% Muslim, and I was born and raised in a Muslim family. We live in the community house where my father’s family lives with his three brothers, two of them married with children and one single brother. All told, 17 people live together in the house.
My parents were not practicing Muslims but they kept the feasts and Muslim traditions, and the family expected us to do the same things. My older sister started attending an evangelical church, and she became a believer in Jesus when she was young. She invited me to go to the children’s meetings with her, and there I heard stories from the Bible and about Jesus. It took me 9 years before I made a real commitment. However, I finally made that commitment one day when I went to prayer time with some young teens who gathered and prayed with the pastor each week through the summer. Before prayer one week, he spoke on the judgment which is to come upon the world, and he added that all those that repent of their sins and believe Jesus will be saved. My heart started to tremble, and I started to think. I was not in peace at all from those words. Then the next day I went again in prayer and the pastor challenged me to repent and declare Jesus as Lord and savior, making sure I understood that believing in Christ is losing everything and separating and denying my old religion and the faith that I was taught. Again that fear started to shake my heart. I don’t know how, but I finally said, ‘Yes, I believe, and yes I want to pray and declare Jesus is the Lord.’ So I did, and a peace unexplained came into my heart and I felt different. I felt like the world was different.
After that day my life started to take a new direction. I started to be regular in meetings, and I read the Bible regularly and learned to pray and attend Bible study, and learned to obey the Word of God. My life has changed; I now love a real God, I now love to practice and obey the truth of the Word of God, I love to share with my friends about Jesus who is resurrected from the dead. I have been rejected by friends, who have spoken bad about my faith and called me a traitor, but I don’t care. I know that my Jesus lives.
I can say that my life has changed a lot, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t have problems. I do, but as long as I have Jesus, I believe that He will always teach me how to persevere and grow stronger and deeper in Him.