Whether you understand Albanian or not, Besim’s* colourful hand gestures and animated speech translate his passion for Scripture. He shows up to church every week for Bible training, telling his teacher, Joelle: “It was such a good lesson. I read it three or four times so that I made sure I understand it.”
In a town where almost everyone is Muslim, Besim’s impact as the only known local believer is immeasurable. Although having been in the church almost since its beginning 12 years ago, Besim has not had many opportunities for in-depth spiritual and theological training.
Now, once a week in the Dukagjini Region of Kosovo, OM American team member Joelle leads a Bible and discipleship training programme for Besim and two other local believers.
As a local church, the aim is to train local believers to grow in their understanding of the Bible and to equip them to be co-labourers in the ministries of the church and the spreading of the gospel. This Bible training programme is opening a door to build a stronger biblical foundation from which Besim and the other students can share God’s hope with those closest to him.
Joelle uses materials to facilitate discussions and keep the believers on track in processing what they are learning. While using her own books in English, Joelle guides the three believers through Albanian books. Although her language is still developing after only 10 months in Kosovo, Joelle shares her own biblical training and wisdom, guiding Besim through “Christian Life,” a course focused on the basic beliefs of the Christian faith.
At the same time she is working with her other two students on the next series of books, “Christian Service,” a course about putting the basic beliefs into practical ministry. They each mutually contribute from the insights of the others, and the two other local believers who speak English translate a word or two when necessary.
With the gospel as their centre point despite language differences, Joelle recognises the long-term significance of their weekly sessions.
“I am excited for this opportunity to be part of discipleship and equipping these local believers to be more effective in sharing the gospel in their own communities,” she said.
Out of the harsh environment of a town boasting only one believer, God is growing deep roots to produce a harvest of disciples.
Pray for Besim and the other students to grow in their knowledge of God’s Word and to be bold in sharing the gospel in their communities. Please pray that God will use this training and opportunities like it to multiply labourers in Kosovo and around the world.
To read more about God's work through OM Kosovo, see their news webpage.