Merilda is a 19-year-old college student living in Muslim-majority Albania. She’s studying Environmental Engineering and hopes she can find a job when she graduates. She’s confident God will come through for her.
She recalls a time in her life when her faith wasn’t nearly as strong. She explains, “As a child, my mother took me to church all the time. I didn’t understand what was going on at that time, or the importance of going to church.” At one point in her childhood, she reveals she stopped going to church altogether. “One day, at school, my friends laughed at me for going to church. I felt very bad,” she says quietly.
Embarrassed, Merilda didn’t go to church for a long time. Instead, she did the things her friends were doing. Her mother wanted her to keep up her church attendance, but she resisted. “It’s not that I was doing a lot of bad things,” she explains with a shrug. “I was simply not going to church. Instead, I was living my life according to my own thoughts.”
One day when her pastor visited her family, he asked her why she stopped coming to church. “I just started crying,” she shares. “I didn’t know why. I thought, 'Let me go to church for Christmas.' I realized it would be good to go to church again.” Merilda immersed herself in activities, and her pastor invited her to become a part of their Project Philip Bible study. “My faith grew as I began to understand the Word of God. I have read many other books, but these Bible study lessons and materials helped me to understand so many things. I was transformed as I read them. I now believe that God has a wonderful plan for me, and in His time, He will it to show me,” she beams.