Anke, a 65-year-old wife and mother from Albania, grew up in the communist era. Faith in God was prohibited. “I thought of God as a supernatural power, and I knew nothing else about Him,” she says.
After the collapse of the communist government, her children got married and moved out, leaving Anke and her husband alone. At times, her husband worked overseas, leaving Anke in Albania by herself. The loneliness was overwhelming.
“Now, I read the Bible every day with my husband, and each time,
we receive new strength to move on.”
“We wanted to compensate our loneliness and began to follow the Muslim rites, as Islam was our traditional faith,” she says. “However, we did not feel anything inside of us except the many ruleswe should follow, nothing else."
Once her husband was no longer able to do manual labor, they were forced to sell corn on the streets of their city for money. But soon after they started to generate income, police forced them to stop. “We were alone without anyone's help, and we felt abandoned,” she says. “We started searching for answers in our faith but found none."
One day, she was approached by a woman who showed her love and compassion, then invited her to church. Anke agreed immediately, but her husband was hesitant because of their Muslim religion. Seeing his wife’s insistence, he finally agreed. As soon as they walked through the doors of the church, they immediately felt love and acceptance. The church helped them until they were able to begin selling corn again for income. Today, both Anke and her husband are believers.
“Now, I read the Bible every day with my husband, and each time, we receive new strength to move on,” she says. “We do not feel alone anymore because God is with us.”