New Faith in Albania
"We were Muslims, like so many in Albania today, and we were very devout --- praying every day, going to the mosque every Friday," young Mici says. "Some teachers told us about radical ideas like violence and this upset me. I wanted to leave, but I feared God would kill me if I gave up practicing Islam."
His family moved to the city of Tirana several years ago, and today Mici is a young father --- just 25 years old. "We thought if we moved to Tirana we'd have more money and better jobs, but our lives actually got worse because living here is more expensive," he says sadly, "and what I heard of my religion only made my life worse."
"In the factory where I worked, a friend and I were talking about my life and I was complaining, so he invited me to a church meeting that week. It was Project Philip Bible study. I can honestly say that this meeting was the first time in my life that I felt people cared about me," Mici confesses.
"People were laughing and enjoyed reading and studying the Bible --- that was the first thing I noticed," he recalls, "and I knew they probably had problems like mine, but they were rejoicing instead of complaining."
Mici kept coming back, and he joined --- in as they studied God's Word. "It took some time, but I finally started to learn what was in the Bible about my life, Jesus, and salvation," he says with a smile, "and I accepted the gift of salvation. It was a great moment." But when Mici went home and shared the news with his family, they were upset. "They said I had betrayed the family's religion, and they threatened me by saying God would kill me unless I returned to the mosque."
"But my life is with Jesus now," Mici confesses, "and I'm so thankful for the Bible because now I know the true God. And I'm learning how to share this news with others."