"We Live By Faith"

Project Philip Bible studies in Albania bring hope

November 11, 2019

Pastor Olsi, who hosts a <em class=Project Philip Bible study for young adults, at his day job." />

In the Muslim-dominated nation of Albania, a group of young adults gather to study the Word of God. All have tough backgrounds—they’ve been affected by things like divorce or domestic violence—but through it all, they still gather together to praise Jesus.

The group is led by Olsi, a 28-year-old pastor who hosts Project Philip Bible studies in his home. As a child, he was actually a recipient of a Bible from Bible League International and found Jesus by studying Scripture with his siblings.

“I understand how important it is to give someone a Bible. I’ve been very encouraged by the Scripture materials we received from Bible League International,” he says. “As an Albanian, I understand the situation of the people in our country. It’s hard enough to make a living, even without spending your money on Bibles and Bible study materials. Receiving these for free is a huge help!”

Olsi and his wife Iona minister to the youth of their community, bringing hope and grace through the Word of God during their struggles.

In Albania, drug and alcohol abuse are prevalent. The unemployment rate is extremely high, forcing young people to leave the country to find work. They also struggle with the constant pressure from Muslims; mosques in the area will pay young men to grow a beard and dress in traditional Islamic gowns. Many young people fall into this trap, desperate for money.

Group of young adults who meet for Bible study.

“That’s why we need Project Philip so much, to offer them the opportunity to know the Truth, to know Jesus Christ,” Olsi says. “Once they know the Truth, they’ll understand that it’s not Islam that will bring them happiness. That can only be found in Christ.”

But it’s not only the youth that’s affected by these Project Philip materials— they are helping Olsi and his family as they struggle with finances.

“For the moment, Iona is unemployed. I have a small job, but living in the capital city, it’s not enough,” he says. “I never know how we’ll reach the end of the month, but we know one thing is for sure: who our God is. I don’t know what will happen, but God knows. We live by faith. We know we are serving the true and living God, and that makes us strong.”

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