In North Macedonia, a life-long Muslim great-grandfather found Jesus through the care shown to his community.
In a recent report from the Galilee Foundation in North Macedonia, Amet shared the story of how his life has been transformed through meeting Jesus Christ at the local church.
His small village is nestled in the hills of North Macedonia, where the Galilee Foundation has been working to reach the local community in various ways. One of their key initiatives is a church plant, which has been gaining momentum. Adams and Marija are one of three couples World Challenge is training and resourcing to start community outreaches and plant churches in North Macedonia, particularly the one in Amet’s village.
Amet is a great-grandfather and longtime local, and he was skeptical at first when he heard about the new church in his village. He had grown up in a Muslim family and had never considered Christianity a viable option.
In order to engage with Amet and his neighbors, Adams and Marija started a community clean-up and garbage-collection initiative. The village lacked a garbage collection service, resulting in scattered trash that was affecting the health of the community. Adams and Marija had a vision of a clean-up project that would involve the entire community. Instead of relying solely on church members to clean up the area, they encouraged active participation from the community members. With this approach, people are more likely to become invested in the process and continue caring for their community and neighbors.
However, the benefits of such projects extend beyond cleanliness. They foster cooperation and relationships between believers and non-believers in the community, and one great example is Amet. When he heard about Adams and Marija’s project, curiosity got the best of him. Although in his 70’s, Amet is still full of energy and loves to improve his community. When he witnessed the positive impact of Adams and Marija's initiative, he decided to attend a Sunday service.
To Amet’s surprise, he found the people at the church to be warm and welcoming. They spoke to him about their faith and shared stories of how Jesus had changed their lives. Over time, Amet began to feel a sense of peace and joy that he had never experienced before.
In his own words, he explained, “I came to this church with a lot of doubt in my heart, but now I know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. My life has been transformed since I met him here.”
This story is just one example of the impact that the church planting movement is having in North Macedonia. Through the work of the Galilee Foundation and other partners, more and more people are coming to know Jesus and experiencing the hope and joy that comes with a relationship with Him. As we continue to support these initiatives, we can be confident that lives will be transformed, and communities will be changed. Let us pray for people like Amet once was, hearing the good news of Jesus for the first time!
Andreas Steffensen is the regional missions director of Eurasia for World Challenge. He is dedicated to helping new churches be planted and communities around the world grow spiritually.