Shining a Light in the Darkness

World Challenge Staff

An Albanian church brings hope to a struggling community with the message of Christ’s mercy and help in our times of need.

In 2019, Albania was struck by a powerful earthquake, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions and isolation brought on by the pandemic hit the Roma community and poor families hard, especially since many relied on recycling or odd-jobs for their income. These families were also not eligible for the government’s promised financial support, leaving many of them in dire straits.

This was the moment when The New Life Churches, World Challenge’s partners, stepped up to help.

Our newly trained partners met with local authorities, shared their vision of assistance, and gathered information about the number of families and orphaned children in need. God gave our partners favor with the local Muslim government, and the church was able to reach over 200 families with supplies, counseling and aid. This act of kindness not only made a tangible impact, but it also helped the church to become known and respected in the community.

Facts about Albania through the Joshua Project

Population: 2,810,000
Largest Religion: Islam (54.5%)
Christian Adherents: 33.68%
Evangelical Christians: 0.61%
Progress Level: Minimally Reached

Next, our partners set their sights on two major issues affecting the congregation: low levels of education among children and a high number of widows. Our partners established an after-school support program and English course for children. Additionally, the church created a Bible study group for 20 widows where they could read the Bible, learn more about God and support one another. “In a short period, we saw the number of ladies double!” the pastor’s wife told us.

The New Life Churches’ ministry is a shining example of God’s love for the community. In fact, in recognition of their impact, the mayor of the city recently awarded the church an honorary title for their invaluable contribution to the community.

In these challenging times, this wonderful team of people has served as a model of what the church should look like. Through humility, self-sacrifice and love for others, they are truly shining a light in the darkness for many in their community.