Several weeks ago, our team at World Compassion had the opportunity to Skype with a man named Ardi (we’ve changed his name for protection). Ardi is in his mid-30s and from Albania. He contacted us on our website and shared this amazing story – an uncovered treasure hidden for over two decades.
23 years ago, Ardi was a 13-year-old boy living in Albania. Communism had just fallen in that nation, and the country was open to the Gospel for the first time in his lifetime. Ardi told us how missionaries made their way to his small remote village in the southeastern part of the country. They came with books and backpacks for the children in their village. Owning a backpack was a rarity in Ardi’s village. Due to the vast need in his town, the missionaries had to raffle off the backpacks and books. Ardi said, “It was interesting because all of my friends won the backpacks. I was the only one that won the books, and I was really disappointed at that time…” But little did Ardi know, one of those books would change his life forever. Among the stack of books, he received a colorful booklet produced by World Compassion – The Story of Jesus booklet.
Ardi told us that before he read the booklet, he did not know Jesus even existed. The level of censorship in Albania was very high when the Communists were in control, comparable to North Korea today. It was forbidden to talk or even think about God. If a citizen mentioned God, it was possible for him to be thrown into jail.
As Ardi read the booklet, he was amazed that Jesus was a man without sin. After he read about the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Christ, Ardi knew he wanted to accept Jesus. At age 13, Ardi immediately said the prayer out loud that is printed on the back of the booklet, then signed his name and dated the page to mark the date he gave his life to Christ. Ardi still recalls the day he prayed that prayer as the day his life changed from the inside out. He told us he had no idea then how much of a blessing Jesus would be in his life. It changed his life for eternity. Soon after Ardi’s conversion, his mom, dad, and siblings all came to know Jesus as well.
Today, Ardi is married with three children and works for a major ministry in Albania, reaching college students on a daily basis with the message of Jesus. One little $.18 booklet, one seed sown to share Jesus at the right opportunity, has had generational impact. Ardi is now leading and reaching the next generation in his country!
We should never underestimate the power of the seeds that have been sown. A booklet about Jesus was a small seed sown through World Compassion, but a seed sown at the right time. Genesis 8:22 says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” Just as seeds we plant in the ground take time to grow, so do the seeds of the Gospel planted in the hearts of people. Ardi’s story is a reminder that the seeds we sow are growing even if we do not see the harvest for generations.
God continues to use World Compassion to reach those in remote villages and closed countries with the Gospel. Your partnership and support allows these life-changing encounters to happen each and every day! You may think your gift, your support, or your talents aren’t significant enough to make a big impact in the world. But that simply is not true – God is still impacting a generation of Albanian young people through a mere $.18 given in faith over 20 years ago!
So give God your best and watch as He uses you to accomplish the impossible!