By Greg Ogden - Global Discipleship Initiative
When Albania was a communist country, it was written into their constitution that there is no God. Today the majority religion is Islam (60%), 10% Catholic, 7% Orthodox, 14% undeclared, 5% other, 2.5% atheists, and 0.14% other Christian (i.e. Evangelical) . Clearly, evangelical Christians are in the minority. Yet this testimony shows that the Spirit is still at work to call people to Jesus.
This Pastor and his wife, Endri and Dallandyshe (“Dyshe”). Tabaku, both came to faith in Jesus because of miracles they personally experienced. Endri had a broken leg that was healed without surgery, but it is Dallandyshe’s testimony that is compelling.
Dyshe came from a large Muslim family. She was the oldest girl with one older brother. As a teenager she had a strong desire to learn English. A woman church planter from South Korea invited her to church so she could practice speaking English. A Muslim woman has to have permission from the male members of the family to go to places outside the home, so she told her father and brother that she was going to church to better her English. While learning English was what motivated her to attend church soon she also enjoyed the worship music and was hungry for God’s word, and she was beginning to feel uneasy about having to lie to her father and brother.
One day on her way to church she was startled by a bright light. It was a sunny day, but this light was different from the sunlight, and she stopped in her tracks. She then heard a voice clearly say to her, “Tell the truth, and remember that I am with you always.” When she arrived at church she told the missionary what happened. The missionary opened the Bible to Matthew 28:20 to show her that what she heard were Jesus’ words to his disciples. The missionary suggested that they both pray for one week for the Lord to soften the heart of her father, then she would tell him the truth about what she was doing in church.
After the week of prayer she approached her father, explaining to him that the church has become a place where she is learning not just English, but also about Jesus. To her surprise her father said, “I have heard about this Jesus, so I guess it’s OK for you to continue.”
Dyshe continued to grow in her faith and eventually attended Bible College in Tirana where she met her husband. They now minister together in a church in Tirana.