When Tila first brought Gjergji along with her family to our worship gathering, he was a wide-eyed and curious young teen. Tila had been reaching out in her neighborhood and found that Gjergji was the most interested in reading the Bible out of his entire family. Tila was happy to share her growing Bible knowledge and eventually invited him to meet our fellowship. Before long, Gjergji became a regular part of our Bible study group. He was a bit shy, but over time he began to pray aloud in the group meetings and make comments about the Bible readings.
Gjergji was a very eager Bible student. He loved discussing the Bible with the other Albanians who met in our home, and he also requested weekly Bible studies at an outdoor cafe near his house. Soon he was reaching out to his classmates and neighbors. Over time, he brought several of them to our larger group Bible studies. He also frequently brought his older brother and younger sister along to our gatherings. After some years, Gjergi wanted to be baptized, and about a year later, his brother also requested baptism. His mother and grandfather attended. His grandfather said he was against all of this at first, but when he observed very positive changes in his grandsons, he decided to support them in their religious choices.
The boys became part of our close-knit Albanian group. They were like extended family. We began to have our group members facilitate the Bible studies, and Gjergji quickly learned to lead discussions effectively. Through his intensive study, he grew in knowledge and insight. He learned how to lead worship and preach. We were overjoyed with his growth and budding leadership abilities. His kindness and humility were evident. He was full of ideas for how our community service club could bless our neighborhood and excited about the new center of influence which we were all working on together.
The time finally came for Gjergji to leave for university. He still joined our meetings by phone when he could. There happened to be an Adventist church in the city where he attended university, so he went to church meetings there. It was not long before the pastor of that church asked him to preach. Of course, Gjergji was happy to help. Whenever he was home on weekends or breaks, it was like old times. He picked up right where he left off as though no time had passed. We all think of him as part of our family and love to have him back home.
This summer, we learned that Gjergji was selected to receive a scholarship to attend an Adventist university in another country! He will be studying to become a pastor. Although everyone will miss him, we are very proud of Gjergji. We have seen God calling him to share the gospel for some time. We invite you to join us in praying for Gjergji to continue reflecting Jesus in his life and ministry and to make disciples for Him.