Greetings in the holy name of our Lord Jesus.
Even this year we had a good start for the Lord’s church here in Elbasan. The
number of the people that hear about our Lord Jesus Christ is constantly
growing. People that are tired from the suffering, struggles, and stress have
their eyes now set on God. They are simple people that have tried to live
their life just with their strength, without the strength of God. This has
exhausted their souls and has made them to feel weak when facing the
challenges and struggles of life.
The Word of God has brought for them a new hope and an
opportunity for them to regain their strength to face the challenges and win
them. They now have understood that the real strength and the real hope is
only in Christ. In their hearts, they have felt that Christ is the salvation
from many of their sufferings, struggles, sins, and stress. This caused their
hearts to be opened for Him and His church to grow day by day.
We thank the Lord that has made possible that His church here in Elbasan
brings good news for the brothers and sisters that support and encourage us
to go on without stopping to announce the Gospel of Salvation to everyone.
There is no greater joy for our Lord than seeing how new people are added to
His holy family every day.
Three persons, after a long time studying with Ilir were baptized during
these three months.
In February, Shqiponja Xhyra accepted Jesus Christ as her God and Savior.
Shqiponja is Nasibe’s daughter in law. Now at our Bible class at sister
Nasibe’s house a new member of the study group has been added. He is Nasibe’s
son, Genti, who wants to learn more about the truth of Jesus.
In March, during the time that brother Gerry was here, Shpetim Sima and his
daughter Anisa Sima were baptized. They had almost a year studying with Ilir
at their home and also at the Bible classes that the church organizes.
Shpetim is a good man who works as a foreman at a construction company, he is
a just and devoted man who wants to give his contribute for the Glory of God.
Our Lord has encouraged him to work for the service of our Lord and Savior
His daughter Anisa Sima was baptized on the same day as her father. She is an
English language student at the University of Elbasan. Anisa has studied the
Bible for a long time. Now, she is helping us with the Kids’ study classes
with other young people who want to be involved in the Glory of God. We thank
God for each of them and pray to Him to care for then by giving strength and
knowledge, from His infinite knowledge so they may grow every day in their
We thank God for making us able to share the good news
with this people that have never heard from Him or Jesus and His sacrifice.
Lies had lived with them for a long time obscuring their minds and hearts,
but now the strength and word of God have opened their eyes to see light in
In February we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Church of Christ here
in Elbasan. It was wonderful to see how the members of the church worked
together for the preparations to be made in time. In this special day there
were 60 persons participating. Kristofor Findiku and Erik Qirjaqi with his
wife Anila came from Tirana. We had a great time together in the presence of
God. Our meeting started at 10:00 am and ended in 4:30 pm. The meeting
started with the greeting which was prepared by Ilir and after that Ilir
invited Remzi Islami to speak about the activities of the church in years.
Erik sent us the greetings of the church of Christ in Tirana. Nasibe, Bruna,
Doris, and Jona spoke about the changes that their Christian life has brought
on them. We also read in front of everybody your and Pete’s greetings.
Shpetim’s word impressed everyone in the meeting. He spoke how firstly his
kids came at the church. Their visits worried and made him curious about the
lessons we shared with them. After that he felt even more worried when his
wife Albana started to come at the church. In his conversations with his
family there were often mentioned the names of Ilir and Vera. The worry and
curiosity made his come for knowing who were the ones that “took his wife and
kids,” but God had started already working with Shpetim’s heart. Soon they
will all be part of our Lord’s holy family.
In the end, Ilir invited to hold a prayer, a young man, who has been baptized
in the church of Christ in Elbasan in 1998. His name is Miri Guri and he
comes regularly at our meetings. He has ended the studies at the University
of Tirana for Timber Engineering and during his study time he went at the
church of Christ in Tirana and after the studies has worked in joinery in
Tirana. Now, he lives in Elbasan and has helped us during all this time with
several works that we had.
After this we had lunch together with all the participants. Everything was
for the glory of our Lord and His church here in Elbasan.
During this period of time, the church services and classes have been held
regularly. The Bible study class is held every Tuesday at 4:00PM and the
majority of the members of the church participate there. We have continued
Luke’s Gospel. Our study has been focused on the commendations given by God
to change ourselves and to follow His plan. The discussions and experiences
from our new life in Christ were present in almost every class. There have
always been more than 20 participants at the Bible Classes.
The youth’s bible class started and there are not only members of the church
that participate but also young people that have attended individual lessons
with Ilir. The teenagers are eager to learn more about our Lord. Now they
know God not like other people has described Him but like He has described
Himself in His word, the Bible. We are continuing the classes regarding the
commendations given by the Lord for the behavior that must characterize a
Christian wherever he goes. God is our teacher and we are his eternal
students that must always try to follow His word and be worthy in His eyes.
The Ladies’ class has been held regularly by sisters Mereme and Vera. The
topic of the class has been to clarify how much our Lord evaluates the
sincere and without hypocrisy behavior in women and you ladies. On March 8th
the ladies arranged a special meeting. Vera spoke with the women about the
word of God and about the truth that frees us from the shackles of slavery.
They had a great time together in the company of each other.
The Kids’ class has been also held regularly every Sunday at 9:30. Children
come regularly and are active in their class. Dorisa Xhyra, Jona Karaj, Bruna
Capja, Anisa Sima and Enerda Xhyra, under the tutelage of Vera Kura and
Rezarta Ibrahimi, are doing a pleasant job at the Kids’ class. They are
giving all they can so kids can be happy and feel good at their class. The
girls are doing games with the kids by stimulating them to be active during
the class. Vera and Rezarta prepare the lessons from the Bible for them.
During the class, the children have learned good and important things. They
have known Jesus and know that He loves them and gives everyday happiness and
joy in their life.
Every Sunday, the congregation comes together to worship God and remember the
sacrifice of His Son. All the participants have praised God and have prayed
to Him to clean them from all the sins. The preaching of His holy words has
given us strength to go on living our lives in the presence of our Lord Jesus
Brothers and Sisters, we are thanking God for each one of you that have
supported and continue to support us in our mission in Elbasan. Your
commitment encourages us to work more to honor His kingdom. Our God is
wonderful in His infinite love and grace for all of us who hold steady in
On March 19 our brother Gerry Cowan came from the United States to help us by
providing a car to be used in the work of the church in Elbasan. We have now
taken possession of an excellent Mercedes diesel vehicle that will seat 8
persons comfortably, a sturdy car that we hope will give good service for
many years to come. Gerry had funds contributed by churches of Christ in
Marion, Dongola, Illinois, Athens, Arkansas, Tigard, Oregon, and from many
Christian brothers and sisters from many places in the United States. Our
special thanks to the Marion church and also to Gerry for making the long
trip here to help us with the car and in our work. We are very grateful to
all who made possible for us to have this car. It makes our work easier
because we are able to provide transportation for some people who need it,
and to travel to our Bible studies in the homes of people here, and also to
do other things needed in the church. We are touched and feel very blessed to
have such generous support and we pray for God to bless everyone who supports
We want to thank you for support us in helping Alma’s family with food
supplies and also for supporting Antonel who lives alone with his
We thank all the brothers and sisters that kept us in their prayers. Your
prayers have been heard and Ilir’s health is now stabilized. Please also to
keep Vera’s mother in your prayers because she is still sick and has no
With Love In Christ
His servants in Elbasan
Ilir and Vera