The Church Grows in
About five years ago, KetiThanasi spent the summer in Tirana, studied the
WEI Bible course with Wayne Speer, and was baptized into Christ. When she
returned to her home in Fier and started teaching school that fall, she
carried the Good News about Christ with her. She has been the backbone of
the church in Fier ever since.
Through the years, Virgil and Jackie Jackson have driven up to Fier from
Vlorė to conduct worship services on Sunday afternoon. Art Hitt and others
have led about thirty people to Christ in WEI summer campaigns. But the
church in Fier has been predominantly female until recently.
Two years ago, Art Hitt taught and baptized Luan Hassenbeliu and his wife.
When Doug Smith moved to Fier last summer, Luan became Doug's companion and
Luan Hassenbeliu, Doug's "Andrew"
As Andrew brought his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus (John
1:40-42), so Luan has brought numerous men to study with Doug.
In his September report, Doug sent a picture of forty-year-old Albert
Shahini standing by the Adriatic Sea, the site of his baptism.
Doug commented, "This is our new brother in Christ. He is a colleague of
Luan, my 'Andrew.' Luan just keeps bringing more and more men for me to
study with. He is not ashamed of the gospel. He has been more than a brother
to me in Fier."
On September 1, Doug and Luan held their first Sunday service in Zharrez, a
village near Fier. Nine people attended, including seven Christians and two
non-Christians. A month later, the attendance at Zharrez was thirty-seven.
On October 20, forty-eight people attended the Sunday worship service in
Zharrez. Within a six-week period, the attendance shot up from twelve to
forty-eight. God is at work in Zharrez.
On the evening of October 31, the night before Doug was scheduled to depart
for Kosova and America, two of his students (Benjamin Cakrani and Ylli Binaj)
decided they wanted to be baptized.
Doug said, "If Paul could baptize the Philippian jailer in the wee hours of
the morning after being beaten and thrown into jail, I could surely handle
the late hour." So he baptized them in Vlorė.
The next day, Doug left Fier and drove to Prizren, Kosova to renew the
license plates on his car. When he returned to Tirana, he found Fatmir, one
of his students from Fier, waiting for him. Fatmir had decided to be
baptized into Christ before Doug left for the United States.
During the past three months, the number of adult men in the Fier
congregation has grown from one to six. Attendance at the Sunday morning
worship service has risen to about forty.
Doug Smith Baptizes Fatmir into Christ
Brent Parr has now replaced Doug as a missionary in Fier. He
continues to study with the six men who have been baptized with a view to
helping them realize their potential as church leaders. Thanks to Luan,
Brent is also studying with eleven other men, all above thirty
years of age.
Fatmir, Brent, Doug, and Toto
The Church Grows in
In their November newsletter, the Durrės team reported that "three souls
were added to the Lord's body. Danjela Bashllari and Arta Kola were baptized
on Sunday, 11/24/02. Danjela is a WEI student that was taught by summer
campaigners Leslie Winebarger, Donna Light, and Charlotta Baird. Allison
Morrill has been working with Danjela this fall.
"Arta is the wife of Skender Kola who was baptized last March. Arta was
taught and baptized by her husband. What a joy it is to see the Albanians
reaching out to their families and loved ones with the Good News of Christ.
It was difficult to tell whether Arta or Skender was more excited about the
"Kristela Bushkolaj was baptized on 11/3/02. Kristela is one of Patrick's
students that found it necessary to convince her family of her need for
baptism. Coming from a family with a mixed marriage (Catholic and Muslim),
her parents were not initially supportive of her decision. Kristela has
proven to be an encourager to the congregation and has taken an active role
reaching out to those around her."
On January 12, Patrick Smith wrote, "Today was a wonderful day. We had the
opportunity to assemble with the Church and to enjoy our monthly potluck
afterwards. We also celebrated the baptism of one of Fredia's students -- a
baptism that occurred yesterday on Ēimi's birthday. We are so blessed to be
able to work with the Christians here and to teach so many about God's will
for their lives."
The church in Durrės has been a beehive of activity during the past year.
Patrick Smith reports that "over 100 one-on-one WEI classes are taught
weekly" and WEI is "the primary tool for reaching out to the community."
God is at work in Durrės.
Church Planted in Iceland
Rejoice with us over the following news as reported by Lynn and Barbara
"The Lord of the Harvest used WBS and WEI Internet Bible studies to produce
fruit when two students of Barbara Camp were baptized into Christ October 18
in Reykjavik, Iceland.
"In April, Sigridur Hilmarsdottir enrolled in the Internet studies and
demonstrated growing interest as she progressed. She shared her lessons with
coworker, Marias Sveinsson, translating the lessons into Icelandic for him.
Soon Sigridur was deeply convicted that she needed baptism.
"Notices were immediately sent out through the World Bible School and World
English Institute network of teachers, the ACU and Harding Missions
Departments, and the American military base in Iceland but no one was found
who could help. So Lynn and I decided we must go.
"Sigridur had completed seven sets of lessons and was growing in her
understanding of God's will. She wrote that her friend Marias was extremely
interested and also wanted to be baptized.
"What a blessed experience it was for us to study the Word together and for
Lynn to immerse them into Christ, and to share their first experience at the
Lynn Camp Baptizes Marias and Sigridur
"We left convinced that the groundwork had been laid for them to
spread God's Word in Iceland. Sigridur wants her apartment to be the first
meeting place for the church. They already have contacts, friends,
relatives, and associates with whom they are eager to share the Good News."
God Blesses Internet Ministry
Thanks to Bob Patterson (our volunteer Webmaster) and to Bob and Jan Towell
(Directors of the WEI Internet ministry), God is using cyberspace to teach
people about Christ in 124 countries.
During the past year, 990 people hit our web site (www.weiady.org) and
registered. Of these, 333 became serious Internet students.
The preceding article about Iceland demonstrates the possibilities of
spreading the Word through Email.
Teaching others on the Internet also has spin-off benefits. Jan Towell
forwarded an exciting letter from her friend, Wanda Colson. Wanda has been
using WEI materials to teach Bette Jaehne, an eighty-one-year-old woman in a
Florida retirement home.
Every Saturday, Wanda picked Bette up at the retirement home, fixed lunch
for her, and studied the Bible with her. One day, Bette told Wanda that she
had learned things she had never known in all her years in a
Wanda Colson, Internet Teacher
On November 21, Wanda sent Jan the following Email: "Just
got back from the church building moments ago. Bette, my friend with whom I
have been studying for some sixteen or more weeks, was baptized. .
The Tirana Church Grows
In her September newsletter, Ellen Walker wrote, "I have five new births to
tell you about. They are Alex Campbell, Drilon Maleti, Denada Vrohoriti,
Gentiana Doda, and Jonida Gjocaj.
"Alex Campbell grew up in a Christian home and was baptized as a boy.
Lately, he'd been feeling less than spiritual. He asked his father if he
could do the youth devotional on Friday. He surprised us all by telling his
story and then announcing that he felt that he should be baptized again.
That day, Butch Campbell baptized his son into the Lord.
"This is quite an exciting month in the growth of the body. Drilon is a
student of Pėrparim Kalemi. Drilon makes the second of his students that
have been baptized this year.
"Denada was the student of Ēimi Kafexhiu. When the Durrės congregation hired
Ēimi, Sadete took over lessons with Denada. I wish you could have seen the
look of joy on Sedete's face when she shared her blessing with us in Ladies'
"Jonida is the sister of Bledi Gjoēaj. Bledi has been bringing his sister
with him for some time now. Jonida has been very faithful to the worship and
activities of the church. She's been well taught through discussions at home
"So, four of the five baptisms this half of the month had to do with
Albanian Christians taking the lead to teach! Praise the Lord who has put
this desire in their hearts. May their tribe increase!"
In his November newsletter, Lloyd Campbell reported that "the Lord added two
more believers to his church in Tirana. Ardid Hamza was baptized into Christ
on November 5." Ardid had studied with Sharon Saenz in 2001 and with Jim Fox
and Wes Wolford in 2002.
"Erika Haxhi was baptized into Christ on October 28, her twelfth birthday.
Erika is one of Suzanne Campbell's students. She is the first fruit from
Suzanne's teaching ministry with the children. We praise God for these
new babies in Christ."
Flori Pollo Baptizes Erika Haxhi
Summary of Events in Albania
In early November, Bill Morgan conducted a leadership training seminar in
Tirana using the prophet Nehemiah as a model of effective spiritual
Tom Bonner continues to lay the foundation for a strong church in Lushnjė.
Several of his students plan to be baptized into Christ as soon as the
weather gets warmer.
In Elbasan, six people have been baptized for the forgiveness of sins and
for the gift of the Holy Spirit: Aferdita, Klodian, Veri, Sokol, and Valbona.
These new Christians range in age from twelve to thirty-one.
In Orikum, Ervis Celay, a nineteen-year-old WEI student who studied with Kay
Banta last summer, was united with Christ in baptism. In early December,
Gentjan Mataj, the eighteen-year-old son of a naval officer in Orikum, was
buried with his Lord in baptism. He now leads singing in Orikum.
WEI Is Used in Singapore
Henry Kong, longtime minister of the Gospel in Singapore, writes, "I should
update you on our outreach to Chinese nationals using WEI.
"We have a regular group of over a dozen on Wednesdays and Sundays. Most are
graduates with B.A. or M.A. degrees. We have a PhD attending also."
It is gratifying to know that God is using WEI to seek and save the lost all
over the globe!
Correspondence Teachers Needed
Hundreds of people are in the wings waiting to be taught about our Lord, but
there is a shortage of correspondence teachers. Will you take some students
under your wing and tell them the Good News about Jesus?
If you are willing to accept this challenge, please let us hear from you as
soon as possible.
Thanks for Your Partnership
We are constantly amazed by God's providence. The Lord has brought us
together as a team, and he is blessing our efforts to evangelize the whole
world. Through WEI, God is spreading the Good News to 151 countries. If we
are faithful to our task, God will use us to spread the Gospel to every
country on earth.
We thank God for partners like you. WEI could not exist without you and
others like you. Thank you for your fellowship in Christ.
May God bless you for your generosity and your participation in this
outreach ministry. We love you with the love of the Lord.
Please help us spread the word about WEI. Tell your Christian friends about
our shared vision for world evangelism. We need more teachers, more
campaigners, and more funds in order to get the job done.
To God be the glory, honor, and praise.
--Dick and Maudine Ady