Young and Planting a Church

Could a small group of young people start a church?

When the totalitarian government was toppled in Albania in 1989 there was not a single church in the entire country. In fact, only a handful of believers could be found in a population of 3.2 million. In spite of this darkness, the gospel was faithfully proclaimed by missionaries, and one of the first churches to be established, in Korca, now numbers close to 300 people.

Josiah Venture staff partner with this church, equipping their young leaders and helping them reach the lost through English camps. Four years ago this church sent a team to the town of Pogradec, where they shared the gospel with young people. Four young men trusted Christ and began a Bible study.

Those boys began to tell their friends about Christ and more young people began to learn about God. About 2 years ago regular youth meetings were launched. These new believers began to serve in their local community and actively share the good news. Alvaro, 16 years old at the time, was one of the key evangelists.

When he told his friends about Jesus, the common reaction was, “but we are Muslim”. Unfazed, Alvaro would answer, “your Muslim background determines who you are, but it doesn’t have to define what you believe. Jesus is the light, if you seek him he will show you the truth.” Nine of his classmates put their faith in Christ.

Now this youth group has grown to 60 regular attendees, with as many as 150 at some meetings. Many young people have put their faith in Christ, and are growing in their faith and desire to serve his Church. As a result of this youth group many parents saw a change in their kids. There is now a Bible study for moms.

Now a Sunday Service is beginning for all of Pogradec. A church has been planted. All because 4 young men said yes to learning about Christ.

Can young people serve at the cutting edge of the advance of God’s kingdom? Alvaro would tell you absolutely yes!

Thanks for believing with us,

Dave Patty President, Josiah Venture