Hope Through Radio

Claudia Elzinga Albania

Introduced to Jesus

Agnesa* hurried home with a smile on her face. Today she had gotten to see her sister. The two had enjoyed lunch and tea together, but something even more special had happened. Agnesa’s sister had told her about Jesus. Before leaving, she had pressed a small, faded book into Agnesa’s hands.

“This book is called a Bible. It will tell you everything you need to know about Jesus,” her sister had said.

Agnesa had sensed a change in her sister throughout the last year. There was more joy, more peace in her life, and now Agnesa knew why. She couldn’t wait to share what she had learned today with her own husband and children.

Family Divisions

Agnesa paused for a moment before turning the handle of her front door. She hoped her husband would like this news about Jesus. He could be unpredictable, even violent at times. He and his extended family were Muslims, so she knew he might not like what she had to say. But if following Jesus had brought so much peace to her sister’s family, she hoped it would be the same for her.

That night before bed, Agnesa pulled out the little book to show it to her husband. His face slowly turned steely as she explained what it was, then he tore it from her fingers. “There will be no Bibles in this house!” he yelled, and began tearing out the pages and crumpling them to the floor.

Crushed, Agnesa wasn’t sure where to turn. She wanted desperately to tell her five children about Jesus, but since she lived with her husband’s extended family, she and her children were watched all the time.

A Voice of Hope

That’s when Agnesa turned to her radio. Words of Hope’s radio broadcasting partner in Albania is Radio 7, and Agnesa tuned in to these programs as often as she could. With the use of headphones, she was able to hear Scripture passages read and explained without attracting attention from her hostile family members.

Agnesa says that the radio programs always contained the words of hope she needed that day. When she felt discouraged and lonely, she would hear about how Jesus is always with her. When she needed patience, she would hear how when she felt her weakest, God would give her strength.

Since Words of Hope always lists a contact phone number at the end of programs, Agnesa eventually reached out to the station. She was so happy to talk with Christians and know we were praying for her.

She was able to download a Bible app on her phone, and now she reads it whenever her husband and family are not around. We were also able to give her an MP3 player with a recording of the New Testament in Albanian, and some sermons. We were even able to connect her with a counselor who can help her work through the faith and family challenges she is encountering.

Healing Faith

As Agnesa continues to read the Bible on her phone and listen to radio preaching and teaching programs, she is learning how to raise her children in a godly way. Her oldest daughter has also become a Christian, and is now attending a Bible College, despite the rest of the family’s attempts to dissuade her.

Please continue to pray for Agnesa, that she will be able to live her faith openly and be bold in the midst of her difficult circumstances. Pray that the rest of her children will also become Christians, and that others in the family will someday believe as well.

*name changed for security purposes