“God Almighty, help me!” These were the words that Besa Shapllo, an English teacher in Tirana, Albania, wrote in her diaries as far back as 1974. The request was addressed to God, whose existence she still questioned. Albania, her home country, had declared itself atheistic and forbade its citizens to believe in God. But whenever she was desperate, she turned to God with that petition.
The story of Mission Possible in Albania dates back to September 1991 when Albania had opened its doors to the world and the people were finally free to worship God! Besa was one of the first believers in this new era in Albania. As a new Christian, Besa was given a challenging task: to lead Mission Possible’s ministry in Albania. Under her leadership as she followed God, the Albanian team has reached tens of thousands of people, sharing the gospel and providing help.
“The priority of our work was – and still is – spreading the Word and helping the poor,” says Besa. “From the very beginning we have ministered to children. In 1993 we began publishing the first children’s magazine in Albania, Miracle Magazine (Mrekullia), and a couple of years later we launched the Miracle Bible Clubs. It really was a miracle that the Albanian kids could read a magazine like this and attend these clubs!”
“Since the late 1990’s we have been helping the poor in various parts of Tirana and beyond.”
Bathore is an impoverished community in suburban Tirana, Albania, whose residents are primarily of Muslim background. Mission Possible’s Hope Centre has been there for twelve years. The name was suggested by some women who attended the courses and Bible studies at the centre because they said whenever they went, they returned home filled with hope.
At Hope Centre, various practical courses are organized, specifically for teenagers and women. The centre also maintains the only public library in town. Through these resources, people are also introduced to the Gospel. There are regular Bible study groups, meetings, and events.
Our ministry to women continues to challenge those in Bathore to restore their lives by following Jesus. Our team has become acquainted with many mothers trying to make ends meet while raising their children in the midst of severe financial difficulties, and who are often victims of domestic violence.
“We bring help to these families, counsel the mothers, and pray for them, thus purposing to plant good seed as we speak to their hearts and trust God for the fruit of changing and healing people.”
Recently we introduced a new programme called Positive Parenting to help families in Bathore, and it’s hosted at Hope Centre. Many couples came to the first meeting.