Written by Meaghan Hartman
Mountains have stories. They overlook cities and towns; they see war, destruction and reconstruction. Some testify to huge cataclysmic events — a volcanic eruption or a flood halted by the mountain’s base. Mountains create natural borders for nations and peoples; they cause disruption in travelling, expansion and exploring. For centuries, mountains have seen it all. They have stories to tell.
We were near the top of one such mountain in Europe, overlooking a city of 80,000 people. The sky was gray, the clouds quite low, the red clay roofs standing out in stark contract. Heaviness set in as we started to count. One, two, three, four … all the way until we couldn’t see past the clouds, 27 Islamic minarets jutting into the sky. Not one Bible-believing church. The weight of that reality hit us hard.
Four of us stood on the mountainside and prayed for the city. We prayed for more workers to join the harvest labor, we prayed for open hearts and people of peace. We prayed against the enemy and the foothold he has in this city, and we prayed for the light of Christ to be made known among Albanian Muslims. We knew that God was calling us to action and that we couldn’t do it alone. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can there be heart change.
H and P have ministered among Albanian Muslims for many years. God gave them a vision to have 20 workers and 20 disciples by the year 2020. They use a community-center model to build bridges into the city, offering English, Spanish and guitar lessons, and also holding conferences, parenting classes and trainings for local students and leaders, all with the goal of personal and professional development. The city’s three universities — European, national and medical — all have very little ministry taking place on their campuses. To say the opportunities are endless is an understatement.
H and P are trying to tell a new story; they are trying to write God’s story in the hearts and lives of people that Jesus loves. The cross has been misrepresented for such a long time that true Christ-followers have to help alter that perception. Workers have already begun to see the effects the gospel can have on a community because people can see the difference, people can see the hope that believers have in their hearts, and they want it, too.
This mountain has a story, but we can change that story. We can change it to one of hope, love and freedom that only Christ can bring. We can share the greatest story ever told, the one with the power to change hearts and eternal destinations. Can you be a part of this change?