Story: Tomi G. (Albania)

Even though he had grown up in a Muslim community in Albania, Tomi felt the call of the Holy Spirit, accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. But that was the easy part, since he faced real persecution even within his own family unit.

Impact Eternity / Stories

September 7, 2023



Muslim Family Finds Jesus

by Tomi G., Albania

I came from a Muslim background where my vision and passion was to change my nation to Muslim. When I was growing up, my mom was a leader in the mosque, and I washer right hand. In fact, I was planning to go to a four-year program in Turkey to study the Quran. It was my desire to be an Iman and great leader... But God had different plans from my life.

Around this time, my cousin had heard the Gospel through Youth with a Mission and had gotten saved, and he made it his personal mission to share the Gospel with me. For two years, every single day, my cousin and I would talk about Muhammad and about Jesus. It was very hard for me to hear about Jesus because I considered him a good prophet and nothing more. I told my cousin, “I’m going to convince you to return to Islam, because you’re a traitor!”

My cousin smiled and simply said, “I just want to share about who Jesus is and what Christ did, not just for me but for you also.” And then one day, he said, “If you will come one day to my church, I will stop coming to your home and sharing about Jesus.”

That sounded like a reasonable idea, so I said, “Okay, we have a deal. But I don’t want to see your face again in my home.” I went that afternoon to church with him...

During the worship time, I felt somebody touch me on the shoulder. When I looked around, I didn’t see anybody near me, so I didn’t understand what had happened. As worship continued and the preacher spoke, I felt something happening on the inside and I even remember thinking, “These Christians have done something to me!” But when the preacher asked if anyone wanted to accept Christ, I felt a strong and sudden urge to go forward. The hand I had felt was now pushing me out of my seat toward the front. When I got there, almost without thinking, I closed my eyes and prayed the prayer of salvation. And when I opened my eyes, I felt for the first time in my entire life JOY! It was such a powerful experience that I wanted to jump and scream!

When I got home, I knew I had to tell my parents. Initially, I thought I could confide in my mom, but even as I described my experience, she expressed her disapproval. She had been so proud of my decision to travel to Turkey and study the Quran, but now, she just let out a loud scream that startled the rest of my family. That night, my dad, older brother, cousins, and uncles came over, and they just began to beat and punch me, throwing me to the ground and calling me a traitor. For the next two years, I experienced persecution every single day. But I just continually prayed, “God, if you can save my life, you can save my family too.”

Eventually, I had the opportunity to take my younger brother to church, and he accepted Christ. When the rest of my family found out, persecution doubled, but I trusted God to show grace and mercy for my family. After that, my three sisters accepted Christ one by one. And then even my dad had an experience with Jesus, and he too accepted Christ. I was so excited; I had been praying like crazy!

At that time, my mom became very sick, and the doctors only gave her seven days to live. There was nothing they could do for her. Frail and skinny and essentially paralyzed, my mom spoke up to me, “You know I’ve tried everything, but the only God I haven’t tried is yours. If Jesus can touch me and heal my body and give me a second chance at life, then I will serve Jesus for the rest of my life.” I became so happy that I began to jump around. I called my pastor, and he came down to pray with us.

There, in the hospital, my mom accepted Christ. And as soon as we finished praying, she stood up out of that bed. She started walking, eating, drinking, and talking to the nurses. The doctors were shocked, saying, “Is that the same woman?” They ran all the tests, and they had no clue what happened but there was absolutely no disease remaining in her body. She was dying; Allah and Mohammad couldn’t heal her, but Jesus healed her!

Not long after, my older brother came to me, saying, “I know what I’ve done to you. But I’ve also seen what Jesus has done for our mom. Please forgive me.”

Funnily enough, in that moment, I really wanted to punch my brother. I said, “Brother, can I just punch you one time? You’ve really hurt me!” But we laughed together about it, and he accepted Christ right there. In fact, he began going into the streets to evangelize at every corner and meeting people over coffee to share the Gospel of Jesus with them.

Since then, Jesus has not only saved my family, but he also saved my uncles and aunties, my cousins, and even my friends. Before all of this, my passion was to convert Albania to Islam, but today my passion is not just for one nation to receive Christ but that the whole world would hear the Good News! I want to go to the nations and share the Gospel with every person who does not know Christ!

Through my testimony, I hope you are encouraged to continue believing for your family, for your friends, and for everybody to put on Christ! And if I have a story, then you also have a story. It might be a different story, but your story can change somebody’s life.

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