Church Planter – Malisheve, Kosovo
Xhevat is a young man whom God has saved and called into the ministry to reach his people in the southeastern European country of Kosovo. Xhevat lives in the village of Kervasari and is laboring to plant a church in the nearby city of Malisheve. The church’s name is Kisha Fjala e Perendise (The Word of God Church). He is laboring under the supervision of Grace Church of Tirana (the capital of Albania) and is also studying at the The Master’s Academy in Tirana – a ministry of Master’s Seminary.
Testimony of Conversion
My family background is Muslim. As a child, I began to go to the Muslim Mosque in my village. I was going there because my family and friends were going there. I learned to recite some of the Muslim prayers, but was not really a dedicated Muslim. At the age of twelve, some of my friends from the village started to go to a Christian church in town. I began to go with them just to see what they were doing. When I went there, I saw a lot of young kids doing different things. I wanted to keep attending so that I could have a good time with them. Besides these fun things, we also had some meetings with the missionary who was doing some Bible studies. Even though I did not understand a lot about Christianity and was not a believer, the people in the village started to call me a Christian because I was going to church.
I was not bothered by their accusations, but actually liked being called a Christian. I even began to identify myself as a Christian. I really wanted to believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior, but I had a hard time understanding how the man Jesus could also be God. I did not ask anybody in the church to explain this mystery to me. I did have many discussions with my brother who, being Muslim, believed that Christ was only a prophet. As I was struggling to understand, I began to believe more of what my brother was saying about Jesus. His arguments seemed to be affirmed by Jesus Himself, who said, “I am sent by God.”
Because of this I stopped going to church or any Christian meetings. I thought that Christians were wrong about Jesus. Then one day the pastor of the church came to my village and invited me to come to church for a youth program. After this program was over, I started going to church again. I also began to read the Gospel of John for myself. I still believed that Jesus was just a prophet and nothing more. Then, one day I read John 8:58 where Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” This made me think, how could Jesus, a prophet, exist before Abraham who lived long before Jesus? This began to change my thinking about Christ. Then, I read in John 14 where Philip asked Jesus, “Show us the Father and it is enough for us.” And Jesus answered: “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” This convinced me that Jesus was more than a prophet. He was God in the Flesh. I believed that. I asked the missionary to come and show us from the Bible all the verses that talk about Jesus being God. He showed us all the verses from the Bible and we understood who Jesus really is.
After that, I began to think about my sin and how could I be forgiven before God. As a Muslim we believed that God is merciful. If we tried to live a righteous life, and if we were good at it, then we might be forgiven. But the Bible was saying that, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). From this, I understood that if my sin was to be forgiven, somebody had to die for it. Then, I began to think about the things that I had heard earlier about Jesus dying on the cross. I understood that the reason He died was to be an offering for the sin, to pay for the sin. This is when I repented and began to believe the gospel. It did not matter to me what my family thought about me changing my faith, even though it was not something that they liked or appreciated. As I studied, I began to learn more about the justice of God, and how He will not forgive the sinner, unless His righteousness is fulfilled, and it was Christ who did just that. Because of this, it made sense to me why Christ is THE ONLY way to salvation.
Call to Ministry
When I understood that Christ is the only Savior for the world, I began to feel a burden for my family and my friends. I wanted them to know Christ and be saved. One day, when one of the men from the church was doing a Bible study with us in a field near my village, I was thinking to myself, “When can I be in this position to lead others to Christ? When can I disciple other people?” Then, two years ago, I finally had the privilege of leading a Bible study with some young people in that very same place. It was a great thing for me. It was there when I understood that this is what I would like to do with my life. I see a great need for the gospel to be preached in the villages around. I see a need for helping in the church, planting new churches. I understand that there is a great need even in the church for the clear teaching of the Scriptures and I feel like I have a calling to do that. But most of all, I have a passion to see others come to Christ and be saved and worship Christ who alone deserves to be worshiped. I love Christ and I want Him to be praised by the Kosovars. I also love people and I want them to be saved from hell.