Community Center Sheds Light in Kosovo

By an Alliance worker

My wife and I serve in Kosovo, planting churches through a unique ministry model—the community center. We are seeing many find strength and hope for the future in Christ.

We’re not the first to share the good news in this storied, war-torn land however.

Paul says in chapter 15 in the book of Romans, “. . . So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” Ninety percent of the people in Kosovo are Albanian, the descendants of those same Illyrians.

Although centuries of religious warfare, ethnic tensions, and deep political divisions cast the region into spiritual darkness, today the light of the gospel is successfully being spread once again.

Innovative Ministry

The Alliance entered Kosovo in 1999, initially serving with Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA) Services to address the massive humanitarian crisis across the border caused by the latest Balkan war.

Since then, we have partnered with a national evangelical church in Prishtina, Kosovo’s capital city. Our church plant and community center was the first joint project to take root in largely unevangelized eastern Kosovo in 2004.

Strategically situated across the street from the local teaching college, our community center serves as a ministry base. We “influence the influencers” through services that include:

  • Low-cost, quality photocopying services (teachers get a number of free copies each month)
  • English classes
  • A Christian bookstore and coffee shop
  • Internet access
  • Quiet study areas; and
  • Occupational therapy services.

Ministry Nerve Center

Our center is also an evangelistic focal point for local ministries that include evangelistic concerts, English language and sporting camps, computer courses, and more.

Because the center has obtained such a good reputation in the community, the gospel of Christ has gained a foothold. Thirteen new believers were baptized in August 2008. On Palm Sunday five more believers were baptized!

New Believers Serving Others

I’m especially blessed by two relatively new believers, Fatmir* and Enver.*

Fatmir went to Macedonia last fall on one of our church plant’s first missions trips. He has since begun working at our community center.

He sells coffee, and his kind, servant-heart serves him well. He’s a new believer, but also an eager evangelist who doesn’t quite understand why everyone wouldn’t want to hear the good news he’s found in Christ.

Some time ago, he brought his friend Enver to church. Enver found Jesus, too.  He also has a heart for evangelism and isn’t ashamed of his new-found faith.

God is at work in the hearts of these young men.

The Cost of Discipleship

But these young believers’ new life and ministry doesn’t come without a cost. A couple of weeks ago, Fatmir spoke with a man who came into the center. He invited him to our prayer meeting. The man declined his invitation, but he has since begun following Enver around, often late at night.

This has also happened in the past to another center worker. A stranger followed him to his village, got out of his car and shouted: “Now I know where you live!”

Despite this opposition, the faith of these new believers continues to grow.

Our partnership is also in talks about the timing of our next church plant, 30 minutes north of our city. We intend to use a similar ministry model to see the gospel established there. Our goal is to plant churches in other major towns in eastern Kosovo as well.

May God be praised for the people he is redeeming for Himself!

*Names have been changed.

What You Can Do

Praise God for the new believers in eastern Kosovo! Pray for their physical and spiritual protection. Pray also for God’s timing on when to plant more churches and community ministry centers in the country.

Donate now to support the work of Alliance churches and staff around the world, including dedicated workers in Kosovo.


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