Imagine if all your theological words were gone; words like forgiveness, salvation, grace, even the word God. How would you talk about your faith? Now also remove the previous generations of Christians who modeled the Christian life for you. This is the situation for Albanians like Enkelejda Kumaraku, the director of Radio 7 in Albania and the Chair of Words of Hope Albania.
For fifty years Albania was isolated by Communism. Nothing came in and nothing went out. Enkelejda’s father traveled out of the country for work and each time he returned he spent the first night in prison. This was to remind him of what would happen if he said anything about what he had seen outside the country. Enkelejda said, “Communism destroyed trust between people. It is hard to describe. A husband could not trust his wife. You couldn’t trust your best friend. You couldn’t trust anybody.” During this time everyone was an atheist because being a Christian wasn’t an option the state gave anyone.
This created a problem for Christians living in Albania today. Enkelejda said, “We have never seen people walking a Christian life before. We didn’t have the word ‘God’ in the [Albanian] dictionary. We don’t have many words for the Christians vocabulary because we never used them. We [new Christians] lack the resources to lead [the church] and to lead others to Christ. But somehow we are becoming role models for the next generation. They are looking to us. The church is trying to help people lead their lives, but it is hard.”
This is why Words of Hope Albania is so important. The radio programs teach and encourage young Christian who lack other examples of the Christian life and the translation of the devotional is the only daily devotional available to Christians in Albania.