What is your ministry?
I am leading a new organisation called IGNIS Ministry. IGNIS Ministry exists to encourage, resource, and equip local churches and church plant initiatives in all spiritual and organisational matters to accomplish their mission to be light and salt in the Albanian society. I also lead a new church in Tirana, Albania, named "Light Church."
When did you trust Christ?
In 2002, I studied economics at the University of Tirana when a friend gave me a New Testament. I lived a worldly life, and coming from a Muslim family; I didn't have any interest in faith and God. My grades and family relationships were falling apart. I became an alcoholic, and I was about to leave everything to join an organized network of Albanian drug dealers in Germany. Christ's grace and love saved me on my darkest day. I read my first Bible verse ever, which was Romans 14:17: "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit." It was exactly what I needed to hear to stop wasting my life. I prayed to the Lord to show Himself so that I could believe and live for him. He listened to my prayer and changed everything. Soon, I joined a local church, where my faith journey started. After 17 years, I can testify to the redemption of Christ in my life. He saved my soul and gave me a beautiful family and a vision to serve him all my life. He changed my destination from a criminal network to a church planting network!
What have been the defining moments of your Christian walk?
I fell in love with the local church in Tirana from the first days of my salvation. After graduating, I started to work with the prison ministry, and it was a beautiful experience. The following experience was with the Evangelical Alliance, where I worked for almost four years. I worked as a project coordinator and loved to do work for the local churches. Next came a children's ministry that included churches in Albania and the Balkan countries. I worked for four years in the Balkans region, growing my love for the local churches. In 2015, we felt a deeper calling for church planting and strengthening.
What do you hope to gain from participating?
In my country, there is still a big need for theological training, ministry training, and opportunities to come and pray together—to learn from and help each other, especially where the need is bigger. My vision is to give every Albanian in my generation the opportunity to hear the Gospel and to provide a path for every Christian to spiritual maturity. I want to learn how to conduct a good pastoral ministry, family life, and to reproduce healthy leaders / disciple / churches. I also need to get more experience, knowledge, capacity, growth and fundraising help.
What is your leadership role or what were your past leadership roles?
I have been a chaplain at Prison Fellowship Albania, a project manager at EA of Albania, regional coordinator in the Balkans for One Hope Ministry, a church planting team leader in two church planting projects, a cheer leader for 15 years, and a church planter with Acts 29. I am now leading an Albanian organisation trying to ignite evangelism and spiritual maturity for Christians.
Why should someone invest in your ministry?
Because there is still a significant need for theological and ministry-specific training, the Forum is also an opportunity to pray and learn and help each other, especially where the need is more prominent.