Woman to Woman

kosovoBy an Alliance international worker in Kosovo

“I have been a believer for 18 years and have served in the church most of that time,” says Beki*, a young pastor’s wife whose ministry has impacted hundreds of people in Kosovo. “This is the first time I have had the opportunity to receive training for the things that I do.” Beki is a passionate, gifted, and effective leader. She not only leads the women’s ministry in her church but also serves on the national women’s commission.  As my teammate and I heard her words, we were struck anew with the urgency to offer her, and women like her, the opportunity to receive training in a way that is accessible to them.

Equipping Women to Lead

The women of Kosovo are caught between two worlds. Society around them is modernizing at an alarming rate; they are bombarded with western media and its ideas of feminism. Yet they are bound to the traditions of women as sole caretakers of the home and children. Women in the church have embraced their freedom to be involved in work, ministry and leadership, but they do not want to forsake their familial obligations.

Training Kosovar women for ministry requires a program that takes into consideration the unique challenges that women face, balancing responsibilities in and out of the home. A resident program is not an option and an intensive approach would only lead to discouragement and drop out.

In August of 2010 the women of the Alliance Kosovo team launched the first Women to Women Leadership Training (WWLT) site in Prishtina, the capital city. Beki was among the first group of women trained as a facilitator for the WWLT courses that are designed with the unique challenges of women in mind. Immediately, Beki implemented the skills of her recent training as a facilitator on the national women’s commission, resulting in the most effective women’s event the commission has hosted to date.

A Spiritual Journey

For Beki the desire for her people to experience the light of Jesus is the impetus that led her to the Alliance leadership program. Raised in a home of the country’s traditional religion, Beki practiced the rituals and obligations as a child under the tutelage of her father and grandfather, who are respected leaders of their faith.

“Actually, the fact that I had to pray in [the religious language] was an obstacle for me,” says Beki, “as were other doctrinal issues. When I asked questions, I was told, ‘Thus says God, and you should do it, because you are indebted to him.’ Dissatisfied with the reply, I lived with doubt.”

When Beki was 16, she and her brother took a summer job in the State vineyards, where they met some boys noted for their bad reputation. One day, the boys began to sing about Jesus. “I was stunned!” Beki says. “I turned to them and said, ‘Do you know what you are singing? You are not allowed to sing about Jesus!’ They told me that they believed in Jesus as their Savior and Lord and invited me to their church.”

Surprised by the boys’ assurance of salvation, Beki’s interest was sparked to understand more about their faith. “I went to the church service, and for the first time, I heard a sermon about God the Father’s love for His children,” she says.

Beki began reading the New Testament with curiosity and a critical eye, looking for mistruths or contradictions. “At the same time, my brother also read the New Testament, and we discussed the Scriptures,” she recalls. “What we found was Jesus’ love for us. We returned to the church, and after the service, the pastor called for whoever wanted to accept Jesus as the Lord of their life. My brother stood up immediately, and I followed, asking the pastor to lead me in the prayer of salvation.”

So joyful was she about her newfound faith, Beki immediately began to tell family and friends about Jesus. She was met with cynicism and warnings; many criticized her. “The boys of the neighborhood called me Mary and spat on me, but I blessed them. They even began to think I was drugged because I did not respond with anger. After a time, my sisters and brothers accepted Jesus into their lives. My friends began to return to me, and my teachers’ respect for me returned. I thanked God for the time of persecution, because it was a time when I was assured that I am in the truth and that God is alive, working in me. My grief, anger, and desire for revenge were replaced with peace, love, and compassion for others.”

Lighting the Way

Beki’s husband realized the value of her training and  agreed to take  the responsibility of the home for a week, so that Beki could accompany Alliance international workers to a training event in Switzerland in Spring 2011. I am continually touched by Beki’s enthusiasm and gratefulness. She is a woman gifted by God, and with this training, her gifts will continue to multiply as she serves the women of Kosovo.

*Name changed

What You Can Do

Pray for the Lord’s empowerment for Alliance workers who are involved in training and equipping nationals for leadership.

Give to Alliance Great Commission Ministries. In doing so, you partner with Alliance workers to share the Light of Life with those walking in darkness, desperate for hope.

Learn More

Training believers to be leaders in their countries is essential to building strong national churches. Learn about the C&MA’s role in equipping national believers who are called to lead.

Read about a joint effort between Alliance workers and national believers to reach Kosovo with the light of Jesus.


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