God is raising up leaders to help heal his people in the Balkans.
Loving society’s most marginalized can often feel like an overwhelming task, but for Blerta Kamberi, it has become her heart’s desire and her full-time job.
Blerta is a leader of CHE Albania, one of World Challenge’s ministry partners in the Balkans, and she focuses on serving the Roma community, sometimes called gypsies.
How did you become involved in ministry?
During my college studies I was always praying for my future job, wondering where I would go. I trusted God had the right one ready for me.
When I graduated, Fida—a Finnish NGO (non-government organization or non-profit)— offered me a job. It worked with my home church in Tirana, so I thought ‘well, why not?’ and took the opportunity.
I was assigned to a Roma community in Rruga-Ura and in two remote villages outside Tirana. It was harder than I imagined in the beginning, facing the reality of Roma families’ poverty. Their oppression and difficulties were beyond anything I had ever imagined.
Every time we were able to lead one to God or support them into finding their way out of poverty, it was such a triumph!
How did you become one of Che Albania’s leaders?
That’s a story! In 2013, I was actually praying about leaving the ministry, thinking I had done my part. After all, I had a graduate degree, and it seemed like time to start building my career.
However, God had a different plan.
One Sunday, I suddenly felt very strongly that God was giving me 2 Kings 19:29-31 as my guide and promise. It’s Isaiah’s prophesy to King Hezekiah that God would provide for the Israelites during Assyria’s assault on their country.
I had no idea what this meant for us, but I surrendered myself to God’s will.
The next day we were informed that Fida had to leave Albania, and our budget would be substantially reduced over the next few years. I couldn’t imagine the Roma families we’d worked with for so long being without help.
We threw ourselves into building a new team and becoming our own non-profit. God was working behind the scenes, bringing us together with partners like World Challenge who had the same heart for the lost and the broken. God was making us ready for the next season.
In 2015, God’s plan for our ministry came to reality: we’d founded a local non-profit. Now our mission is to spread beyond Albania into the rest of the region.
What motivates you to keep working in ministry?
When I see people commit themselves to God and want to change their lives and their future, that is the greatest blessing! It gives me such a desire to help them in this transforming process.
Our holistic training allows whole families and communities to experience God’s restoration throughout their lives. Especially through education for the younger generation.
The Lord made them intelligent and with gifts He wants them to use to bless others. When they grasp that, school is doing more than just helping them break free of the poverty cycle. God’s Word in their hearts will inform how they use their education and resources in the future.
Through this ministry, we’re not just raising better educated citizens for our country. We’re discipling Albania’s future spiritual leaders.
God will reap a great harvest among the Albanian people and everyone in the Balkans in due time. I believe it, and I hope to see it soon!
The learn more about the work going on in the Balkans, read “A Land of Crossroads.” To find out more about how CHE Albania is helping Roma individuals, check out “To Write of God’s Love.”
Blerta Kamberi is a member of God News Church in Tirana, Albania. She has a degree in Environment Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration. She and her husband have a son and daughter.