Lumturi lives with her two children in the Italian city of San Benedetto del Tronto. The 56-year-old Albanian woman grew up under a rigid communist regime in Albania that banned all religion.
“Even though I come from a traditional Muslim family, we didn’t believe in God at all,” she relates. “Yet, as a child, I asked myself how it was possible that humans came from monkeys, as I was taught. Or how a big bang could have been the origin of all creation. I was afraid of my thoughts, though, for they could bring you to jail.”
After the collapse of communism, Lumturi emigrated to Italy in search of a better life. Her parents wanted her to get married first and arranged a husband for her. “To make my parents happy, I accepted, but that was the biggest mistake in my life,” she sighs.
In Italy, Lumturi had two children. She quit her job to look after them. Her husband turned out to have a violent character. He neglected his responsibilities. Eventually, he left his family and returned to Albania. “There I was, alone with two children in a foreign country, having no job,” Lumturi looks back.
A friend invited Lumturi to attend a meeting at a local evangelical church. There, the words of the preacher pierced her heart. “He told the story of a woman with five children who faced many challenges. She had decided to believe in Jesus, and God helped her out. The pastor said that he was the fifth child of that family,” Lumturi recalls. “I started to cry and felt the love of God.”
She joined that church, and its members helped her to find a job. A little later, a pastor from Albania came to introduce Bible League’s Project Philip Bible studies. Lumturi eagerly joined.
“I received a Bible in my own language,” she beams. “This was so special to me! My relationship with God grew, and I shared the Gospel with a friend of mine. We are now doing a Bible study with a group of Albanians in our church. Thank you for providing the materials and Bibles.”