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Hi, my name is Ervin Malaj, I was born in Patos (Fier), where I spent part of my childhood, until I was 10 years old. In 1995 my parents moved to the wonderful Valona, where they still live. I still had to finish my 5th grade, so I stayed with my grandparents, having  a great school year. A year before moving to Valona, October 4th 1994, something amazing happened to my dad. He was on a hill, and all of a sudden it began to rain and thunder hard; he was holding an umbrella when a great light came, a lightning from the sky, in a moment the umbrella flew off his hands, he felt his body burn like a flame, and something pulled him 10 metres behind where he stood. The lightning hurt his belly, like a bullet; the lightning divided in two pieces the handle and the umbrella, it crossed his leg and came out from his boot. After screaming for hours asking for help, some  men in the neighbourhood ran to help him. While they were holding my father, waiting for a car to take him to the Hospital, I saw him and I shivered. I was only 10, and I said: “Oh Lord! Oh Lord! Oh Lord!” I didn’t know anything about God except for His name. My father was healed, the doctors said it was a miracle never seen before. It was the 1st time a person hit by a lightning had survived, and moreover, he hadn’t a scratch! This story made me think about God. I usually went to the place of the accident and I used to light candles, thinking to thank God that way. When my5th grade was over, I went to stay with my family in Valona. Near us, there was a Muslim family, and one of them asked me to go to the Mosque, and I accepted. I went there with the desire to know God  to thank Him for not having taken my father’s life. At the beginning I liked the idea to attend a place where it was taught about God, even if every Friday on my way to the Mosque I felt happy and very thoughtful at the same time. Muslims gave me books and reading them I had to match with a lot of rules. For example: leaving from home heading to the Mosque I could not go to the toilet, or I would  be impure. I was a 13-14 years old boy, and reading those rules a lot of questions came to my mind. I used to think: “Does God know that nobody on this Earth can observe all these rules? Nobody can approach to Him!”. While I had all these thoughts in my head, one of my schoolmates invited me to a meeting in an Evangelical Church. Although I already considered myself a Muslim, I went to that meeting. I liked the atmosphere, the people, their sincerity… there were so many reasons I wanted to go there again. This way, I began to attend the Evangelical Church regularly, abandoning the Mosque. In the Church I felt good, accepted, loved, and I had the peace in my heart. After a while, a boy asked me: “have you got a Bible?” and I said I hadn’t. He took the New Testament and opened it in the Gospel of John, and asked me to start reading. If I had any questions I could have talked to him about it. It was the 1st time a held a Bible in my hands. As soon as I got home, I began to read with great joy and curiosity, finding the answers to my questions. Even if according to my parents and relatives I was a good guy, reading the Bible, I opened my eyes, my mind and my heart and I realized I was not such a good guy. The Bible is a mirror through which the man can see the bottom of his heart. Looking inside of me, I saw a heart full of sin, dirt, and I knew that only God and I were able to see it. But the Bible doesn’t stop at that: it doesn’t just lighten you showing you the dirtiness of your heart; it gives you the solution to how can a man purify his heart from sin and whatever dirty is in himself. Jesus came on this Earth to forgive my sin, to clean my heart, to give me eternal life. When I realized my situation and the need I had of God, I bent on my knees, among the tears, and prayed the Lord Jesus to come into my life, to purify my heart. He did it. In the Bible God says: “Who searches me with all his heart finds Me”. I searched Him, I believed that Jesus died on the cross because of my sin, He loves me beyond every imagination, and He was crucified for my fault. Luke 23:34: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”. Jesus was 100% God and 100% man on that cross! God suffered immensely, He could have said: “father blast them all” But He said: “Forgive them” . This great love led Him to die for me, in our place. This love maybe is not accepted by the human mind, it goes beyond every kind of love, even the love a mother has toward her son. When Jesus came into my heart, my life changed completely, I felt free and joyful from my heart. I was so happy, I began to talk to my schoolmates about Jesus. They were shocked by my radical transformation. Jesus is in my heart since 13 years, and I never regretted my decision. The Lord has never disappointed me. During these years I’ve had ups and downs in my life, problems and toughness more or less big, but God has been always by my side, giving me a way to solve them. I tried to put God in 1st place in my life, because only when Jesus is on the throne of my life, I am sure I’ll walk straight on, following his will, every day. The life with God is not only beautiful and safe, but takes away your fear of tomorrow. I and every child of God believe that the Lord is the Creator, He holds the Universe in His hands and nothing happens without His allowance. He promised that everything that happens in our life is for our own good. Joy and safety are not just for this life: Jesus promised He’ll come back one day to take in Heaven everyone who believes in Him. We’ll spend the eternal life with Him, there’ll be no more struggle and pain, fear and death, everything will be perfect, where God lives we’ll live, in His presence, in Heaven. I believe (and I am sure of it) everything God has promised is going to accomplish. Blessed be our God forever.


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