The Pocket Missionary – The story of Elton
Elton is a young man who came to Jesus through the teachings provided by Radio 7and their partner, Leading The Way. His story is one that is very hard to imagine for anyone in America, but it proves the importance of the ministry of Media 7. He was born to a Gypsy family in Tirana and was very proud of his Muslim roots and decided Muslim was his identity. His grandfather was his mentor and taught him all the rules including going to the Mosque five times a day to pray. He tried hard to be a good male and to work hard and to help his neighbors. His neighborhood was very poor. The children had to work at a very young age to provide food for themselves and alcohol for their alcoholic fathers. Elton began to work when he was only four years old, selling second-hand clothes in the market with his parents. It may not seem like hard work, but it involved setting up and taking down the booth. It meant giving up the carefree days of a normal child and not even imaging the dreams of a better life when he grew up.
He saw his mother and grandmother abused by his father and grandfather. He thought the physical and verbal abuse was normal and started to abuse his sisters and the younger children in his family the same way. Abusing the females in his family seemed a part of male life. No one in his family went to school, so he did not either. Imagine the hopelessness of Elton’s life without the education to rise out of the gypsy lifestyle he was born to live, the attitude that abuse and hardwork is all life offered. Elton’s life was an atmosphere of physical and verbal abuse. He was left to his own demise.
One day he met a young man in his twenties selling in the same market area as he. This young man was the only one not cursing anyone, and that made an impression on Elton because cursing at one another and fortune telling are very normal in the Gypsy culture. Elton began to talk with him, and soon they were discussing religion. Elton told him how proud he was to be a Muslim and began to discuss the holiness of the Quran and the greatness of Islam to make people better. His new friendask him, “What does the Quran say about this? Or what does the Quran say about that?”
Elton could not read and had never read the Quran.He realized he had never seen his father or grandfather reading it either. None of them could read or write. No one had ever taught him he should read the Quran and know what it said. His friend gave him a solar-powered audio player containing the New Testament and Dr. Youssef’s teachings. Elton gave his life to Christ the very night he heard the hope of the Gospel as he listened to the Bible. He says Dr. Youssef’s teachings are helping him to gain an understanding of how to live the Christian life.
Today, he attends church regularly and shares the Gospel with others in his community where people have never heard of Jesus, and he gives them audio players too. The players are helping get messages of Jesus to people who would not hear them otherwise. We are thankful for Leading The Way with Dr. Youssef for providing the “solar-powered pocket missionary.” that allows us to reach the most vulnerable people with the life-changing message of the Gospel.The Gospel of hope, not just for Elton, but also those Elton shares his message with purpose and love.