By David Faust
Shefki Selmani grew up in a Muslim family in the European republic of Kosovo. As a boy in the late 1990s, he heard bombs falling from NATO military action against the Serbs. During those stormy times he enjoyed lighter moments by playing soccer with British troops, and hanging around them taught him some not-so-proper English words.
American missionaries introduced Shefki to the gospel and baptized him into Christ when he was a teenager. He says, “Jesus called me and that meant for me to leave everything if I wanted to follow him.” As a result of encountering Jesus, Shefki’s life changed in many ways.
Shefki’s worldview changed from a nominal commitment to Islam to deeply held convictions about Christ.
His educational experience changed. He came to the United States and graduated from Cincinnati Christian University with a degree in biblical studies.
His personal relationships changed as he befriended Christians from all around the world.
Even more, his career goals changed. Today Shefki serves the Lord full-time back home in Kosovo. He leads a Saturday sports program as an outreach to kids. His church provides food and flour for poor families and single mothers, distributes Bibles, and prays for people—and it’s rare for prayers to be lifted up in the name of Jesus in that region. Shefki observes, “Here I am today sharing the gospel with people who perhaps have never heard about Jesus in this way and have not seen Christians live their lives in such a way.”
Shefki’s views of life and death have changed dramatically because of Jesus Christ. His church recently acquired land for an office building and a cemetery. Though it may seem strange to some, he sees the cemetery as an answered prayer. Shefki says, “One of the first things I thought about before I chose to become a Christian was, where would I be buried when I die? I know this may seem like an odd thought, but to our culture it is important to know how you will be buried.”
There are many chapters still to be written for the Lord in Kosovo, but for Shefki Selmani, following Jesus has led to a better story.
David Faust serves as associate minister with East 91st Street Christian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana.