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Berti Dosti faced a terrible but intriguing dilemma. He was an Albanian army captain and his job as a radio specialist was to listen into the world’s airwaves ... As he idly twiddled the radio dials, he heard a voice saying: “If you want to find out more about God we will meet again tomorrow.”
1980s Albania. The world’s most isolated country and ‘the first atheistic state’. Captain Dosti knows that by secretly listening to a Christian radio station he could put his life and the life of his whole family at risk. And yet, he cannot resist.
This inspiring story of Berti’s journey from Captain Dosti to Pastor Dosti gives us a glimpse of the explosive growth of the early Albanian church after nearly half a decade of repressive atheism and the untiring efforts of Trans World Radio to broadcast the Christian message across closed borders to Albanians, who for most of their life had been told there was no God.
“There are lessons to learn here. We see that prayer is key to making things happen … We see that perseverance in preaching the Word is essential … We are reminded that there are corners of the world that we do not know about even though the world is shrinking. Missionaries are needed to preach the gospel in those places, and this book reveals just how much spiritual hunger there can be in those who have never heard.”
Rico Tice, Senior Minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London
“John Butterworth’s wonderful story about the life of the Albanian army officer Berti Dosti, shows us that God calls people from every possible background and changes their lives for ever. The story of what happened to Berti is as enthralling as a spy thriller. And it leaves the reader asking: If God can call people like this, might he be calling me too?”
Gordon Mursell, Former Bishop of Stafford
“This extraordinary story is a powerful testimony of the way that human beings need to worship. The God-implanted impulse to worship, found in every human heart, does not change whether it is confronted by militant atheism in Albania or, as in the case of much of the West, with materialism. John Butterworth’s account of Berti Dosti’s life will inspire Christians around the world to share their faith confidently in word and deed.”
Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans
About the author
John Butterworth, who has written six books, has been a journalist on national, regional and weekly newspapers for 44 years and a newspaper editor for 28 years in Shrewsbury, Bromsgrove, Leek and the Black Country, as well as running his own newspaper in mid-Staffordshire. In May 2008 he was awarded the MBE for services to journalism and charity after his papers raised more than £5 million for local causes. He has visited Albania six times to research God's Secret Listener. John has also been a Reader or preacher in the Church of England for nearly 30 years and is a volunteer speaker with Open Doors, a Christian charity supporting the persecuted church worldwide. He has been married to his wife Jan for 46 years and they have two grown-up sons and two grandchildren.
Before reading I knew next to nothing about Albania, its history or the Albanian Church. The stories of how God used TWR and ECM to grow His church and bring so many to living knowledge of Him in such difficult and unlikely circumstances is enormously encouraging. I was reminded of the power of the Gospel and the real need there is to faithfully pray and proclaim – whatever the circumstances. There’s so much encouragement in this story of the Albanian church and Pastor Dosti!
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