Monday, June 29, 2009

Yearbook Experiences - Agron Bashota

(pg 147/2009 Yearbook - Lands of former Yugoslavia. Kosovo is above Macedonia & if you click on the photo you can see the map close up)

(experience of Agron Bashota - pgs 236 & 237 / 2009 Yearbook)

"When I saw all the horrible things taking place in the war, including the murder of small children, I concluded that God must not exist. 'If he does,' I thought, 'why doesn't he do something about all the suffering?' My faith was further damaged when I saw how Muslim religious leaders were supporting the war against the Serbs. Before the war, I was Muslim; however, by the end of the war, I had become an atheist and had joined the Kosovo Liberation Army. Though I was with them for only a short time, I earned a lot of respect and received many privileges. This caused me to become aggressive and proud because whatever I said got done. Unfortunately, I also displayed this attitude toward my wife. I thought that she had to do as I told her and always act on my orders. My wife, Merita, had been in contact with the Witnesses during the war and had some of their literature. One night before going to bed, she said: "Take these and read them. They are about God." I was furious that she thought she could teach me about God. To avoid further confrontation, Merita went to the bedroom to sleep. Left by myself with the literature, I decided to read the brochure What Does God Require of Us? Next I read the booklet The Time for True Submission to God. As a Muslim, I was suprised that it quoted from the Koran. Then I read some Watchtower and Awake! magazines. Later that night, I went into the bedroom and woke my wife up. "From whom did you get these?" I asked. "Where can I find these people?" I was sincerely touched by what I had read, but my wife was skeptical and afraid of what I might do. Nevertheless, that night we phoned a Witness and found out when and where their meeting was to be held. The next morning we went to the meeting. I was so impressed at how kind and welcoming the brothers were! I didn't think there could be people like that on earth. I could tell that they were different. During the meeting I had a question and could hardly wait to get it answered, even raising my hand to ask it. Not knowing why I was so anxious to speak with them, the elders were a bit nervous. What a relief it must have been when they realized that I simply wanted to know what I had to do to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses! I started studying the Bible that very day. The many changes I wanted to make in my personality were not easy. I wanted to stop smoking, and I felt that I needed to cut off contact with my former friends. With prayer and regular meeting attendance, I repented of my former life and put on the new personality. What a difference the truth has made in my life and that of my family! Now my wife and I serve as regular pioneers, and in 2006, I was appointed as a ministerial servant. Now I can help others to understand why people suffer and how Jehovah will soon solve all our problems."