Afrim Karoshi was born in Fushë-Aliaj, Albania, during the reign of Communism. Albania had been roughly 70% Muslim, 20% Greek Orthodox, and 10% Roman Catholic, but in 1969 the government declared Albania an atheistic state, strictly forbidding any religious practices, and began destroying or seizing churches and mosques. When communism fell in 1991, Albanians went back to the religious traditions of their heritage, but a generation had grown up with little to no knowledge of God.
During this time, on his 45-minute walks to and from high school each day, Afrim observed nature and reasoned that there must be a God. Since his family had been Muslim, he began observing Muslim traditions and holidays, but a year of practicing Islam left him disillusioned and his life still seemed devoid of peace and purpose. He decided to abandon his pursuit of God, attain a college degree, and return to his secular mindset and lifestyle. That was his plan, but certainly not God’s, for within a month Afrim heard a message that would forever change his life.
Campus Crusade and a few other mission organizations saw the need to bring the gospel to Albania, so in 1994 they began taking the Jesus film to each village, arriving at his in July of 1996. Afrim attended that evening, watched the film, and remained afterward to ask questions like “How can Jesus be the Son of God?” He returned the next day with more questions, finally deciding to put his trust in Christ as his savior. “Once I understood the message, I felt like it was what I had been searching for,” he explained.
He spent the next month reading the Bible, then headed off to the capital city, Tirana, to begin college. There he ran into one of the women who had visited his village, now part of a Campus Crusade team at his university. So Afrim began attended their Bible studies, was mentored by one of their staff, and soon became a leader himself. He also met and married his wife Lavdi, who was already on Crusade staff, and he joined their staff in 2000.
For the next two years Afrim led dorm Bible studies in evangelism and discipleship and helped train campus teams. Then he, Lavdi, and a group of friends began a new campus ministry in Vlora. He and Lavdi ministered there for five years.
Eager to grow in his biblical understanding, Afrim attended classes in Hungary, where two of his teachers, Trent Hyatt and Ed Murray, were Dallas Seminary graduates. Other DTS alumni and professors had visited and taught as well, including Dr. Harold Hoehner. Afrim visited Dallas and attended RReach’s Global Proclamation Academy, hosted at Dallas Seminary. These experiences whetted his appetite for even more theological training, and DTS was a natural choice.
When Afrim graduates, he, Lavdi, and their two children, Joel and Joana, plan to return to Albania and resume their ministry on college campuses. The Lord has continued to expand Campus Crusade in Albania, establishing solid campus and church relationships and increasing their national staff. Although Albania has some older believers, nearly everyone is young in the faith, so those with advanced biblical training have much to offer the young believers and those yet to know Christ as savior.
The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to
glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders
for the proclamation of His Word and the
building up of the body of Christ worldwide.