Dear friends, praying partners, supporters, brothers and sisters…
Dear friends, praying partners, supporters, brothers and sisters…
Greetings from Drago and Jaroslava
We are glad that we can share with you news and events that have happened lately.
Christmas gifts for children in our town
At the end of the last year we were able to give out 950 Christmas gifts. Several events have been organised.
14th December, Gypsy settlement, Christmas celebration and Christmas gifts for Roma children.
29th December, Cultural Centre, Christmas celebration and Christmas gifts for poor children.
30th December, over a hundred children came with their parents to the church. We are very pleased that many people came to our church and had an opportunity to meet with the believers.
Please pray for our plans for this year:
– Opening of an Internet café in the church.
– Alpha Course in the spring
– For our family
Thank you for your support in the work of God in which God has put us together.
Drago and Jaroslava
Here are the last two stories in this series that we have been publishing since the Autumn. Each of the students you have read about need your prayer as they continue to prepare for mission at the Bible School in Belgrade, Serbia.
I heard about God when I was very small from my believing parents and experienced Him as my closest friend. As I grew, whilst I was experiencing and more of His great love, I found big difficulties at school from those who didn’t understand my relationship with Him. I used to “escape” to my room – the one safe place where I read the Bible religiously and understood the words but I didn’t put them into practice.
The great pressure and humiliation at school led me to fall into depression – I was full of bitterness and pain. One Sunday, my father spoke the words of Jesus – to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us – I realised finally that Jesus had suffered for me.
The difficulties continued but I saw that it actually was an honour to suffer for Jesus – that He could use me in the midst of this. I had a joy as I continued. Now I open the Bible – I don’t read mechanically… knowledge isn’t what makes a difference alone: it is living out, putting into practice the truth that changes things. I am now at the Bible School where I continue to learn to put into practice Jesus’ teaching…
I’m from Leskovac – South Serbia. A few years ago I was an aggressive, hard man. I looked for real freindship but didn’t find it – I felt overwhelmed by emptiness. My father was an alcoholic. I decided to commit suicide.
A woman came to my home and said, “Nenad, what are you doing? She encouraged me, she said “This kind of action is not from God – it is from Satan.” I sensed God working around me. I began to cry and decided to turn away from my wrong habits. But I quickly found myself in the middle of these wrong things again.
Finally I prayed, unable to resolve all of this by myself, “God – only You can keep me from this kind of life – only You can rescue me. I cannot.”
I lived in the Romany part of our town where there was a group who loved Jesus. I began to sense peace and God’s love. I began to be a blessing to my community as I started to love those around me.
Once I was dead – now I’m alive in Jesus Christ!
Here, Vladimir – who has just graduated – shares his story.
I’m Vlada from a Slovak village called Padina in north Serbia and I have just graduated from the Bible School.
I first went to church when I was nine years old – my Mum started to go to church and I went with her. On my tenth birthday, I said to everyone in the church that I wanted to follow Jesus. When I was fourteen, just before I went to High School, I thought I would stop walking with Jesus but through nearly being involved in an accident that could have killed me and various other events, God showed me that He still had His hand on my life. I began to more seriously read the Bible and to pray. I felt challenged to admit before God and others that I was a sinner who needed God’s grace… I tried to seek peace with those who lived around me and to seek God’s touch in my life. I began to experience God’s Word living in and changing me.
I finished my year at the Bible School at Christmas time following what has been a year of growth for me. Some of the best times have been taking my notes from lectures in the day and in the early evening finding a quiet space to go through them and reflect on them alone.
Pray for Vladimir as he begins to serve in Padina…
Hearing the stories of the students of the Bible School is a great encouragement and often a challenge. Here is Amir’s story followed by Snezana’s – we will send more over the next week…
I’m from a Muslim Romany background – my home town is Bosnia. I heard about Jesus in 2005 when my middle brother – who had heard about Jesus through his wife – sent me on a camp. The camp was by a lake and there I heard good teaching – I was really impressed too by the way that I heard people worshipping. On the last night of that camp, they asked, “Who wants to trust Jesus to be their Saviour?” I said that I did.
Four months later I was baptised and two days after that, my oldest brother died of a heart attack. I found this a great challenge to my faith but I have learned to trust Him through those hard times and the good times. I am here at the Bible School to study God’s Word – I am enjoying getting to know others here. I want to be open for God to use me as He chooses.
I am 19 years old. When I was 3, my father became very ill. When I reached 6 years old, it became clear that he had cancer. Half of my extended family are followers of Jesus Christ and they wanted to pray for my dad and because of their caring concern, my mum started to go to church. Near the end of his life, my father was declared clinically dead and my mother prayed that he would live just a little longer so she could prepare for him to go. One month later, he died. But in this time he too had trusted Jesus.
My mother looked after me. When I reached 12 years old, I was on a camp, I dreamed about my father. I also sensed God’s preparedness to complete and fill me. I gave my life to Him on this camp and was baptised shortly afterwards.
I pray that with this that life God has given me, I would serve God and be a blessing to others. I particularly love to work with children.
Two years ago, I came to the Bible School to help to look after children during a conference. I was so impressed by what I saw that I began to pray that I would be able to one day come to study here. Almost all of my church is praying for me as I study here and I feel that it’s definitely God’s will that I am here. It’s been a great blessing so far.
One of the Bible School team, Marijana, taught me when I was 7 years old on a Christian camp. It is great to be now in the Bible School with her involved in the team.
Last week was the 12th anniversary of my father’s death, I pray for God to take away my brokenness and to have that sense that God is my father. I have a great peace that I will meet my earthly father again one day with Jesus.
As I look at the future and the mission fields of my town on the Croatian border, I am greatly encouraged by this verse
“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
Before the new term of studies begins at the Bible School, Darko S. who serve on the CEF team with Darko and Lidija, will be leading a camp using the Bible School building. He has specific points that he would like us to pray about – please click here to read his message!
“I wish you all the best from the Lord in this new year 2012. Right away at the beginning of this year, the Lord encouraged me with a verse from His Word. The verse is written in Galatians 4:18“It is good to be zealous, but for good things, and for that always…” In this letter I want to inform you about some of the many “good things” which we are planning to do this year….”