Greetings and news from Memphis – 11. feb. 2013.

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Memphis 2/11/2013

Dear friends,

Greetings from Memphis. Sara and I are back here after almost one month of our time spent home. It was good to spend time together after two months.

Great news!

The new MRI results showed that there are no new signs of the disease in her body and that everything seems much better than on a previous scan before the radiation therapy. Even a little metastatic spot that they found that was worrying us, is now far smaller than it was. The doctors were very satisfied and encouraged. Thank God for this. It is very encouraging for us.

In front of us

As soon as we arrived, the long days of many examinations and procedures for Sara’s next therapies began. The further therapy will consist of taking her stem cells, before the first cycle of the chemotherapy and putting them back into her blood after the chemotherapy. This procedure is performed because Sara is in a group of high-risk patients and because she will be taking high dosages of chemotherapy.

The first cycle of chemotherapy starts on February 16. Please pray that Sara is able to bear it and that the side effects of the therapy would be minimal. The conversations that I’ve had with the doctors and the specialized literature that I got to read other than useful information bring also fear. You know, the real challenge for us is the conflict between theological knowledge and practical application as we go through the feelings of pain and sadness, as well as thankfulness and joy, insecurity and fear even though we trust God’s providence and sovereignty.

Thank you!

But what we would like to say is a big THANKS to those of you who are with us in this, praying for us and encouraging other people to do it, helping us wholeheartedly in many ways. It is a huge thing for us to know that we are not by ourselves in this and that God gave us each other. Thanks so much to those of you who helped us practically so that Jaroslava and the children can come, so that we can all be here together. We are really touched by the way that God is providing. Isn’t it true that every hair on our heads is numbered? Won’t God then take care of his children much better than we are for our own? 

The list of those we are thankful to is too long to write it here, but here’s what sustains us in everything – God is faithful and good.

The chorus of this well-known song inspires us to trust the one who is worthy of our trust, who never changes and who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

„And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.“

 Sincerely yours,

 Sladjan and Sara, with the family

 

 

Praying for the work in Serbia

Thank you for being connected to the Oak Hall in Serbia website and for praying as the work continues.

Praying for Bible School Graduates – With over three hundred Bible School graduates across the region, there is much news to share!  A growing number are publishing to you directly through this site – we hope that it is giving you useful, prayer-fueling information.

Praying for Family Milenkovic – many of us are praying for Sara as she begins chemotherapy this week – please click here for all the recent posts about Sladjan, Jaroslava and the family.  These are very challenging days and the family continue with great grace and courage supported by your prayer.

Praying for the Bible School team and students – led by Riste and surrounded by an amazing team, the Bible School is continuing extremely well.  There is an exceptional group of students studying this year.  Riste is regularly posting news here so that we can pray as the students study and travel across the country.

The best way to keep connected to the news is to “subscribe” to the blog by entering your email above…

You can leave comments that will be read by all who visit the site – the comments that you leave are often a great encouragement.

Our prayer together is that the Lord Jesus would be honoured as we stand with each other for His glory wherever He has placed us.

Thank you for being a key part of this work.

– Andy Mayo

Novosti iz Biblijske škole

Dragi prijatelji, braćo i sestre u Hristu,

Pišemo vam sa najnovijim vestima o dešavanjima u Biblijskoj školi HUB.

Drugi semestar je počeo u ponedeljak, 14. januara, i taj dan je za sve nas  bio poseban. Studenti su se vratili nakon pet nedelja provedenih kod kuće, a njihove prve reči bile su da nisu mogli da dočekaju da se vrate. Nedostajali su im izazovi i blagoslovi koje im je Bog davao kroz proučavanje Njegove Reči, kao i život zajedništva u školi.

Tri nedelje je već prošlo od početka semestra, i već su se mnoge lepe stvari izdešavale. U prvoj nedelji studenti su proučavali evanđelje po Marku i Ponovljene zakone sa našim dugogodišnjim predavačem Rodžerom Pirsom. Rodžerov način podučavanja je veoma praktičan. Njegov cilj je da studentima postavi temelje za dalje proučavanje knjiga koje predaje. On želi da studenti zapamte po jedan događaj iz svakog poglavlja evanđelja po Marku, kao i najvažnija poglavlja Ponovljenih zakona. Studenti su priglili ovakav način podučavanja, pa su jedni druge na pauzi između časova rado ispitivali i preslišavali o tome šta su zapamtili.

Sledeće nedelje predavač je bio Vladimir Majerski koji je predavao 1. Samuilovu knjigu. I on već duže vreme verno i pouzdano predaje u našoj školi, na naše zadovoljstvo i zadovoljstvo studenata.

Treća nedelja je počela i završila se predavanjima iz Poslanice Rimljanima, koja drži Roni Stivens, pastor Međunarodne crkve u Budimpešti. Njegova predavanja se uvek dugo očekuju. Ona zahtevaju duboko razmišljanje i uključenost u predavanja.

students 17 gen 2Studentima se kroz njih otkrivaju velike istine, i mnogi svedoče da im Bog posebno govori upravo kroz ovu divnu poslanicu.

Pastor Roni Stivens nam je rekao kakvi su njegovi utisci o školi, i o ovoj generaciji: „Ovo je verovatno dvanaesti put da podučavam u HUB-u, a drugi put da podučavam baš ovu grupu studenata. Moji utisci su veoma pozitivni kada je u pitanju njihova ljubav za Gospoda i njihova ozbiljnost u proučavanju Biblije. Postavljaju inteligentna, teološki osnovana i praktično korisna pitanja. Pažljivo su slušali i stalno hvatali beleške. Čast mi je što sam njihov učitelj i što mogu bolje lično da ih upoznam. Sve mi to budi veliku nadu za hrišćanstvo u ovom delu sveta.“

Praktični dani i posete crkvama

Praktični dani i nedelje jesu omiljeni dani za studente, kada mogu praktično da posluže drugim ljudima. U toku ove tri nedelje bili smo u mnogim posetama, na različitim mestima, podeljeni u različite grupe. Do sada smo posetili četiri porodice koje imaju decu sa invaliditetom, koje su dve godine učestvovale na porodičnim kampovima u čijoj smo organizaciji mi učestvovali. Od prvog kampa, mi već tri godine u svakom semestru bar po jednom ili dvaput odlazimo kod njih, a njihovi domovi su uvek širom otvoreni za Biblijsku školu i studente. Naše posete im uvek pričinjavaju radost, jer dobijaju poštovanje i ljubav od nas. I njihova deca su presrećna kada ih posetimo. Evo izjave jedne majke čije dete ima autizam: Mi kao roditelji smo oduševljeni time što nam Biblijska škola dolazi u posetu sa studentima. Naša ćerka je veoma usamljena, a kada oni dođu ona je raspoložena i srećna. Živimo u takvom vremenu da su ljudi usmereni samo na sebe, a vi pokazujete tu nesebičnu ljubav. Različiti ste i zbog toga što odvajate vreme za nas. Naš dom je uvek otvoren za vas. Hvala vam mnogo što to radite.“

Slava Bogu što otvara vrata tamo gde možemo da praktično pokažemo njegovu ljubav, da ljudi to mogu da vide i da upoznaju Njega.

Drugi primer posete u kojoj smo bili, jeste poseta studenata Ljubi i Nadi, dvema sestrama koje boluju od mišićne distrofije i koje su smeštene u dom za odrasla invalidna lica u Beogradu. One su naše dve drage seste u Hristu, kojima idemo u posetu već 5-6 godina, otkako je Elenka stupila u kontakt sa njima. Za studente su veliki blagoslov i ohrabrenje. Ni jedan student nije mogao otići iz posete njima netaknut.

kod ljube i nade 2

Utisci  Ljube i Nade: „Godinama unazad imamo tu radost da povremeno studenti HUB-a dođu kod nas u Dom i tom prilikom podele sa nama svoju životnu priču. 
Svaka priča je veličanstvena jer g
ovori o silnom i milostivom Bogu koji je zahvatio duboko u njihov život i učinio ih novim stvorenjima, Njemu na slavu. To su mladi ljudi koji sada žele više upoznati Boga i Njegovu Reč i posvetiti mu svoj život i službu. Svaka generacija je posebna i uvek su nam bili ohrabrenje svojom ljubavlju, vedrinom, pesmom, šalama…  Zahvalne smo Bogu da smo mogle upoznati neke studente i ove generacije koji su nam ovih dana bili takođe na veliki blagoslov.“

Posete crkvama

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Ovog semestra došli smo na ideju da posetimo crkve koje nikada nismo posećivali, posebno crkve koje su male i koje nemaju dodir sa drugim vernicima. Prošle nedelje bili smo u poseti Beloj Crkvi, jednom mestu na jugu Banata, blizu rumunske granice. U tom malom mestu ima dve evanđeoske crkve, Crkva Božija i Baptistička. Mi smo bili u Baptističkoj. Crkva je mala, sa svega nekih 15 članova. Tamo smo služili sa pesmama, svedočanstvom i propovedi iz Božije Reči. Ljudi su zaista bili radosni, ohrabreni i blagosloveni našom posetom. Veoma su nas lepo ugostili i rekli nam da bi voleli da ih ponovo posetimo.

Sve u svemu, novi semestar u HUB-u je već uveliko počeo! Ovo je samo naš skroman pokušaj da vam dočaramo koliko u svemu tome doživljavamo ohrabrenja i blagoslova i koliko imamo veliku čast da služimo našem Gospodu i vidimo kako nas On koristi u životima mnogih. Uskoro ćemo vas obavestiti o tome kako se priča nastavlja. Do tada, želimo vam da uživate i rastete u našem Gospodu Isusu Hristu.

Molite se i dalje za našu službu u HUB-u i za studente.

„Žetva je obilna, ali je radnika malo. Zato molite Gospodara žetve da pošalje radnike za svoju žetvu.“ Matej 9:37-38

Riste i tim HUB-a

News from the Bible School

Dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are writing with the latest news on the happenings at HUB Bible school.

The 2nd semester started on Monday, January 14, and that day was special to all of us. The students came back after five weeks spent at home and their first words were that they couldn’t wait to come back. They missed the challenges and the blessings that God was giving them through the study of His word, and the life of fellowship in the school.

There have already been three weeks since the beginning of the semester, and many wonderful things have happened. The 1st week, the students studied the Gospel of Mark and Deuteronomy, with our longtime teacher Roger Pearce. Roger’s way of teaching is very practical. His goal is to set the foundations to the students for the further studying of the books he teaches. He wants the students to remember one event from each of the chapters of Mark, as well as the most important chapters of Deuteronomy. The students embraced this way of teaching, so they gladly questioned and tested one another on what they remembered during the breaks between classes.

The week after, Vladimir Majersky taught 2. Samuel. He also has been teaching at our school for a long time faithfully and reliably, to our pleasure and the pleasure of the students.

The third week began and finished with the lessons on the Epistle of Romans, taught by Ronnie Stevens, pastor of the International church in Budapest. His lessons are always eagerly expected. They demand deep thinking and involvement into classes. Through them the students are revealed great truths, and many testify that God is speaking to them especially through this wonderful epistle.

students 17 gen 2

Pastor Ronnie Stevens told us his impressions about the school and this generation: “This is probably the 12th time that I’ve taught at HUB and the 2nd time that I’ve taught this particular group of students. I would say that I’m very positively impressed with their love for the Lord and their seriousness about Bible study. They ask intelligent, theologically grounded, practically helpful questions. They paid great attention, they consistently took notes and it’s a privilege to be their teacher and get to know them personally. It makes me hopeful about the future of Christianity in this part of the world.” 

Practical days and visits to churches

Practical days and Sundays are the students’ favorite days, when they can practically serve other people. During these three weeks, we’ve been to many visits, at different places, split into different groups. So far we have visited four families with disabled children,  that took part for two years at the Family Retreat, the organization of which we have helped. Since the first Retreat, for three years we have been visiting them at least once or twice per semester, and their homes are always wide open for the Bible school and the students. Our visits always make them happy, because they receive respect and love from us. Their children are also happy when we visit them. Here’s a statement of a mother whose child has autism: “As parents, we are thrilled by the fact that the Bible school is coming to visit us with the students. Our daughter is very lonely, but when they come, she is excited and happy. We live at such time that people are looking only to themselves, but you show us this sacrificial love. Thank you so much for doing it.”

Praise God that He opens the doors of the places where we can show his love, so that people can see it and trust in Him.

Another example of the visit we were at, is the students’ visit to Ljuba and Nada, two sisters who have muscular dystrophy, who live in a Nursing home for adult disabled people in Belgrade. They are two of our dear sisters in Christ, who we have been visiting for 5-6 years already, ever since Elenka got in touch with them. They are a huge blessing and an encouragement for the students. No student could ever leave their place, without feeling touched.

 

kod ljube i nade 2

The impressions of Ljuba and Nada: “Years aback we have the joy of having the HUB students come to our Home occasionally and share their life stories with us then. Each story is magnificent because it speaks about an awesome and gracious God who has gotten deep into their lives and made them new creation, to His glory. They are young people who want to get to know God and His Word better, and devote their lives and ministries to Him. Each generation is special and they have always been an encouragement to us with their love, their joy, their songs, their jokes… We are thankful to God that we were able to get to know some of the students of this generation too who were also a huge blessing to us these days. “

Visists to churches

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This semester we came to an idea to visit churches that we never have visited, especially those that are small that have no contact with other believers. Last week, we were at Bela Crkva, a small place at the South of Banat, close to Romanian border. There are two evangelical churches in the place, the Church of God and the Baptist church. We were at the Baptist church. It is a small church, with only about 15 members. We served them by singing songs, sharing the testimonies and preaching from the Word of God. People were really excited, encouraged and blessed by our visit. They welcomed us warmly and said that they’d love for us to visit them again.

All in all, the happenings at HUB have started to the full! This was just our humble attempt to portray how much encouraged and blessed we are through all this and how privileged we are to serve our Lord and see Him used in the lives of many. We will soon let you know about how the story goes on. Until then, we wish you to enjoy and grow in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Please keep praying for our ministry at HUB and the students.

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38

Riste and the HUB team