We are truly blessed with our brothers and sisters in the church.It is wonderful to have such a lovely family around.
Holy Communion is a new thing that we started in the church in Ruma.
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.
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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
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.
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.
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
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
Our dear friends,
Warm greetings from the Milenkovic family.
After a longer period of time we are writing to you with the news on what is happening with us. Sara and I have been back home since a few days ago. We are thankful to God that the family is reunited after a log time, together with the new member, Sofija Lena. The two months of our life in America passed, and how was it? It was good and hard and sad and joyful. There were many situations in which we could only pray to God to give us strength to endure, while thanking Him for bringing us to a place like St. Jude hospital. Sara had great care there, and other life conditions, and a possibility to keep enjoying the things that make a child’s life. We are thankful to our brothers and sisters there who made an effort, visited us and cared about us, making us feel at home as much as it was possible.
Because of the side effects Sara would sometimes feel very weak and exhausted, eating poorly, losing weight, but what she’d never lose was her cheerful spirit and courage to cope with everything. In these few months she has become a more mature person. It even seems that she took the hair loss easier than we did. Other than all of that, we tried to life lives as normally as possible. We would go to church regularly and meet many wonderful people. Sara enjoyed her Sunday school classes. We would go to the Zoo, shopping, watching cartoons and skyping with our family back home every day. We are staying home four weeks altogether, that is, until February 3, where Sara’s chemotherapy will start, which would last about 5 months. Sara is in a category of high-risk patients, which is why she was taking high dosages of radiation, and it is going to be the same with the chemotherapy.
Our battle with the cancer has only started. We believe God that He could end it today, but we trust that same God that He knows all our days and our future. We know that sometimes sufferings which seem so painful to us bring a purpose which is so much higher and more wonderful. How did God see His own Son’s pain and death? Could He have saved Him from the cross and death? Who can listen to a child’s cry and not respond to it, or watch His own child’s death, being able to stop it, and still not do it? It is God, because He knew that precisely this death would bring blessings to mankind through the millennia.
We pray every day that God would give us strength to trust Him even though we are sometimes overwhelmed by the feeling of helplessness and a desire for an instant solution. We will do everything that we can to provide the best care possible for Sara, but we know that it’s all in God’s authority and His hands
Today is Sara’s 9th birthday. We rejoice that God gave us Sara to have her through all these years and that she is with us. Sara bought a bracelet to her mother, on which it is engraved that every day is a gift from God. This is true for both her and me and all of us. If there are a few more days ahead of us to live, it is a gift from God, and if not, again, it is all from Him.
We would like to have Jaroslava, Jana and Lena join us in America at the end of February or the beginning of March. There are many things to arrange about visas, traveling, accommodation there. Please pray for all this to be possible so that we can all be together during this long and probably more difficult period for Sara.
Things at HUB are going great. Last semester finished and 5 students finished their one year long education at the school. The rest are continuing their education and in a few days only, a couple of other students will join them. A youth camp at HUB finished yesterday, where we were able to be their hosts. What a privilege it is to serve others! Thanks so much that you keep praying and supporting the ministry of HUB and the Bible school.
Thank you for praying faithfully for us as a family and for asking us about the news. Thanks to all those of you who sent us emails, letters, presents, greeting cards etc. So much care and love, from those we never even met. We usually were not able to respond and personally thank you for it, but we do thank you now wholeheartedly.
May God help us all in this New Year to have Him closer and more dear to us than ever.
Sladjan and Jaroslava, with Sara, Jana and Lena
Internet cafe in Ruma
Belgrade, October 13, 2012
Dear friends, prayer supporters, brothers and sisters,
We are writing to you thankful in our hearts for your prayers for our daughter Sara and us. Here’s a short update on the current events.
Sara has had one surgery on Thursday, two days ago, which should make the main operation of the tumor removal safer. The next operation should take place next week. Since there are now a few wounds on her head from the operation, it is hard for her and it hurts.
Please pray that God would give her supernatural strength to fight with everything. She’s been handling all this with a lot of courage, but it happens, just as with us, that she goes through moments of sadness when it’s really hard for her because of everything. I am with Sara all the time, and Jaroslava is also there during the day-time.
We still don’t know for sure what kind of a tumor it is, and we won’t know either until the analysis of the tumor is done, which usually lasts up to two weeks after surgery. We are praying and hoping that the tumor is not malignant.
We are in God’s hands. Thank you for your prayers and for encouraging other people to pray for us as well.
Sladjan, Jaroslava, Sara and Jana Milenkovic
Michael Green spoke extremely well about the letters to the seven churches in Revelation. He brought challenge and encouragement to everyone. Many shared how they were inspired, refreshed, challenged. There were a massive number at the conference – around 190 adults as well as 50 children!
There are wonderful developments across the region amongst the graduates of the Bible School.
MISSION: VISION AND OWNERSHIP – Yet more graduates who returned to work as tent-makers in their home towns have become overwhelmed with the needs in other parts of the country and have moved into pioneering church-planting situations.
There are more and more bold, locally initiated and imagined evangelistic projects and there is also more finance coming into mission work from the local church. There have always been examples of this but it seems to be increasingly the norm. There is an increasing sense of the national church plunging out to reach those who do not yet know Christ.
UNITY AMONGST BELIEVERS – Sitting amongst those at the conference was a broader-than-ever cross-section of the Balkans. The corporate worship times at HUB were led by an international group that included Slovaks, Serbs, Bosnian Muslims and Macedonians. They are delighted by the unity they experience – not because of this conference but because of Christ. It is wonderful to see many “barriers” removed and unity deepening.
We pray on for the Church of Jesus Christ in the Balkans!