Mission to Montenegro newsletter
Highlights from Winter 2010As I get ready to do more up to date blogging, here are some highlights from Winter 2010
Highlights from a Recent General Update.
We are very encouraged by what God is doing in Montenegro, but I am feeling the most worn out I ever have in ministry. We are presently enjoying a short furlough (1 November – 30 January) with our sending church in California while already looking forward to getting back to Montenegro at the beginning of February with new vigor. Though we don't anticipate visiting many churches this furlough, I am prepared to visit churches that really want a visit. Also, should any of you know of churches that would like to grow into missions but have not yet done so, please feel free to tell them about us and the work in Montenegro.
During our furlough we will be resting, recuperating, reequipping, and resupplying.
Milijana and Josiah are with us. Christian, Amy, and Anna Marie joined us for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
STATUS OF GOSPEL IN COUNTRY
Montenegro continues to be the least evangelized country in Europe. Twenty years ago there was not a single Biblical church. We continue to be one of only three churches in the whole country and the only one with a reformed commitment. A number of missionaries have come but had to leave in recent years. We give thanks that God has enabled us to remain and that he continues to use us. Since the country is so small and missions is still in the pioneering phase, we are in the midst of laying a solid Gospel foundation which we pray God will use for those who will follow us.
GOD PROVIDING DURING OUR ABSENCE:
Praise: During our absence one of our "own" is ministering in our place. The Adams family (Nathan, Rada, and daughter Anya) are in Niksic, with Nathan preaching weekly at our services. Nathan met Rada herein Niksic at a Christian student outreach camp we hosted 10 years ago. Nathan spent his holidays with us (he's from England) so he could spend time with Rada (who had become a believer through the ministry here). They married 8 years ago and have been living in England, finishing their various schooling. Nathan has been involved with Christian work of different types. Now, they are seriously considering entering the mission field and offered to help out in our absence. This will give them a chance to test the waters, so to
speak, and encourage our people as well. We are very grateful to the Lord (and to the Adams Family) for providing so abundantly.
Though Nathan will be doing most of the preaching, Danijel and Peter will be helping in leading and Peter will have overall oversight.
SHORT TERM HELPERS
Praise: Two Norwegians (Junas and Sundre) have joined us here in Niksic for six months as part of their Bible College program. They are being very proactive in meeting and inviting people to meetings and are adding much to the ministry here.
PROGRESS DURING OUR FURLOUGH
With the presence of the Adams family, the Norwegians, Danijel, and Peter during our absence we anticipate God doing much and our absence being a time of progress in Niksic rather than maintenance. This is God's work and progress. There have been new contacts recently. The brethren are following up in our absence. We look forward to meeting new visitors when we return.
Just about 10 days before leaving on furlough, we found out that due to new laws in effect connected with Montenegrin independence (in an attempt to curb people from having dual Serbian/Montenegrin citizenship) Stan and the children's citizenship papers are no longer valid (it's complicated but the reason is our citizenship was recorded in Belgrade in the no longer existent Yugoslav Ministry of Interior Affairs.
Ironically, it appeared that Vicki was the only one with a legal right to be here long-term. I (Stan) was plunged into the depths of bureaucracy (and there is no bureaucracy like Balkan bureaucracy) trying to sort out the options and get the necessary paperwork done before leaving. I was prepared to send the family ahead to the U.S. on furlough while trying to get a necessary piece of paper. It wasvery stressful. I give praise that two days before we were to leave I was able to have my permanent residency confirmed and submit an application for MNE citizenship without loss of U.S. citizenship. Again, praise God--marvel at His providence!
MAJOR OUTREACHES PLANNED
We will be receiving several thousand Samaritan’s Purse Christmas boxes which we will be giving to children in conjunction with special Christmas Gospel programs. Though this is a tremendous opportunity, it is also a great challenge as we are so few and our resources are very limited. Please pray that God would lead and help us us and open children’s and parent’s hearts.
We have received the largest number of New Testaments (from the Gideons) that has ever been in Montenegro. In addition to one-on one distribution, we are considering some very large outreaches—the entire army, entire police departments, entire schools, university departments and similar. Please pray that God would grant us favor in the eyes of the various authorities; that He would help us to distribute these New Testaments in the best way, that He would open people’s hearts, and that many would read and receive the Word with gladness and be joined to Christ.
Our major need continues to be help—short term and long term workers.
Finances: The economic crisis has affected our income. A few additional regular givers as well as a few special gifts for special projects would be very helpful. Thanks to all who have been helping.
As always please continue to pray in all the normal ways—this is so necessary.
Yours in Christ,
Stan, family, and the brethren in Niksic
Website: http://christianitymontenegro.org (needs to be updated but has good information)