Mission to Montenegro newsletter

Blog entry for 16 February 2018

February 2018 Mission to Montenegro Newsletter

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth. Ps. 47:1-2

Grace and Peace to you in the name of God our Father!

After our busy transition to a new year (two Christmases, two Slavas, two ministry trips, followed by (no surprise) two weeks of illness, we are back to normal mode (like there ever really is normal!) with one new addition.

  • We've started a monthly Women's Meeting!  This provides an opportunity for our singles, young mothers, and older women to gather together for mutual encouragement, a devotional, prayer, and fellowship.    While we've had special Women's gatherings over the years, this will be an ongoing part of our church life.  Our first one was this past Saturday and the Lord blessed us with a very good start.
  • In our morning services, Stan took two Sundays to preach from Luke 20:26-40, emphasizing the centrality and necessity of the Resurrection. For as Paul wrote:  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  I Cor 15: 13-14
  • As part of ongoing pastoral ministry training and mentoring, Stan is having some of the young men preach *while* he is here for encouragement, guidance, and feedback (and not merely be pinch-hitting, so to speak).  Most recently, Danijel P. preached from Luke 22, and at the end of this month, Peter S will be preaching, and then in mid-March, Saša will be preaching--he is just finishing up a long-distance preaching course which will give him a chance to put into practice what he has learned.  
  • In late January, Stan attended a Balkan Pastors gathering with the purpose of discerning the need of and establishing a Balkan Gospel Coalition to defend the true gospel because, sadly, some of our pastoral brethren are being sidetracked into preaching over social and political issues, which is no gospel at all (Gal. 1:7).  One reason we emphasize Preaching-with-a-capital P in our updates is that it is not a given in Christian/Missions ministry despite its centrality in Scripture and the phenomenal growth of the church seen in the New Testament.
Upcoming Ministry and Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for Stan and all the men as they prayerfully prepare sermons.  We are blessed that we have so many willing to diligently study the Word with humility and reverence in order to present the Living Christ and His gospel.  For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 

  • Please pray for our newly established Women's Meeting, that women would grow in love and good works pleasing to our Lord,  as well as in preparing (and receiving) devotionals based on God's word (which will be a first for many).  Also, pray for regular participation, particularly for those with unbelieving spouses/families who are apt to hinder their involvement.
  • Please pray for Step One of forming the Balkan Coalition which is preparing a Statement of Faith on a national basis which will then be used to hammer out an acceptable Statement for the Coalition as a whole.  

  • Please pray for the ongoing ministry with young children, both for Martina and other locals who are seeking to minister in Sunday-School fashion each week, but also for a long-term, gifted individual/family with a heart to minister to children (within both the church and in our wider Nikšić community).
  • Please pray for wisdom and endurance to run our race well as March will be spent in preparation for the upcoming Camp/Team/Outreach season (April-July) beginning with Easter, the Danish Team, our Stateside trip in May,  the June UCCF team, the July Camp Monty, plus the many individuals/families coming and going all while the normal life of the church continues.

  • We will once again be in the US from early May through early June.  Along with celebrating a graduation (May 19), we want to see some of you in person! With family on both coasts, we will be traveling nationwide. Churches, please contact Stan ASAP as we are putting together our itinerary.  Friends, please contact Vicki to set up a get-together--no need to be formal! 

With great love and appreciation for your ongoing prayers and support in this great work of God,

Stan and Vicki Surbatovich
Mission to Montenegro

Note:  Opening photo of gorgeous Montenegrin mountains courtesy of Peter Stonelake.
Original link: https://christianitymontenegro.blogspot.com/2018/02/february-2018-mission-to-montenegro.html
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