Mission to Montenegro newsletter

Blog entry for 23 May 2024

May 2024 Mission to Montenegro Newsletter

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

Greetings from California where we are finishing up our Stateside trip!

On May 5,  our last Sunday before heading off to the US, we celebrated Easter! (as per the local/Orthodox calendar)  Stan preached on the meaning and importance of Christ's resurrection from I Corinthians 15, looking particularly at verses 19&20:   If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Afterwards we enjoyed sweet fellowship (including one visitor!) over coffee and cinnamon rolls. However,  we had no evening service because of the holiday.


In our absence, co-elder Peter Stonelake has been leading the services along with a few other men helping out with the preaching.  

  • Please pray that the Good News of the Resurrected Christ would move many to seek the Saviour and His offer of eternal life.
  • Please pray for Peter especially but for all the saints in Nikšić:  that God would unite them, lead them, equip them, and grow His Church there for His glory.
We left Montenegro shortly after Easter and have been in the States for two weeks with one more week to go. So far, we've flown thousands of miles, have celebrated Milijana's PhD, met up with some East Coast family, and spoken at two churches (and visited with the saints!  always a highlight!).  

On May 20th, we flew several more thousands of miles to California and have knocked out most of our must-be-done bureaucratic errands before the Memorial Day holiday shuts things down.  Still to come are catching up with West Coast family and visiting the church and saints in Riverside. Then we pack up and fly home. 

We give many thanks for your prayers and God's tender mercies as we have been kept safe (there was one close-call on the highway), kept healthy (despite the weariness that comes with being on the go), and refreshed (with time spent with family as well as the believers in Chambersburg and Baltimore.)

Note: A few more details (and pictures) will follow the close of this newsletter.  

Upcoming Events:

When we return, the summer season of church life will be upon us with hosting visitors, vacationers, and the UCCF College English Language Camp Outreach--beginning with the first visitor the day after we land!

Please pray that God would use the upcoming camps and outreaches as well as the ongoing hospitality to the Saints for the good of His people and for His glory.

Lastly, please pray for the regular ministries:  Sunday services, weekly prayer meeting, the monthly Ladies’ Brunch, the Food Pantry, plus all the EUS activities overseen by Danijel P.  Our desire is to be faithful; may God bring the increase! 

We so appreciate your earnest prayers, your sacrificial support, your quick notes and cards, and the blessing of working together for God's name to be exalted here in Montenegro.  

One with you in Christ,

Stan and Vicki Surbatovich

Vicki's Snapshot: A Mini Photo Book of Two Weeks in May

I offer a few photos of our trip thus far. It is impossible to capture all the good memory-making moments, but we have them stored in our hearts to bring out and lift us up in the days to come.  

The reason for *this* trip at *this* time was to celebrate our daughter's accomplishment:

After graduation we spent time with family and visiting two churches:

These few snapshots hint at the joy of spending time with family and reconnecting with the brethren at Grace Baptist (Chambersburg) and New Life Community (Baltimore), both churches which have been part of Mission to Montenegro from the beginning.  

We were particularly encouraged by the many saints who have faithfully prayed for us and the NK church, cared for our family with a personal touch (including sending care packages of homemade cookies to our kids while in college!), and have continued to show genuine interest and knowledge in what God has been doing in Montenegro. 

This past week we flew to CA to take care of much needed tasks such as renewing our driver's licenses (required to be in person this time--we needed to pass the vision test and get new photos) and to catch-up with some of our West coast family.

The shock of re-entering the urban sprawl of So. Cal has hit me hard--I estimate we've daily traipsed through nearly a 1000 Nikšićs!

Starting today we will get a chance to visit with some of our children, and on Sunday (5/26), Stan will be preaching at the Reformed Baptist Church of Riverside.  A good wrap-up to our time here. Soli Deo Gloria!


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