Mission to Montenegro newsletter

Blog entry for 16 November 2017

November 2017 Mission to Montenegro Newsletter

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:16-17

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

As mentioned in our last newsletter, on Oct. 31st, at a national press center in Podgorica, partnering with the German embassy, Stan organized and participated in a round table discussion regarding the importance and far-reaching influence of the Reformation.

In giving a brief history of the Reformation and the translation of Scriptures into locally understood languages, Stan brought out the fact that the Reformation for Serbian-speaking peoples didn't begin in the 1300s (Wycliffe) or 1500s (Tyndale, Luther);  it was not until the mid-1800s that Vuk Karadžić translated the New Testament into Serbian.

Serbian New Testament first published in mid-1800s

This portion of Vuk Karadžić's introduction to his Serbian New Testament is both moving and sobering:

I hope that this book will be of untold benefit to our people.  From the Gospels people will become acquainted with how Christ came to this earth, what He taught, and how He went from this earth; from the Book of Acts  they will learn what the apostles did after Christ and how Christian truth (law) spread throughout the world; and from the Apostolic Epistles they will learn what the apostles taught so that Christian truth will be better established.

Regarding Christ, that He suffered and rose, our people know something from listening in church and sermons, but about the Acts of the Apostles and of the Epistles they know,  truthfully, nothing.  And how could they know?  Even if there were enough books like this in the Old Slovenian Language, people don’t understand that language; and even if we found people who somehow understand something, there are no books.

I don’t know that amongst all of our people, except for in churches, perhaps at most fifty houses have the New Testament; and except for priests, who read in churches and on various other occasions according to their ministry, I don’t know if even five people could be found who have read through the whole New Testament. 

Between having no books and not being able to understand them, it has come to the point that our people don’t even think that the Gospels and Apostolic books are worth reading or hearing to actually learn something, but they think that they should only be read in church and at other various church services because of ritual.

  • We rejoice that in Montenegro there are now many more than fifty homes with New Testaments and more than five people who have read them!  However, many still view the Scriptures as a relic, as something religious, even as a talisman, but not, as Vuk Karadžić notes, worth reading or hearing to actually learn something.  Please pray for God's Word to be a light and sword to those here lost in sin and darkness.
  • We rejoice that God's Word is faithfully proclaimed every Lord's Day here in Nikšić.  In the morning, Stan continues to preach through the Gospel of Luke.  In the evening, Stan has finished the Book of Esther and is preaching from selected Psalms, beginning with Psalm 1 and Blessed is the man....  Please pray that we would continue to delight ourselves in the law of the Lord and meditate on it daily.  

  • We rejoice that with Martina's commitment to have a simple Sunday School, parents are bringing their children more regularly.  The children range in age from 5-9 and are asking good questions, like "What *was* wrong with Cain's offering?"  Please pray for Martina and other helpers to get a good routine and program in place and for the children to grow in their love and knowledge of God.  

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

Stan and Vicki Surbatovich
Mission to Montenegro

We are extremely grateful for all those individuals and churches who support this work through prayer, encouragement, and material giving.  If you'd like to join our team of financial supporters or adjust the gift you already give, here’s how:

If you live in the U.S., you may mail checks made out to: Mission to Montenegro with appropriate memo and addressed to:

Faith Community Church
Attn:  Mission to Montenegro
723 South D Street
Oxnard, CA 93030

website: Faith Community Church

If you live outside the U.S. do get in touch (stan.surbatovich@gmail.com) and we will give you bank transfer information.

Thank you for your support! To God be the glory!
Original link: https://christianitymontenegro.blogspot.com/2017/11/november-2017-mission-to-montenegro.html
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