Mission to Montenegro newsletter

Blog entry for 19 November 2020

November 2020 Mission to Montenegro Newsletter

Look among the nations, and see;

wonder and be astounded.

For I am doing a work in your days

that you would not believe if told. Hab. 1:5

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

This past month (and year!) has certainly been a time to wonder and be astounded.  Here in Nikšić, we've had an incredible month of changes, most of which we did not foresee at all.  We walk by faith, not sight, and truly we make our plans but God determines our steps.  (Regarding Covid measures, this past month we enjoyed being a Tier 1 city (least restrictions) for one week but are now subject to strict, nation-wide restrictions.)

  • Whether we meet in person (Tier 1 blessing!) or online-only (current status), our Sunday observances continue, for our good and God’s glory.  In the morning, Stan just finished preaching from Exodus 31 on the Sabbath Day as a sign and blessing, and in the evening service, from Hebrews 8 on the better Covenant secured by Jesus.

  • At the end of October (taking advantage of Tier 1 status), we had our first joint EUS/Church Ladies' Brunch Meeting in six months.   We had a good turnout--eleven ladies and that is with two not being able to join at the last minute. Considering the times, Vicki's talk was rooted in 2 Cor. 6:  "Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" and what it means to live well with sorrow. 

  • Because Montenegrin law allows churches/religious groups to make agreements with the government, Stan and five other pastors met in early November to address which specific issues to raise with the government and request a meeting with the appropriate government ministry.  Two issues (of many) to bring to the table:  working out details for access to public/government media as a body; and relief from certain fees and taxes when building church facilities.   The actual meeting with the government is on hold due to Covid and post-election changes.
  • We've taken on a new, quite unexpected challenge:  Four young women arrived Nov. 2 for a 14-month-long internship as part of their Junior/Senior year at Bethany Global University.  It is quite a story of how this came about (especially as a week prior we had no idea that these interns & university even existed.).  Their program is specifically for Intercultural Ministry (missions), so unlike short-term teams here for specific events, the team has intensive language learning requirements, other academic assignments, as well as involvement with local church ministry. Normally, all sides (the school, the students, the church/pastor/overseers on the ground) have several months to go over things and work out details; since that was not possible this time, we are breaking new ground and figuring out things as we go.  Pray for us all!
Kara, Grace, Joelle, and Rebekah--our BGU interns til Dec. '21!

Upcoming Ministry and Prayer Requests:

Please pray for the regular ministry of the Word as Stan (and others) preach and teach throughout the week at church, via Zoom and other social media, and even in (very small) groups.  Pray that God's word would draw those in darkness into His light and for His people to walk closely with Him.

Please pray for the BGU interns as they learn the language, settle into the church community and Nikšić life (especially challenging in the midst of a pandemic), continue their studies, and build up relationships with each other and the people God brings into their lives.  May God bring forth much good from their time here.

Please pray for both the Osnovne Istine video series and Book Translation project which are progressing step-by-step.  Join us in giving thanks because the "Book Publishing" fund has grown this past month (Thank you, FCC Saints!).  Rather than laying out the details of publication costs here, we plan to send a special mini-update in the next few weeks.

Please pray for the upcoming Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child event which will be primarily coordinated by the EUS (student ministry) team.  We will be taking a very modest number of boxes (a few hundred as opposed to a few thousand as in past years).  Please pray for both the logistics given restrictions and for the children and families receiving the gifts.  May hearts seek the Greatest Gift of all, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Noting that Thanksgiving Day will soon be celebrated in the States, may we all join, from every tongue, tribe, and nation, in giving thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. That's why we are here.  

With great love and appreciation for your ongoing prayers and support to make this all happen,

Stan and Vicki Surbatovich

Original link: https://christianitymontenegro.blogspot.com/2020/11/november-2020-mission-to-montenegro.html
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