NICOLETTE AND BLAKA
These 2 little girls are 11 and 12 years old. They are Hungarian, but they live in Serbia. Today, they asked Jesus to be their Savior at the puppet show. Later, we were talking in a small group and they told me about their prayers.
Best of all, these 2 little girls asked me to be their nagymama (pronounced nojemama). This is Hungarian for grandmother. I was so honored! Our friends gave them special permission for the girls to stay for both the children’s and teenager’s programs.
When we finished, I rolled up the 2 stories that I had drawn and gave one to each of the girls. I told them that part of loving Jesus was telling other people about Him. Both promised to take my stories and tell someone else what they had heard. Please pray for Nicolette and Blaka to grow strong in their new faith and be bright lights for Jesus in Serbia. Also pray for many other little Serbian boys and girls who trusted Jesus today.
Silvana received her visa with no problems. Everyone who regularly dealt with the Serbian Embassy said it was impossible. However, within ten minutes after arriving, she had her visa! Praise God!
More, we enjoyed a giant German shepherd that jumped up and filled the guard house as we entered the property. The embassy itself was an incredible old building with the most amazing ironwork that I have ever seen. The interior staircase wound several floors with flowers and vines entwined all the way to the top floor. There was stained glass and carved arches everywhere. What seemed like such a big problem became a special treat.
Entering Serbia, the guard was fascinated by our passports. Between us, we had a mixture of passports, including 3 American, 1 Serbian, 2 Hungarian, 1 British, and 1 Brazilian. I have to admit that we are an unusual group.
Exiting the country and re-entering Hungary took more time. They were careful to open the door and check all of our faces. They also asked to see the back of the van, but the guard was happy for us to go when our friend Pascal began to share Jesus with him. He crosses a lot and said that they really don’t want to talk to Christians.
This was a wonderful evening. God did so much more than was expected. When we arrived, I asked my dear friend Sara, a former Covenant College student, how many children she expected. She thought maybe 30, but wasn’t really sure. Everyone expected less because they decided not to heat the larger room. There was no need. God sent us more than 65, including many adults. Over half of the group did not regularly attend church and some were hearing the Gospel for the first time. Even a group of ladies from a shelter for abused women came. God was so good to us!
The pastor told me that Sunday he had preached on how important it was to take every opportunity to share Christ’s love. When he was contacted a day and a half earlier and offered an opportunity to schedule a last minute program, he started to say no. Then he remembered his own sermon and said yes. Look what God did!
LIFE IN SERBIA
I want to describe life in this region of Serbia to you. I asked many questions of our friends and was surprised at what I learned. The war had raged all around this area, but they had not experienced actual fighting as this is a Hungarian sector. Still, the war touched them as many people’s extended family and friends suffered. Families struggled to survive financially. The area was flooded with refugees.
I asked if the Christians took advantage of this opportunity to share during this time. I was told that they were mostly apathetic, feeling it was not their problem. They were not involved in the fighting. I began to think, "Whose needs do I not see because I am comfortable?" "Who do I not see?" I did not like the answer I had for this question. This is important, so I want to ask each of you the same question. "Whose needs do you not see because you are comfortable?" "Who do you not see?" May the Father give us all eyes to see and hearts to obey.
THE CHILDREN OF MORAVICA
The children and the teenagers who came for this Bible club were very well behaved. They were very nice; described to us as better behaved than many Hungarian children. They were timid, shy about talking with us. Everything that we did for them, thrilled them. They were so grateful!
In many ways, they are more innocent about the world than their counterparts in Europe. The war delayed the arrival of the internet and so even though they have grown up in a war torn country, they are in many ways unknowing of the rest of the world. For a long time, UN embargos isolated them.
Today, most young people will leave Serbia, because they feel they have no future. Please pray for all of these children to find their future in knowing Jesus.
THE BIG PROBLEMÂ.THE BIG ANSWER
No national revival has ever happened in Serbia. People are very religious, faithful to the Orthodox Church. However, they believe they must be good enough to know God and live in frustration when they fail. Most do not know the true Gospel. They do not know about how only faith in Jesus can change a person from the inside out.
Please pray for God to send a revival to Serbia. Please pray for the older believers who are there to take risks for the Gospel so that they can model lives of service and passion to the next generation.
In Jesus, Linda for
Sam Shaw-Assistant Director