In our morning service, Stan recently preached from John 9, on how Jesus, who proclaimed “I am the Light of the World,” confirmed this by granting sight—physical and spiritual—to the man born blind, that God might be glorified. Jesus continues His ministry of mercy and salvation to this day. All praise be to God!
In our evening service, Stan has wrapped up his mini-series on the life of Hezekiah, one of the good kings of Judah, who nevertheless fell far short, saved by the grace of God as we all are.
Please pray that God would be pleased to save many here in Nikšić, that His Church would be built up and overflowing.
2022 UCCF Team overlooking Nikšić The college UK team came for two weeks of ministry at the end of June. They helped our local Christian Student Organization (EUS) lead an university student outreach camp in the mountains. Those days were filled with English lessons, Bible studies, fun activities and outings, plus wonderful heart-to-heart, late-night conversations. The Campers In the days before and after the camp, the UCCF team met with local young believers and seekers. Two of the team have stayed on to help with Camp Monty. Please pray for the young people to receive Christ, and for those who have to grow in their faith, love, and knowledge.
Camp Monty begins in earnest this weekend with volunteers already arriving. This sports camp officially opens on Monday, July 25th and continues until Friday. We expect several hundred youth, ages 8-18, to participate in this day camp. Please pray that the volunteers would effectively share both their sports knowledge and gospel truth to the children, and for the children to truly hear and embrace Christ fully.
The season of Comings and Goings continues. Surprisingly to us, when foreign vacationers google-search for a church while on holiday in Montenegro, our church often comes up on the top of the list. Thus, this past Sunday we had more comings than goings with 8(!) nations** represented at our last Sunday’s service. It was a wonderful foretaste of the heavenly multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. (Rev. 7:9) Please join us in praying that more Montenegrins will be part of that heavenly throng worshipping the Lord.
**Montenegro, Serbia, USA, UK, The Netherlands, Canada, Poland, Russia
On a personal note, we give thanks for Stan’s successful cataract surgery performed last week. He opted to go to Zagreb, Croatia, to an eye-clinic that specializes in the procedure. We thank God for a smooth trip, clear vision, and an immediate lessening of migraines. Soli Deo gloria!
With great love and appreciation for your ongoing prayers and support to make this all happen,
Stan and Vicki Surbatovich
Vicki's Snapshot: The M Family: Refugees from the Bosnian War, Part 3
As mentioned previously, one of the first families we were introduced to was the M Family, refugees from Sarajevo. Our initial purpose in meeting was for Stan to review English with Mr. M in order that he and his family might emigrate to New Zealand. Over the months that they met, our families meshed and we became friends. Last month, I detailed how blessed we were with our friends, fellowship, and Sunflower Bread.
Shortly after the Sunflower Bread Feast, Mr. M passed the needed English proficiency exam, and the M Family made ready to go in short order. They dropped by for one last good-bye bringing us two bags filled with things they couldn't take but thought we would like. One bag was quite heavy—the blue plastic stretched thin. I peeked inside. I coudln't help but Woohoo! with delight.
They had bequeathed to us all their uneaten humanitarian aid packages of spaghetti. Honest-to-goodness Italian pasta! 20 bags! 10 kilos! This was worth its weight in gold, for we (non-refugees) were not able to get Italian pasta, the country still being under economic sanctions. The only pasta we could get came from Serbia. Early in our stay, our family had the sad experience of learning just why durum wheat is so highly-touted for pasta, because at that time, the pasta coming from Serbia was not that. When cooking the pasta we could get, the noodles stayed hard until suddenly they were mush. There was no middle-ground of just-right al dente. Thus, we hadn’t had pasta (beloved mainstay of families with young children) for months; it was that inedible. And now! 10 kilos, 22 pounds! Spaghetti was finally back on the menu; we would dine happily and well.
The other bag was a small one. I was surprised and pleased but rather puzzled to find that it contained Legos (genuine blocks which were unavailable at the time in MNE). Mrs. M saw my amazement and explained the story behind them. On their flight out of Sarajevo, a literal flight as they caught the last plane before the airport was closed, she had just an hour to pack what they could carry. In the whirlwind rush and madness, she spotted this little bag of bricks, and the thought lodged in her mind that she had to take them for their youngest (who was two at the time). As much as she tried to shake the idea loose, it wouldn’t budge.
She was a bit sheepish because she couldn’t explain why Legos, when another pair of pants or shoes would have been more practical. But I knew why. That little packet of Legos was a dream in a bag, representing all the normalcy of their life in Sarajevo: now a hope for the future with the kids once again playing on the floor with Legos scattered around, building and dreaming good things from their imaginations.
Sometime later we heard from the M’s, indirectly through our mutual acquaintance via a letter as this was before the days of reliable internet. They were settling in, Mr. M working, all the family improving their English, their boys doing well in school. As much as we’d like to know they went on with Bible reading, learning of Christ and His salvation, we don’t know. But what we do know is that God will accomplish all His purposes under heaven; therein we abide.