In our church services, Stan recently covered John 12:23-20 which reveals that the hour has come, that hour which glorified both the Son of Man and God the Father. In our evening service, Stan set forth the letter written to Pergamum (Rev. 2) with its timely message that the church must not tolerate wrong teaching in her midst.
Please pray for all who hear God's word--in person and online--that these words would be words of life. Pray, also, for two young men (B and D) who have heard and believe but whose families are much opposed to their involvement with EUS (Student Ministries) and the Church.
Please pray as well for us to clearly communicate the Good Tidings that the first Christmas brought to the world. Because Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 7th, it is eclipsed by New Year's Celebrations which are when festivities and gifts are prominent. (Note: stores here do sell beautiful gift sets, but they are highlighted for New Year's, not Christmas!)
The Danish Team was here in late November for a full week of outreach at the university partnering with EUS-CG. Activities included: Danish Corner on Campus, Concert in town, Danish Night, Building Relationships over Food and Fellowship. Praise God that several new people were met and interested in spiritual things and follow-up. Please pray those follow-ups are multiplied!
Visitors from Afar Returning: Zoran (from Serbia) helped out the past two years at Camp Monty. Charlotte (from England) participated in the UCCF English Camp and then Camp Monty this past summer, staying with us for about 5 weeks. We met Peter B and his wife Joy (also England) when they visited Montenegro on holiday in late summer. Richard and Julie M (USA) first visited 10+(!) years ago.
Zoran Charlotte Peter B. Richard&Julie M
Zoran came back for 3+ months and has been staying with us since mid-September; Peter B came back for a quick meet-up in November; Charlotte came and stayed for two weeks in December; and the McLaughlins have been in and out of Montenegro since mid-October. Independently, they all are considering whether and how Montenegro and/or Nikšić might be in their future. Please pray that God would help them clarify their hearts’ desires and roles in ministering and furthering God’s Kingdom here in Montenegro.
After various setbacks, we witnessed and celebrated with great joy the marriage of Steven and Elvira on December 7th. The days before were filled with prayer (due to aforementioned setbacks) and preparations (continued on in faith). The day came together beautifully, precious vows were said, memories made, a new family begun, and our hearts encouraged.
Please pray for the newlyweds as they establish themselves as a family under unusual circumstances and for a quick resolution in the granting of a spousal visa for Elvira.
Coming right after the wedding, God greatly blessed the All-Montenegro Believer's Conference. Thank you for your prayers! All the last minute details like printing and picking up the conference handout, childcare logistics, coffee break supplies, accommodating extra guests, and more all came together.
Friday night, at a smaller “pre-conference” seminar, Tim Savage spoke on Marriage for the Glory of God, covering both a godly perspective of marriage as well as practical helps that our marriages might glorify God more and more.
On Saturday, after a 3 year pause from our annual meeting together, there were lots of new faces and old friends in one of our largest gatherings ever. As part of the program, churches and long-term ministries had a chance to (re)introduce themselves which many found helpful. Tim S. also spoke and encouraged us from Ephesians 2 (A Christ-centered Heart) and Ephesians 3 (Christ-Centered Local Church Life).
Tim speaking to a full house
Many hands make light the work for Sunday Lunch
Sunday we had just one service and hosted lunch for all the out-of-towners who stayed on in Niksic overnight. That day Stan preached on the importance and marks of Christ-Centered preaching. Our time around the lunch table was quite lively, and we enjoyed strengthening our bonds with believers from Serbia, Bosnia, and Albania (as well as the US, England, and MNE).
Two days later, we went on a much-appreciated holiday to Athens. We were blessed with fabulous weather and a perfect blend of activity and downtime. We came home yesterday refreshed and looking forward to the year ahead.
Quick reminder: We will be Stateside from late Jan-early March. We have very few weekends unscheduled, but if you and/or your church are interested in a mid-week meeting or a simple get-together, please write and let us know! We are coming so that we can connect and reconnect with all of you supporting this work. Please pray for everything to come together as we leave in just one month.
As this is the last newsletter for 2022, may we just say we are humbled and grateful beyond words for your faithful love, prayers, and support shown to us and our Nikšić brethren. You are part of this great work of God. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!With great love and appreciation,
Stan and Vicki Surbatovich