Mission to Montenegro newsletter

Blog entry for 20 April 2020

April 2020 Mission to Montenegro Newsletter

 I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure. Is. 46:9-10

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

Underneath our current surreal existence in the second month of Covid-19 lockdown, the reality is that the Lord is not bound but rules and reigns. His purposes are being accomplished. We are privileged to share a few of the things happening here in Nikšić.  To God be the glory! Amen!

  • After many months of desiring to have a social media presence, we've been catapulted into getting things up and running**. The learning curve has been steep, but we now have both a Church Facebook Page as well as a Church Youtube Channel.  You can find both the whole of our Sunday morning services as well as just the sermons plus the children's ministry online. It is our desire to continue these services post-Covid lockdown.
Home Studio.  Yay for packing tape and smart phones!
  • The Lord is certainly using these means to bring in new listeners--and not just from Montenegro.  Granted, it was just one family apiece from the US and England plus a few from Serbia but unexpected and amazing nonetheless.   What is most heartening to us is that a number of the church members who normally come alone or are not able to come (due to work or family persecution) are listening/watching the service and often with their entire families, too! 
Opening Video to our Easter Service
  • Along with adopting a social media presence, we've embraced Zoom technology for hosting our Sunday evening service, the EUS Student meetings, and our weekly prayer meeting.  While not at all taking the place of meeting in person, the communal gathering is sweet nonetheless.
  • Covid-19 realities here in Montenegro:  The restrictions have only increased since we wrote last month.  Some of the additional measures include:  no mail can be received from the US, no entering another's home (unless family and even that is discouraged), husbands and wives must be 2 meters apart when walking down the street, curfew begins at 7pm weekdays and 1pm weekends.  With these strict measures in place, the rise of cases is linear, not exponential and there are no current hotspots of infection.  Restrictive measures are in place for two weeks at a time.  Next evaluation will be May 1st.  In mid-May we will make decisions regarding possible (but still hoped-for) summer ministry events like Camp Monty, Ben's internship, and the Hearing Aid ministry.
**NOTE:  The putting together of the services online is a major effort and we are grateful for all the members who are making it happen via Scripture reading, testimonies, song leading, children's work, and more.  But, in all these things, we are especially grateful to Peter Stonelake who has been the point man in getting all these bits and pieces together and online in one coherent whole.  A faithful man will abound with blessings... may it be so!

Prayer Requests:

  • For a bold witness into our community as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Please pray that our hope and resolve be marked by feet firmly standing on the Rock of Salvation, our Lord Jesus Christ that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
  • For God to be merciful to the people of Montenegro and His church and spare many of falling ill and of long-term health consequences.  Please pray also for our own family in the United States; one has been ill (with C-19) but is recovering and another has been without work due to restrictions.
With great love and appreciation for your ongoing prayers and support,

Stan and Vicki Surbatovich

Original link: https://christianitymontenegro.blogspot.com/2020/04/april-2020-mission-to-montenegro.html
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