Mission to Montenegro newsletter

Blog entry for 17 December 2020

December 2020 Mission to Montenegro Newsletter

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Col 1:15-17

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

As we finish up this final month of this very different year, it is so good to stop and behold Christ:  Christ in his humility and exaltation,  Christ in his glory and magnificence, Christ in his perfect obedience and accomplished work of salvation.   

May we all praise the Son with joyful hearts this season, and may many more come to know Him and join us in everlasting worship.

  • Among the current covid restrictions, the ones that affect us most in our ministry are the nightly curfew, the ban on household gatherings, and the restriction on intercity travel from Friday night to Monday morning.  However, we are once again allowed to meet as a church as long as we restrict the number of people and follow masking/sanitizing rules. Thus, our morning service is both live and streamed; about half the congregation can attend.  Our Sunday evening service and mid-week prayer meeting continue on Zoom.  Please pray for continued health and safety of all the brethren here and that we would not grow with weary with doing good.

  • Last Sunday, Stan preached from Exodus 33, emphasizing that the heart and goal of our salvation is to restore that which was lost:  a living, loving relationship with God himself and not merely to gain material blessings.  Over our evening Zoom service, Stan outlined four important truths revealed in Hebrews 9 regarding Christ’s shed blood and sacrificial death.  The online audience for the morning service continues to grow steadily.  Please pray for those who are listening, for many more to hear God's Word, and for us to connect personally with those following online who are located in and around Nikšić.

  • Regarding religious engagement with the civic realm—the new government indicated that it reached out to churches, seeking input from them, yet none of the registered Protestant churches were contacted. The pastors of these churches (including Stan) have signed and are submitting a respectful letter to the proper government Ministry indicating our desire to engage with them fully.  Please pray for a fruitful outcome.
  • The BGU interns we received last month are settled in and doing well despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic.  They are participating in church life, working hard at learning Montenegrin, and broadening out into the community bit by bit.   Please pray for us all, especially as we seek to lead and expand their ministry and service opportunities in the coming new year.

Additional Upcoming Ministry and Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for those ministering the Word in all the weekly meetings, for God's life-changing Word to go forth powerfully despite the distancing, whether physically or online. 
  • Please pray for the special upcoming Christmas (Jan. 7) messages and service. Also, it is traditional for leaders of the Orthodox and Catholic churches to give Christmas Greetings; in years past, we have also given such greetings using it as an opportunity to explain the gospel and would like to do so this year as well. Stan is currently crafting a message which will be given to the newspapers in early January.  Please pray for Stan as he writes this message and for many to read with eyes, ears, and hearts to hear.

  • Please pray for the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Shoebox outreach which will look very different this year. There are far fewer boxes to be distributed this year (a couple hundred instead of several thousand),  so rather than bringing the children together for a presentation (which is not allowed), each box will be personally delivered to a family.  Please pray that each family would truly receive far more than a box of cute presents but The Greatest Gift of All.
  • Please continue to pray for the Book project and Video project.  The holidays and Covid have slowed but not negated progress.  Our apologies for not sending out the promised Book Project Funding info. Coming soon!

As always, we want to close this newsletter with great love and appreciation for your ongoing prayers and support for us to do what we do.  Every prayer, every note, every card, every donation from you both blesses us and humbles us because we know that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.  

Thank you for sharing the Father’s love with us. Amazing love, indeed!

Stan and Vicki Surbatovich

Original link: https://christianitymontenegro.blogspot.com/2020/12/december-2020-mission-to-montenegro.html
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