Montenegro was a part of Yugoslavia and is located in the Balkans, across the Adriatic Sea due east of central Italy. It’s a small country (pop. 650,000) with only about 200 protestant believers.
Stoneworks continues to partner with the Brethren Assembly in Podgorica, one of only three Evangelical churches in the country.
In May, I’ll go with a team from the University of Georgia to do a variety of projects — prayer-walking in cities where there is no local church, running a four-day youth camp, leading children’s ministry meetings, teaching English and most important of all, building relationships.
Here’s a report from Vladimir Cizmanski, pastor of the Brethren Assembly:
Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
It has become a tradition for us at the beginning of the year to write about the distribution of shoe boxes full of Christmas gifts that we receive thanks to the international organization Samaritan’s Purse.
The difference this year was that we received twice as many as in previous years (20,000 this year). This project is becoming more and Shoe boxesmore important to us as we have more personal contacts each year.
This time over 1,000 children came to our building to attend our Christmas program and receive a shoe box. We were able to take the opportunity to inform their parents about our other activities such as Saturday children’s club, English Language course, summer camps and special events.
We have recently had twenty eight children coming to the Saturday Children’s club which is a great thrill for us. We are praying for this ministry that is so important for the future lives of these little ones.
We have lately had 4 young men (Danilo, Jaksa, Vladimir and Matija) attending our fellowship who because of their addiction to drugs have spent several months in the RETO centre in Croatia.
A similar centre has been opened not far from Podgorica and we thank the Lord that we have established a very good working relationship with them. These centres are founded on
Christian principles and they preach the gospel to those who attend. Many people have been born again and have returned to their home towns as new people.
We thank the Lord that he has brought them to us one by one. Their parents also attend our meetings from time to time. Recently Vesna, a long time friend of Danilo’s mother began to come to our services.
Vesna (about 50) had been thinking about whether to come to our meetings for quite a time but now she understands more and more what we preach and is very committed to praying and reading her Bible. She is always open to talk about spiritual matters. We are pleased that more and more people are hearing about us.
We are recognizing very urgent need to organize a teenage ministry. This generation of children that was attending kid’s clubs over the past few years, they are over 14 now. That age is requiring special program and care. We all know what challenges that age is facing in this world. We want to help them to have continuality of God’s Word in their lives adjusted to their age. [I’ll go with a team from Athens, GA in July to help run the church’s first teen summer camp. — mc]
1- Perseverance of ex drug addicts in faith
2- Teenage ministry
3- Preparation and organization for the team from the USA in May
We are thankful to the Lord for all of you who are praying for us, cooperating and supporting financially. Through different occasions we could feel power of your intercessory prayer. We are so grateful that we are together in this work. We believe that God is starting to do great work in Montenegro! — Vladimir and Marijana Cizmanski