Baptism in Congo

I hope to post a full update soon, but here’s a picture I took the last month in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

 

Eleven people were baptized while locals watched from the shore, some were washing clothes and others were hauling water. It was a beautiful experience and is a great example of how the Lord continues His work in all situations.

Our God is a God of Hope.

Valerie’s Baptism

val-baptism-005

Valerie Cantrell was baptized yesterday at Camp Elama, north of St. Petersburg, Russia. Sergei Tovstopyat and I performed the baptism, and we had a ‘cloud of witnesses’.

Valerie has been asking to be baptized for a while. After talking with her about what it means, we all felt the time was right. She has committed herself to following Jesus, living by the Spirit and is VERY happy to join the family of God.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Milanka’s Baptism

Yesterday we went to the Adriatic coast for a baptism. Milanka has been a member of the church for a while and wanted to be baptized. Several of us went for the occasion and had a great time. Her story is below the picture and video–

Posted a year and a half ago, by Vladimir Cizmanski, the pastor who baptized Milanka —

Milanka is the mother of our brother Dejan who has been coming to our church for four years.

Milanka was very mad at Dejan when he accepted Jesus. She forced him to move out of their apartment, but Dejan was firm in Jesus. Now, she has decided to follow Jesus as her Savior.

She said that she feels like flying, and she was wondering why she delayed giving her life to the Lord. The enemy was very active around her during the past year, whenever she wanted to come to the meeting and publicly confess her decision to follow Jesus, three times something happened that kept her away.

Even now, after she made her decision, enemy was very furious. Right after few days he started to attack her very strongly through a bad relationship with her close relative. She just told me yesterday that she made everything right now and that her wings to fly came back.

It is so encouraging to see people as they are fighting and getting victory in the name of Jesus.

A Postcard from Montenegro — Deep Love

mne_kids_club-7

Yesterday, after two very good and full weeks, we said our goodbyes to a team from Athens, GA. Most of the team members were from the Wesley Foundation at the University of Georgia. Jane Kilgo, from St. James UMC in Athens, GA, also joined the team. The team is pictured above with the Kid’s Club at church.
mne_baptism-3
It’s impossible to say how loving, encouraging and gracious the team was. Many people were very blessed by their time here, including the team members!

The team was involved in many different aspects of ministry, all with the focus of serving the Brethren Assembly in Podgorica. The pastor, Vladimir Cizmansky, is pictured at right performing a baptism which we were honored to attend.

Vladimir and his wife Marijana are both great examples of disciples of Jesus who pour out their lives in service to Christ and others.

mne_kids_clubWe were also helped in many ways by Violeta Pavetic (the sister of our brother-in-law). Violeta is picture at left with some of the kids from the church. Violeta is jewel of a person and a great friend and co-worker.

In addition to running the Kid’s Club, the team ministered in many other ways. They taught an English class at church; ministered at a small fellowship in Kotor, a city with about seven known Christians; and helped local missionaries in Bar, a city with about five Christians. Continue reading

News from Montenegro

Stoneworks continues to expand its ministry in Montenegro.  In May, we’ll send a team from the Wesley Foundation at the University of Georgia. These students will help the local church in a variety of ways.  We plan again to send a team to help run a youth camp in July.  We also hope to support church planters to start churches in cities that currently have no evangelical church.

Stoneworks bases our activities on relationships that God has established, so now is a good time to introduce a couple of key people in Montenegro.


Meet Vladimir and Marijana Cizmanski:
cizmanski

Vladimir is an ethnic Slovak from Serbia who moved to Montenegro as a church planter fourteen years ago.  He and Marijana (pronounced mary-ahna) live in Podgorica, the capitol of Montenegro.

Vladimir is the founder and pastor of Brethren Assembly, one of only three evangelical churches in the country.  Vladimir is a gifted teacher, pastor and administrator.  Marijana is a gifted musician, evangelist and counselor.  They both love the Lord and give their lives daily to serve the church and the country in Christ’s name.  We are thankful to be called both to serve and partner with them.

Here is a report that Vladimir recently sent —

Continue reading

A Postcard From Russia — Summer’s End, New Beginnings

Baptism at Elama

In August, at Elama we hosted more church groups and camps, and the last of our summer teams have returned home after a very successful season of ministry. Above at Elama, Sergei Tovstapet and Olga Barzhura baptize Leanna, one of the young ladies from Street Cry’s rehab center. Sergei and the girls from the rehab center have done quite a bit of work at Elama; they’ve grown to love it there and have become good friends.

We also hosted a church from Vyborg — a group of 30 young people who were very helpful and had a great time. The families Uliathat lived there have come to think of Elama as home. Last week we packed up everything at Elama (kitchen, water system, beddings, tools, etc) and put it into storage. Unfortunately, if we leave anything there over the winter there’s a high probability of it getting stolen. So, next year we’ll unpack it all and have another good summer. Already a few teams have expressed interest in helping build and repair Elama next year.

Now we turn our eyes to the fall: Continue reading