After the last post becoming an overview of the 2011 UCCF Summer Team to Montenegro, I thought I'd write one with a few more specifics about some of the people we met.
(Note: the people mentioned are in no way my favourites, they just give you a bit of an insight into the situation and the task. Also, names have been removed for personal reasons)
Let's begin with Danijel.
Danijel was a staff worker in Serbia with EUS, but took on the task of pioneering the work in Montenegro (more info here). When I first met Danijel, in summer 2010, he was due to become a father for the first time at any moment! His wife, Martina, has since given birth to a wonderful and incredibly cute little girl. There are many things I could say about Danijel. He is great inspiration. He perseveres in a very difficult climate for the proclamation of the gospel, as mentioned in yesterday's post, but not only that, he does it with joy. He and Pete Stonelake, a British guy who originally lectured out in Niksic but now works freelance, regularly meet up with students, help them learn English, and generally build friendships to help break down barriers to the message of Jesus. They are both gifted with the ability to naturally get along with people. I am sure that many times they feel despondent and want to give up, but the conviction that people need a relationship with Jesus drives them on. They along with local church which has been established for 15 years are seeking to be a light in dark place, salt and light in their community. But it's tough work with very little obvious fruit. They are living, breathing examples of faithful gospel ministers. I'm sure they'd value your prayers.
Here are a few people we met on camp this year, but I am sure you could replicate very similar stories many times over across the country:
The first is A. A is a young girl who we met for the first time this year, but is good friends with a one of the girls from the church. Firstly, she nearly didn’t come to the camp. The, when on camp, nearly didn’t attend the evangelistic talk and Bible studies. Why? Because her father is a priest in an orthodox monestry and she didn’t want to upset him. Over the course of the camp a few people had some good conversations with her, we hope more opportunities will arise for her to hear about Jesus. She left camp saying she had loved it so much she didn’t want to go home!
The second is B. B is the brother of a girl we met last year in the local church called D. She is a believer, B isn’t and neither are their parents. But their parents love the influence the church has had on their kids so are happy for them to do anything with them. Please pray that B, who can be quite quiet, will have further conversations with Danijel. They are good friends and B has been thinking a lot about life after death, what happens and how a person can be sure of going to heaven.
The third is C. C lives in a coastal town which has no established evangelical church. It’s thought there may be up to 5 believers in the area. The camp was great for C, she really came out of her shell and we think the gospel content was a great foundation for her. As far as I know she doesn’t often get fellowship with other believers. Her parents are not keen on her being an evangelical Christian but allowed her to come to the camp because relatives of Martina (Danijel’s wife) live next door and they trust Martina.
Wonderful mission, lovely people, much to pray about!