Alliance Justice and Compassion resources and promotes the local and global ministries of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada that seek to bring wholeness and well-being to people made vulnerable by circumstances of poverty, disaster, and injustice. May the stories and thoughts inspire the reader to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jesus is Transforming Lives in Serbia!

Last month I had the privilege of visiting Serbia and returned home with a heart so full after seeing Jesus literally working before my eyes!  
Danny and Vera, C&MA International Workers, are an inspiration and example of loving people who suffer afflictions of all kinds while communicating Jesus' love and grace into their lives. Their compassion ministry in Serbia focuses in two main areas:  

Caring for the terminally ill through visitation and provision of medical needs 

Offering men that suffer addiction a place of healing and restoration
Over the years, with two Rehab Centres,  they have seen Christ transform lives as many individuals have been healed, restored and developed into strong leaders who now serve in these ministries. 

Several years ago, the team began to pray that God would open a door for them to open a rehab centre in the city of Obrenovac. It was the hometown of Veljko, who had been known as a heroine addict who had cut all ties with his family and friends. He was one of the first graduates from the rehab program and had developed a deep love for Jesus.
In May 2014, terrible floods swept through that city destroying thousands of homes. We sent a relief team, headed up by Veljko, and it has been like a modern prodigal son returning home. People cannot believe it is the same person! As he and the team have worked tirelessly over the last eleven months distributing material aid, assisting with the clean up of homes and sharing the love of Jesus, many are expressing a spiritual hunger to know the one who has transformed this young man. As a result, they began a weekly Bible study. 

During my visit, I was privileged to attend this Bible study during its fourth week. The Lord led me to present Luke 15 and teach on the lost sheep, coin, and son and how Jesus searches for individuals - including each one in the room. One woman stood at the end and asked, "I understand that I need to ask Jesus to forgive my sin and then live for him but when and how can I do that?" 

Veljko's Father, Milord
Immediately, Veljko's father stood up and said, "All I know is that Jesus has transformed my son so there must be something to this Jesus!" Several in that room that night have committed their lives to follow Jesus. What a privilege to literally see a church being birthed right before my eyes! God is using Veljko to demonstrate his power and presence. 

Ways to pray:
  • Pray for the many families who are still without their permanent home or employment. Our team continues to provide food and hygiene parcels to them. Most of their furniture and appliances had to be thrown away so they are rebuilding their lives from nothing.    
Note the watermark at roof level.  Their home is gutted inside.
Inside of home pictured above
This family's home is also stripped down to the 2x4's inside
Inside of home pictured above
  • Pray for strength and perseverance for the relief team pictured with me below:
  • Pray that one day as the relief team transitions out of the recovery and reconstruction phase that they will be able to open the third rehab centre that God had originally given them a vision for.  
  • Pray for this new church community that God is establishing!  Pray that the people will grow in their faith and their testimony to this city!