Croatia is a beautiful country filled with people who are in desperate need of hope. In reality, how many of us don’t need hope? Hope is a foundation that pushes us ahead with purpose and that purpose can be many things. During our trip, we were reminded that our hope is often misplaced in things that are temporary. Feeling safe, money, our strengths, our friends, and past accomplishments can all bring a sense of hope that is built on the temporary. True hope comes when we find the anchoring love of Jesus Christ and begin to explore and rest in his unchanging, everlasting promises of relationship with Him. Jesus gives us a new future that is anchored in His power and promise when we repent and follow Him. This one truth changes everything. Yet somehow millions walk the earth everyday without the words, “God loves you and Jesus proves it…” ringing in their ears. To make sure that is no longer the case, people must answer the call to “go” and share.
While our missions team was in Zagreb, Gračec, and Zadar they were given the chance to go and share in new ways. The team encountered a beautiful people and equally beautiful country. Many of the people they met spoke English and were eager to talk. All the conversations and all the good work that was accomplished came down to two events that have been seared in the consciousness of the team.
First, the team experienced a baptism service of two women who recently accepted Jesus. The unique and powerful part of this story is that our missionaries who made themselves available to go and share were the ones they sought out. They searched them out and asked them about Jesus. How amazing is that! I am thankful for our missionaries who are becoming known for their love of Jesus and readiness to be his witnesses. Our group got to join them and the girls for this remarkable service of obedience. They shared in worship with Croatian brothers and sisters and one thing is apparent… Jesus is moving in Croatia. The sounds of His people praising together was deafening. It was a joyful explosion of passion and commitment. Pastor Phil preached alongside Pastor Sasha of The Gap church and led us into the baptism service of the two girls.
Our missionaries gave a wonderful testimony of how these girls came to follow Jesus and then baptized them in front of a great crowd of local believers. We ended the service with communion that our team got to serve to all who were in attendance. This service will forever be etched in the minds and hearts of our team. The simple reminder of Jesus still at work is piercing the darkness that callouses our heart. Be on the lookout… God is moving and wants you to be one of his agents of change.
The second event will be in the next post. ( to be continued )