November 21, 2019

Books on the Beaches Lead to Baptisms

Saša Todoran, Trans-European Division News

What can be more relaxing than sitting on a beach in a beautiful location with a good book? This is the reality for the many thousands who visit the Adriatic coast in Montenegro during the summer season. Adventist literature evangelists (LEs) in that nation are providing that book.

Between June and August 2019, literature evangelists sold more than 11,000 books to holidaymakers who came from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and other former Yugoslav republics. They come to enjoy the 45-mile (73-kilometer) stretch of beaches, along with the historic towns and stunning countryside.

The sales program is an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in Belgrade, Serbia, part of its outreach to people across the South-East European Union Conference (SEEUC) region of the Adventist Church. LEs have achieved considerable success, particularly because most people can read books in Serbian across that region.

Literature evangelists (LEs) sold about 11,000 books during summer 2019 along the 45-mile (73-kilometer) stretch of beaches in Montenegro. The books are published by the Serbian Publishing House in Belgrade. [Photo: Trans-European Division News]

Regional church leaders said that it is a positive achievement, especially in an environment where the sale of religious books across Serbia and the SEEUC is generally in decline. Between 2008 and 2019 LEs have experienced a rise in sales on the beaches of Montenegro. The relaxed holiday conditions appear to make people more open to buying and reading a book. An average of 15 LEs have supplied that need every day during the summer season.

While some of the books deal with health and psychology, most of the sales come from religious books and those that include life stories related to religion. When holidaymakers return home, leaders in the area shared, people are taking their books with them.

“We are hearing from some pastors and local churches that as the books travel home with them, so does the desire to find out more about God,” one of the local leaders said. “Some have started attending church events, some have registered for Bible studies, and some have even asked for baptism.”

Church leaders said this is a successful initiative and that they are thankful for it.

“We are grateful to God for each literature evangelist and for every book that came into the hands of tourists,” they emphasized. “A seed planted while on holiday can bear fruit once they return home.”

Plans are already in place for selling during the 2020 holiday season, they said.