February 21, 2017

Missions Projects in Trans-European Region Showing Results


There's nothing better than the satisfaction of giving away money for mission – and then finding those possibilities of mission multiplied. A report on no fewer than six mission projects from the South East European Union, part-funded by the Trans-European Division Creative Initiatives Evangelism fund, is a case in point.

In April, 2016, the TED Mission board voted funds for 12 specific projects across the 22 countries in the church region.

Nine months later, Daniel Duda, TED Mission coordinator, said he is delighted to find this one union reporting success with projects ranging from the ‘three angels’ motorcycle club, to a dental clinic, a feeding program, TV programs on health, and a day center for the elderly.

The ‘M.C. THREE ANGELS’ motorcycle club, based near Belgrade, was registered in July, 2016. It stands in direct contrast to the reputation of gangs such as the infamous ‘Hells angels’. Their initial outreach has included a literature stand at a local fair, and using their bikes as a basis for literature evangelism in four towns.

In Montenegro, Radovan Aćimić is planning to ‘bring back the smile’ to at least fifty people in the capital city, Podgorica. Working with a local dental clinic, ADRA, and Social Services, they aim to help the families not just with their teeth, but by sharing a holistic program.

Material health is also important for vulnerable families in Sivac, a village of less than 9,000 people in Northern Serbia. Providing basic groceries and giving 12 families daily bread, shared the practical gospel with those who had never been inside an Adventist Church. The feeding program runs specifically through the worst winter months and makes such a difference that the story was highlighted by Večernje novosti, a national newspaper.

“We look forward to every new meeting with our new friends and the great opportunity to spread the Gospel to this specific group of people.”

Zdravko Bosnić, local church elder, says that the plan is now to buy or build a house for at least one of the most deprived families. His desire to help people comes from his own life experience as one of nine children from a poor family. The church also provides a care package for every new-born child in the village.

Also in the north, some 160 blind or partially sighted residents in Bačka Palanka were given access to Braille versions of "Steps to Christ" and "Hope Beside the Grave." But there is much more than just books: Adventist members have worked closely with The Association for the Blind to help organize social activities such as picnics as well as lectures on psychology, relationships, stress management and health issues.

Their pastor, Srećko Krstić, says, “We look forward to every new meeting with our new friends and the great opportunity to spread the Gospel to this specific group of people.”

In Banja Luka, the second largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Božidar Prgonjić is using funds to produce a 'Life and Health' TV series. These will be aired on a cable network and, it is hoped, on a national TV channel.

Equally focused on health, church members in Novi Sad, Serbia's second largest city, are running a day center for pensioners in the central church. Three times a week, 44 senior citizens get the chance to play board games, enjoy health expos and cooking classes, or even get a pedicure. They also get a weekly doctor's visit, and Bible studies are offered each Wednesday