The Book that Changed My Life

“My thirst to understand God grew stronger with each chapter of The Desire of Ages.”

Veljko Smakic, Mirjana Vukasović, and tedNEWS
The Book that Changed My Life
Veljko Smakic. [Photo: courtesy of Mirjana Vukasović and Vanesa Pizzuto, Adventist Media Exchange, CC BY 4]

Two members of the publishing ministry in Serbia recently shared their testimony of how the Spirit of God is working to spread the gospel in that Eastern European country.—The Editors

My name is Veljko Smakic, and I work as a literature evangelist in my home country of Serbia. Recently, I’ve had profound experiences witnessing the Holy Spirit touching the hearts and minds of the people I connect with through the books I sell. But before I share that, let me tell you how the Holy Spirit has influenced my own journey.

A Book that Changed My Life

Four years ago, I knew nothing about God and absolutely nothing about what it meant to be a Seventh-day Adventist. That changed one day while scrolling through my Facebook feed, where I stumbled upon a quote attributed to Ellen White. It resonated deeply with me, almost like medicine for my soul. Intrigued, I began following that particular Facebook page.

A few days later, the administrators of the page, who were church members, announced a “Book Giveaway.” For whatever reason, I responded quickly, and it wasn’t long before I received a copy of Ellen G. White’s The Desire of Ages in the mail. As I read through the pages, my thirst to understand God grew stronger with each chapter.

Eager to discuss the book, I reached out to the Facebook administrators. They invited me to meet up with them and to attend Saturday (Sabbath) worship. After a year of getting to know my new friends, I gave my heart to the Lord and became a Seventh-day Adventist.

But that’s Just the Beginning!

That’s the essence of my conversion story, but it’s merely the beginning of my journey! I felt the first prompting from the Holy Spirit while reading The Desire of Ages. But the Spirit did not stop there. He invited me to enter into a deep relationship with God. After that first book, I read extensively and became convinced that readers can meet Christ through the pages of inspired books. Motivated by this conviction and wanting to share Christ, I connected with literature evangelists in the South-East European Union Conference (SEEUC).

Just months after my baptism, I went on my first solo mission to Montenegro during the summer season, witnessing remarkable success by God’s grace. When the summer season was over, I felt led to distribute free books in front of the Belgrade City Hospital and Spa Centre with a group of church members. Every Saturday (Sabbath) afternoon, we shared books with the local community, until the colder winter months arrived, and it was a profoundly moving experience.

Currently, I’m mentoring two members of my church to become literature evangelists, along with the pastor of a nearby church. The transformative power of the Holy Spirit through literature is undeniable, and I’m convinced it’s contagious!

The volume The Desire of Ages was published by the Serbian Publishing and Printing House (Eurodream). Below, the marketing manager, Mirjana Vukasović, shares how the publishing house is impacting people and supporting Adventist mission.

‘It’s a Revival through Prayer’

My name is Mirjana Vukasović. As one of the staff members at the Serbian Publishing and Printing House, I recognize the importance of staying closely connected with literature evangelists and church members involved in literature outreach. Understanding their needs and challenges while visiting homes, businesses, and schools is paramount.

For this reason, every Tuesday morning a small group gathers for an inspiring Zoom meeting to review the past week’s experiences, share blessings, and discern God’s guidance for the future. Above all, we pray fervently for literature evangelists, church members engaging in book distribution, and every reader impacted by our literature. Through these meetings and prayers, we’ve witnessed a revival in missionary literature work across the SEEUC.

As depicted in the accompanying photos from the past year, churches have actively participated in book-sharing initiatives at various local events, distributing literature multiple times in many cities and villages. These endeavours have delivered beautiful spiritual experiences and successes, demonstrating God’s mighty power.

We are grateful to God for His protection and guidance in the literature ministry! In Belgrade, Serbia, we are blessed not only with an Adventist publishing house but also a printing facility that provides literature and materials to support the needs of literature evangelists and churches. Witnessing inspiring books change lives is a tremendous blessing.

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.

Veljko Smakic, Mirjana Vukasović, and tedNEWS