Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is unbelievable that the year 2020 and almost all of January 2021 is already behind us. I would like just to give a short overview of last year. It began in usual way, we had Christmas program with the Gospel message like previous years (which is in Montenegro on Jan 7th) and more than 1200 kids got Christmas boxes.
After Christmas event we stayed in touch with families that signed for further contact which we used to invite ladies/moms for special meeting on March 7th. March 8th is national ladies’ day, so we wanted to create special program where we will honor the effort and sacrifice of moms for their families. Ladies in Montenegro are frequently neglected and not honored enough. So, the event for some ladies was a real treat. Out of total 130 ladies, 50 were unbelievers. It was great opportunity to share the Gospel! Unfortunately, it was last public event where a group of that size could gather due to Covid-19 pandemic.
As all of us are witnessing this year was totally different than any other so we needed to change many plans but we were able to have teen’s camp. Here is one testimony about Peter:
“Peter’s grandfather was very close to God and during communism he suffered because of his faith. Seeing this outcome of the faith, the rest of the family decided to reject Christianity so that they would not end up as the grandfather. In Peter’s house, God was mentioned only when there were church holidays. Peter knew who the Lord Jesus was but never experienced him personally, although he had heard about it many times in our teenage meetings. During camp we had one part of the program or time when the teenagers had 15 minutes to spend in silence alone with God. During this time, Peter really began to seek God and in small groups recounted his experience even though he was a silent teenager. He felt he just wanted some change in his life. He struggled with some things and while reading his Bible, God answered his prayer and gave him the answer he had been looking for a long time. He came to the decision that he wanted to have a closer relationship with God and to change his life.
In the beginning of pandemic people were slightly more open for spiritual matters but it didn’t last too long. It is interesting how quickly people adopt a “new normal” and started a new routine. People are distancing from each other and fear is creeping into community.
In political area, Montenegro as a state went through a pretty big change. After 30 years of same party governing in county, last year was defeated by opposition. The real power behind this victory was Serbian Orthodox church that was fighting against the unfair law toward them. It all resulted that ordinary people voted against old government and now we have new situation where we, as Evangelical churches, will see if we will be treated fairly by the new government. This is very important moment for us because our building project is also depending on it as a new minister is appointed for Minor and religious rights. We were asking for special treatment from old government regarding our building project, but they didn’t have a time to respond to it because they were changed. We are praying that we can start our building project soon.
Regarding our church meetings we are doing online broadcasting through YouTube, so those who are not able to come due to restrictions, they still can follow the sermons. We could see that there were some new people, church friends, who were interested to follow online.
Personally, we are so thankful to all of you who are faithfully praying and financially supporting us in these difficult times.
We also apologize for not sending our updates earlier. We hope you are forgiving us and we will try to do better job this year.
Please pray for our church building project to start this year as also that we would be protected from the virus.
We are lifting our eyes to the Lord who hold the whole future and protecting us from the evil one.
We wish you many blessings from our Lord
Vladimir and Marijana Cizmanski