17 March 2022 | Belgrade, Serbia [Vanesa Pizzuto]
It was an unusually cold and snowy day in Belgrade, Serbia. Yet, that did not stop a group of friendly bikers from coming to meet me and sharing the story of their motorcycle club, combining their passion for Jesus, their love for the road and their penchant for sharing the Gospel in creative ways.
Back in 2016 the Trans-European Division (TED) mission board allocated funds to support creative and innovative evangelistic initiatives such as this. When Dejan Lukic got involved and founded the first Serbian Adventist motorcycle club, “Three Angels”, he did not know any other Adventist bikers or similar clubs existed around the world. “But a friend told me about Adventist Motorcycle Ministry (AMM), and I realised I was not alone, we are a much bigger family,” Lukic shared. In time, Lukic recruited twelve other bikers, and joined AMM, becoming the president of the Serbian Chapter.
Their mission is beautifully simple: sharing the Gospel while doing something they love, riding bikes. They organise rides, invite their non-Christian friends, and allow conversations to flow naturally in the context of a loving, accepting community. “People who never prayed in their lives before are willing to pray with us. We go to church with them, we ride together, we eat together… We do just that, nothing else. But the Holy Spirit works, and we have wonderful experiences,” Lukic said. Their first baptism will take place in Macedonia this summer, in collaboration with AMM Macedonia.
According to Lukic, one of the most beautiful aspects of this experience was discovering that God would use something he was passionate about to reach others, that didn’t need to fit into a traditional mould. “God showed to us through this ministry that rather than napping on a Saturday afternoon, we can do much more, we go with our friends for a ride… which has deepened my relationship with God.”
Lukic feels that AMM is also helping destroy prejudices against bikers, “They are very open to talk about God… We must go to them, to the motorcycle world, rather than expecting them to come to us.” Above all, Lukic emphasises the privilege of seeing God, “Working through us and in us. It is something I don’t have words to describe. We don’t do something extraordinary, just ordinary stuff, but God provides the miracles.”
If You Save Me, I Will Serve You
In his early twenties Lukic found himself in a life-or-death situation. He had borrowed money from a loan shark and could not repay the debt. He also owed money to the electricity company and the bailiffs were chasing him. His only asset was a car, which he had received as payment for an ongoing job as a builder. When his employer suddenly cancelled the contract and demanded that he returned the car, Lukic knew he was at the end of his rope. So, he prayed for the first time, “If you are up there, God… If you exist, please help me! If you save me, I will serve you.”
The following day Lukic heard someone knocking at his door. To his surprise, it was not the loan shark, but a family offering to buy his car. He sold it and immediately paid the loan shark. “Then I waited for the other people to come and collect their debts… A day went by, and then a week, and then a month, and then a year… Seven years I waited, and nobody ever came,” Lukic shared.
Sometime after that, while Lukic was reading his Bible, he came across a proverb, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7 NKJV). “I could not think of anyone who was my enemy,” said Lukic, “except for the employer who gave me the car.” As Providence would have it, his phone rang while Lukic was thinking about this. It was no other than his former employer who assured him he had not forgotten the incident! Lukic offered to meet up with him and told him his side of the story. “Nobody did for me as much as you have,” Lukic said to him, “I would have never met God if it wasn’t for you!” The meeting ended with reconciliation and a renewed friendship that lasts to this day.
Lukic became a Seventh-day Adventist roughly a year after God answered his desperate first prayer. He was looking for answers about the Sabbath, which led him to study the Bible and discover the Adventist church.