9 February 2017 | Belgrade, Serbia [Victor Hulbert] There is nothing better than the satisfaction of giving away money for mission – and then finding those possibilities of mission multiplied. A report of no less 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 Division countries. [See: Growing healthy relationships – sharing Mission] Daniel Duda, TED Mission co-ordinator, is now delighted, nine months later, to find this one Union reporting success with projects ranging from the ‘three angels’ motorcycle club, to a dental clinic, a feeding programme, TV programmes on health, and a Day Centre for the elderly.
‘M.C. THREE ANGELS’, based near Belgrade was registered in July 2016 and stands in direct contrast to the reputation of ‘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 programme.
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 programme runs specifically through the worst winter months and makes such a difference that the story was highlighted by a National newspaper, Večernje novosti.
Zdravko Bosnić, the 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. Church members have worked closely with The Association for the Blind to help organise 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 hopfully on a natioanl TV channel.
Equally focused on health, church members in Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city, are running a day centre 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 the option is open for Bible studies each Wednesday. [tedNEWS]
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Esti Pujic, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division.