From Pastor Vladimir Cizmanski —

During this Christmas season Montenegro also received two trucks of Samaritan’s Purse packages which were given out to four groups of distributors (in Bar, Nikšić and Podgorica).

Auntitled41s usual in December leading up to New Year we have been trying to distribute the packages through schools while they are still open (primary schools are on holiday for the whole of January). This time we went into smaller schools which so far had not received packages.

We were helped in this process by a team of four people who came from Texas for a week, as well as Robert Vargo from Pennsylvania who has been coming regularly for several years. Along with them we also visited several centres for children with special needs.

untitled31The second part of the distribution happened in the premises of our church. Although there were fewer children than last year, about 800, we had good feedback from parents who indicated on a questionnaire an interest in the weekly children’s clubs that we offer. We pray that that interest would not just be short-lived.

In the last few years, after each package distribution, there have been more and more children coming to the weekly clubs, and we hope that there will similar fruit this winter too. This enables our list of contacts to grow and we pray that parents would become more seriously interested in the Gospel.

Some have already invited us to visit them in their homes, which indicates to us that the Holy Spirit is already at work in their hearts.

untitled21As the activity around the packages dies down, we are starting to plan this summer’s camps which we are in particular advertising for teenagers. Some are already asking about this and are already happy that they are old enough to be in that group.

We are already praying that the Lord would prepare their hearts to give themselves or be more deeply devoted to His will.

We are praying for place to hold the camp and for good organisation. If you are interested to help the participants financially, please contact us for more details. We are expecting the price to be around €150 for 5-7 days’ stay.

One big prayer request for the whole country is prayer for the protection of young people from drug addiction.

In 1992, when we came to Montenegro, the number of drug takers was very small. Today, after nearly 20 years this ‘pandemic’ has spread so much that almost every wider family has one or more members who are addicts.

What is worst, especially for young people between 18 and 30 years old, is that many lose their lives through overdosing, suicide or car accidents.  Almost every week we hear reports about tragic cases which is a lot for a small country like Montenegro which has a population of only 650,000.

We heard only a few days ago about the tragic end of a young man (in the picture in middle) who had been in our flat 13 years ago and with whom we had spoken about eternal life.

untitled11He had been full of youthful vitality and had a restless spirit. Soon after that meeting, we lost contact with him, but his unforgettable personality remained with us.

Lazar (also known as Simon), who at one time hung out with him, was very surprised that we knew him because his violent behaviour had caused a lot of pain and suffering for many people, especially girls.

The things we learned about him revealed much more about what the life of someone involved with crime, drugs, violence and life ‘at full throttle’ looks like. He lived like that, drove like that, and ended his life like that – “at full throttle” – in a narrow street in Podgorica at a speed of nearly 130 mph he crashed into the drinks refrigerator of a small shop…

This evening I found out that one of the leader from the RETO centre had been talking with him and had offered to put him on a rehabilitation programme, but he had got the reply: “well, I can’t do that, I’m crazy.”

After a short time, his life ended as the life of an irrational person. He was only 37 years old.

Another tragic end was that of another of Lazar’s (Simon’s) friends, when this young man was found dead in his bathroom after having overdosed. That man’s brother a few years ago had ended his life by throwing himself in front of a train.

Many from that circle of friends no longer walk this earth, in fact there are only a couple of them left…


As Lazar (Simon) says: I myself would be dead by now if the Lord hadn’t bumped into me on my journey through life…

In Christ’s love,

Vladimir & Marijana