Dear partners in His Kingdom,

It is already the end of January 2015! We are coming to the end of very busy but very blessed time.

After we received a truck from the UK with shoeboxes (about 10,000) we started to be super busy. We actually started to sprint the marathon.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.34.40 PMTime was squeezed because the procedure with administration at Customs was very slow and our time frame became very narrow to be able to distribute shoeboxes to the schools on the north of Montenegro.

First time we were able to distribute at public place (a cinema) with 300 seats. Elementary school in Kolasin (about 750 pupils) was covered. It was very special for us because on this way we were able to present what happened on Christmas through cartoon that was acceptable for this event. The matter is that we are not allowed (by Montenegrin law) to spread any religious material at schools. So the booklet that we had, “The Greatest Gift”, as additional present from Samaritan’s Purse, which wouldn’t be accepted at school, could be distributed in this way in cinema.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.34.52 PMWe distributed shoeboxes also in closer town to Podgorica with about 1000 kids where half population is Muslim. But the school principal is nominal Catholic so he was even helping us to hand the shoeboxes with the booklets to those who wanted to take it. He was not afraid to take a risk.

Other, smaller distributions in mostly, village schools, needed to be finished by Dec. 26th which was last working day for the schools before winter break.

After that I needed to build a stage for Christmas programs at our church. We have Christmas day, by Orthodox Church calendar, on Jan 7th. Because every year we need to build a new stage for different show it is always slow and unpredictable work.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.35.01 PMI went through pretty stressful time this year and I thought, I am doing this for the last time and if it is not last time, but next year we should have break. Well, the enemy was working hard to discourage me and put me down. In the back of my mind I was hoping: if the Enemy is fighting so hard, it must be that the Lord is preparing a great blessing.

When our program started on Jan. 3rd 2015, the stress started to calm down. The bigger joy and blessings started to flow through all fourteen programs that we had during five days. Our church is just about 40 people and God gave us privilege to host about 1300 kids + close to 300 adults.

What was our great joy is the fact that more and more parents are interested to be present at the program, watching and listening the Gospel message. Some years ago, parents were skeptical, they would just bring their kids and waited at the street for the program to be finished and get kids back with shoeboxes. Now there are also more and more responses on our questionnaires about their interests. So now we have positive responses from new 66 kids that are interested to attend our kid’s clubs, 18 for teenage clubs, 7 adults who are interested for meetings, 109 who are interested to attend our Easter program even there will not be shoebox distribution. We know  that not all of them will show up for activity that they signed but we are so encouraged by God’s grace! We believe that  some of them will be present.Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.35.10 PM

After distribution and programs we started with Child Evangelism Fellowship ministry workers to have “5 Days Club” where we started to do 12 lectures from booklet “The Greatest Journey” (basic Bible truths). Between 20 and 25 kids were attending it every day.

I was picking up half of the kids by our minibus, to bring them to our premises. They went trough half of the program and in next six weeks they will finish whole program with graduation ceremony on the end.

It was very encouraging to watch Milena, 8 years old girl who came for the first time how quickly she integrated into the group and how she brought her neighbor next day. Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.35.18 PMOn the last day meeting, she was warning her sister who brought her, to remember Feb 1st when they will continue with lectures.

There was another boy (10) who was asking different questions like: who created God, If He knows everything in advance why He created us, how He can be so patient when we are so evil… Mihajlo was overburdened with his sin and he was asking whether he needs to wait till tomorrow to pray with Miruska, (one of the teachers).

I was driving the group back home and I told him if he feels the burden of the sin, he can pray right there as we are traveling, to ask Jesus to take the burden from him. So he did, he bowed his head and started to pray. Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.35.26 PMAfter a minute, he raised his head with a big smile and said: I felt the warmth through my body as somebody was touching me and I don’t feel burned any more! Is he saved? I don’t know, but I know that Jesus loves children’s faith, honesty and simplicity.

We are driven to form the clubs for younger teenagers (age 13-15). At the moment there are about 10 of them that need our attention and care. 18 more from our Christmas program signed that they are interested to attend this ministry.  We need to do everything that is in our ability to attract them to Jesus. We know that not all of them will show up, but if there will be just one, it is worth to do our best.

We are going ahead and believe that the Lord has greater things for us in near future.

We are so thankful for your financial help and partnership in advancing God’s kingdom. Thank you for your prayers and faithfulness.

May His peace and joy flow through you wherever you serve Him.

Vladimir and Marijana