Something's happening in Eastern Europe
The writer is
a Church of God member who lives in Eastern Europe. He has translated
the book Mystery of the Ages, by Herbert W. Armstrong, and several
core Church of God booklets into his native tongue, Serbian. Contact
Mr. Veljic at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Dalmatinska 31, 23000 Zrenjanin, Serbia.
By Sasha Veljic
and felt a great need to react to one of the statements in the May
31 issue of The Journal [in the article "United Elders Meet
for Eighth Time; Church Names New Chairman, Dedicates New Building"].
You will, of course, understand why: I live in Eastern Europe.
In the reports
from non-U.S.A. elders of the United Church of God, Johnnie Lambert
of Horseheads, N.Y., reported on Eastern Europe.
"All of the
communist world is stony soil," Mr. Lambert said.
comment from a Church of God elder made me chuckle for two reasons:
Europe is no longer a communist world, so I take it that such a
comment was rather a joke. Eastern Europe is now in transition toward
I presume that "stony soil" refers to the fact that the
Word cannot find any fertile ground in Eastern Europe.
But, thanks to
God, even that is now a matter of the past.
A gospel miracle
Brethren who care
about the work of God should be relieved about Eastern Europe. Both
the work and the Word of God are being preached in Eastern Europe!
The results are quite remarkable, amazing and incredible. In fact,
what God has done in Eastern Europe in the last few years is simply
God has called
several enthusiastic supporters of the Word in what until recently
was the last communist bastion in Europe: Serbia. There are six
baptized members and one prospective member in Serbia.
In spite of difficult
economic conditions and other trials, such as high levels of intolerance
in the society where they live, these Eastern European members have
been doing their part in spreading the Word.
The most remarkable
result is the Church of God Web site in Serbian that has been visited about
1,200 times by the Serbians in their homeland and in their diaspora.
As a result of
its work, a Serbian family in the U.S.A. contacted the church in
Serbia, where hundreds of booklets have been distributed to recipients
in Serbia and neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The church now
has a presence in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, renowned
for its multinational population. Most minorities that live in this
province are descendants of Eastern Europeans.
have been possibilities for the Word to be translated into several
Eastern European languages, namely Romanian and Hungarian. The church
has also made contact with other Sabbath-keeping communities in
Vojvodina for a witness.
God has also called
two young people in Croatia. Because of circumstances beyond their
control, they have not been able to be baptized yet but are present
and active in the work of God.
The Croatian site
has been visited about 700 times. Considering the small size of
the Croatian nation and that it is a fairly Catholic nation, 700
visits is an amazing success.
members in Croatia located a former WCG member and several coworkers
in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, and provided them with materials
in their native tongue.
The members in
Serbia also posted a preliminary Web site in Slovakian, since one
of the members is half Slovak, but the Web site mysteriously disappeared.
However, the members didn't give up.
One of the most
amazing events in Eastern Europe is a young man from Slovakia who
found the Serbian Church of God Web site. He was looking for Slavic Web sites.
Since he likes
Belgrade, the Serbian capital, he got in touch with various Church of God
members in this country.
with church members, this young man, who just recently was graduated
from high school, decided to translate all the booklets into his
native tongue as a tribute to his faithful friends in Serbia and
service to his own people.
There are about
10 Church of God booklets that have been thus far translated into
the Slovakian language.
the Czech language is quite similar to Slovak, new horizons for
the Word have become visible.
achievements, dynamic members of the Church of God in Eastern Europe
are involved in other projects. The most colossal one is Mystery
of the Ages, the book by Herbert W. Armstrong, soon to be completed
in Serbian and Croatian.
The members have
also registered a new site in Serbian as www.newworld.org, while
plans are underway to register a site in Croatia.
The members also
hope that eventually they can provide a shortened version of a Church of God
magazine to Eastern Europe.
seem to be endless, but God is doing everything in His own time.
The level of dedication
to the work of God and generosity of Church of God members in Eastern
Europe in these modest conditions are most inspiring and encouraging
to anyone who cares about God and His Word.
In spite of the personal commitments and barriers they encounter in their society, Church of God members in Eastern Europe are doing their utmost to put their hearts into the work of God.
Thus a stony Eastern
European soil has been softened, and the Word is finding fertile
ground in that part of the world.
I hope this news
will comfort and overjoy those who care about the preaching of the
gospel in all the world.
Considering the scattering, divisions and mayhem of the Church of God in the U.S.A. and elsewhere, where it seems that many hearts have become stony against the needs of the work of God, Eastern Europe has been blessed with dedicated young people who have decided to respond to the call of God with everything they can do for His work.
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God