Lessons for life in Serbia
A deep concern for outreach to the young has led a group of pastors in Serbia to translate Lessons for life Sunday school materials by Jill Masters, and to begin to organise their Sunday schools in earnest.
Five churches were represented at a seminar held at Nis – third largest city in Serbia – in 2007. The speaker was Chris Cooper, on the pastoral staff of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London. His presentation was received with great interest and enthusiasm.
The organiser of the seminar was Pastor Cedo Ralevic, the founder of Nis Baptist Church, who settled there in 1980. The church experienced early blessing and congregations were greatly increased during the Balkan War when many Serbs had to leave surrounding parts of Yugoslavia and resettle in Serbia.
The great social needs of these Serb refugees led the Baptists to establish the ‘Love Your Neighbour’ humanitarian organisation. Through this organisation, thousands were assisted; hundreds coming every day for food, clothing and medical help.
All who came heard that the answer to their greatest need was reconciliation with God through the gospel. The Baptists alone provided such significant help that it resulted in great public appreciation – and many conversions.
The Baptists had no settled meeting place for 15 years, gathering in cinemas and other halls. At times more than 500 attended. Many were converted through their ministry. Now many people have moved on; and with peace has come a lessening of spiritual concern.
Nis Baptist Church currently has a congregation of around 120. It also operates mission outreach activities in several villages in the region.
Pastor Cedo and his son Emanuel have inspired other churches to share their aim of instructing a new generation in the gospel; and the parental generation will undoubtedly be affected also.
From the Sword and Trowel 2007:3; with kind permission