Many Good News Items from Croatia
by: Stafford North | June 10, 2017
Gerd Fecht, a member of the Memorial Road Church of Christ and part of their mission team, has recently traveled to Croatia. He and Mislav Ilić, minister of the church in Croatia, have provided the information for the article below.
Information from Croatia tells of four different good news items about what is happening in the church there. Perhaps the most exciting one is the distribution of children’s Bibles. In 2013, Ivan Karadza made contact with a teacher of the Catholic catechism to see if children’s Bibles could be distributed. When an agreement was reached to do so, Eastern European Mission provided the Bibles and now more than 50,000 have been distributed through Catholic parishes, churches, kindergartens, and schools. Another channel of distribution came when Jura Lazar was able to get distribution of the children’s Bibles in Varazdin where 17,000 more were placed with children from first to fourth grade. Still another opportunity for giving out Bibles is in connection with Champs Camp which more than 120 attend each summer. Steve Talliaferro and Mislav Ilić direct this four-day camp in June each year for elementary school age children in Zagreb. This distribution allows these children to keep reading about Bible stories they have studied in camp. Christians in Croatia believe that the more people that read the Bible, the more doors will be opened for their work.
Another good news event from Croatia is their annual retreat which allows members of the church to gather at a beautiful site on the Adriatic Sea. The Croatian brethren come from many different cities to share in this event. Some from outside the church are also allowed to attend. This year there were two major speakers. Dr. John Cooke, who has taught in several major universities, spoke on “character for kids.” The other speaker was Dr. Perry Stepp, the new director for the Bible Institute, who spoke on how each of the four gospels presents Jesus as the Son of God.
A third piece of good news from Croatia is the progress of the Bible Institute. In 2015 it became a member of the EEAA which gives it membership in the International Network for Quality Assurances Agencies in Higher Education. This connection allows the Institute to hold accreditation from the Croatian Ministry of Education. The Institute offers a bachelor of theology, master of arts in Christian ministry, master of theology, along with certain certificate programs. Students from the institute have become well prepared preachers, teachers, and elders for churches in the area.
Finally, the Bible Institute was able to bring Dr. Mark Lanier as a speaker for the Croatian University Law faculty and students in Zagreb on April 5 and 6. Lanier is recognized as one of the one hundred most influential lawyers in America having won the Clarence Darrow award in 2012 and having been recognized as Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2015. His book Christianity on Trial was translated into Croatian by the Bible Institute. By bringing him as a speaker, the Institute brought additional recognition for itself among those in higher education.
So, good news from several directions from the church in Croatia.