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Monday, January 31, 2011

Providence of God - Part 2

Today at 2:00 in the afternoon, I decided to go and have the rubber stamp we use for gospel tracts changed to show the new web address of our church,

Arriving at the rubber stamp store at 2:15, I was surprised to find the door locked and a note taped to it saying, “Vraćam se u 14:30“ (meaining “I will return at 2:30“).

Well, there I was, stuck in a cold hallway having to wait for 15 minutes.  Shortly, a man who looked about 50-55 (in other words, very very young) walked up to the door of another business just down the hall.  That door was also locked, prompting the man to say something to me in Croatian.  I responded, explaining that I was American and spoke very little Croatian.  To my delight, the man said in perfect English, “So, you are an American! I was in America in 1976-77.“
He quickly spotted a sign on the door stating he needed to ring a doorbell to bring the business owner downstairs to wait on him.  As he rang the bell, I quickly pulled out a gospel tract and said, “Let me show you why I am here“.  

He read the question on the front of the tract which says, “Äre you 100% sure if you died today that you would go to heaven?“

As soon as he read the question he began to weep and tell me that his 26 year old son had died just 15 months ago.  I put my arm around him and told him how much God loves him and that God was reaching out to him today.  I told him that Jesus died for Him and wants to save his soul and take him to heaven one day.  As the business owner walked up to let him in, I asked the man to please come to church and let us talk more about this.  He said he is seriously thinking about it and thanked me very much.
My rubber stamp guy never did show up.

Mudre izreke 3:5-6  Uzdaj se u Jahvu svim srcem i ne oslanjaj se na vlastiti razbor. Misli na nj na svim svojim putovima i on će ispraviti tvoje staze.

(Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.   In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.)

Providence of God

Today's great blessing is a demonstration of the providence of God. My car had an unusual defect that caused the speedometer to quit working periodically, and the car to die unexpectedly. My regular mechanic could not figure it out so I had to go to another mechanic about 10 miles away and I had to be there at 8:00 AM this morning.

Expecting to have a long and lonesome wait while my car was being worked on, I took along my Croatian New Testament to read. Shortly after I sat down in the waiting room, a man who appeared to be in his early thirties walked in and asked me a question in Croatian. I replied in Croatian that I am an American and I understand only a little Croatian. To my absolute delight, he said very clearly in perfect English, "OK then, so I will speak English."

His question was, "Why does your car have green license plate letters while most have black?" This question is very exciting for those of us here to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ because the reason our license plates have green letters is because we are not from Croatia. This inevitably leads to the question, "Why did you come here?"

Over the next 1-1/2 hours, I had the great joy of getting to know this precious man and getting to share the gospel with him. Oh, and since I brought my Croatian Bible with me, I was able to show him directly from God's word about Jesus Christ and the necessity to trust Him for salvation.

During our very pleasant conversation, I learned a great deal about him, his family, and his business. We exchanged contact information and I gave him some gospel tracts to read and invited him to church.

So I have a new friend in Croatia, the seed of God's word and been planted, and I have a new family to pray for.

Oh, and Yes! My car got repaired too. The mechanic speaks no English, but asked my new friend to hang around an extra few minutes to translate for him, which he was glad to do.

Praise God. Maybe my car will develop a new problem next week. I hope so.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Traffic Heaven

We had a great day standing up for Christ in Čakovec, Croatia! With a chill factor of 18 degrees, it is hard to find people walking the streets, but sharing the gospel with hundreds as they drive home from work is easy using our gospel signs.
We stood for about an hour today and had solid traffic during the afternoon rush hour. We were so blessed by all the responses we received - both positive and negative. (If the people who respond negatively had any idea how that charges us up, I am sure they would never do it.)
The photographer from the local newspaper showed up today and took some photos. If they put a photo of all of our signs in the paper, we will be thrilled. It would be just like our great God to bless in such a way. After all, His main interest is getting His Word out. What a great way to do it!

Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow it is supposed to be REALLY cold, and we are excited about hitting the streets again in the morning. Hallelujah.

Jeremija 33:3 'Zazovi me, i odgovorit ću ti i pokazat ću ti velike, nevjerojatne stvari, za koje nijesi znao!

(Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Great Day At The Local Bus Station

With all those buses in the background being filled with high school students in preparation for their daily departure at 1:20, it seemed perfectly natural to be standing at the exit with our gospel signs. We've been through the terminal several times passing out tracts and witnessing to people as the crowd gathered for departure, and today we thought we would make it easier (if not irresistible) for all of them to read a few Bible verses as they left town.
The response (reaction?) was very encouraging. Young people are not afraid to let you know what they think. Most of the response was positive, but in every case we knew the message was received and understood. I can't wait to see what God is going to with this segment of our ministry. (Rush hour is coming at 3:00 PM, so I have to get to the other side of town to catch more traffic.)

What a blessing to stand up for Christ!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Great Children's Program Sunday

Bro Scott Holcomb leads a children's program at Stablo Života, the church in Čakovec, Croatia, on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 and is doing a terrific job.

Just last week we had more kids stand and recite their Bible memory verses than ever before. Well, this week that record fell. As you can see in the photo above, MOST of our kids got up to recite their memory verse!
Bro Scott always brings good, practical Bible lessons for the young people and they really seem to be enjoying it. Attendance and participation are way up.

We are so blessed. Praise the Lord.

Prva Petrova Poslanica 2:2 Kao tek rođene bebe čeznite za čistim mlijekom riječi da bi po njemu uzrasli ...

(1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Great Day Standing Up for Christ

A 19 degree chill factor was not enough to keep us off the streets of Varaždin today. I was joined by all the men of the Holcomb family - Bro Scott and his sons Matthew and Xavier.
We had a great time standing up for Christ. The traffic was outstanding and the interest from those who passed by was obvious.
We pray the Lord will pierce their hearts with His word and convict them of their need for a Saviour.

At least a half dozen police drove by today - very slowly - and said nothing to us. We have prayed for grace in the eyes of the police and God is answering our prayer. Amen!

God help us to make a difference for Jesus' sake! God save Croatia!

Prva Poslanica Korinćanima 3:11 Jer nitko ne može položiti drugog temelja osim onoga koji je već postavljen, a taj je Isus Krist.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another day on the streets

A wind chill of 25 degrees was not enough to keep us off the street.  The young man in the picture is Matthew Holcomb, and he gladly withstood the cold winds to stand up for Christ in Čakovec during rush hour today. Matthew is the son of Scott and Traci Holcomb.  He is a great blessing to me personally and to the ministry here.

We were blessed to make contact with several who passed by and are hopeful that they will follow through and attend a service so we can speak with them further about their need for Christ.

We cannot imagine what the townspeople think seeing us stand on the street with the gospel message.  This has to be something totally new to them, so it definitely has their attention and we are thrilled.  Police also drove by today and said nothing, which is a very good indicator that we will be permitted to continue this part of our ministry unhindered.

Tomorrow morning we will be standing in Varaždin. 

Praise God.

Poslanica Hebrejima 13:13-14 Izađimo stoga k njemu izvan tabora noseći njegovu sramotu.  Jer ovdje nemamo trajnog grada, već tražimo budući.

(Hebrews 13:13-14 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.  For  here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

International Smorgasbord Extravaganza!

I went to the post office here in Čakovec today to pick up two unexpected packages, having no idea what had come in. I was definitely in for a pleasant surprise.
Several months ago I sent a request to the Fellowship Tract League for gospel tracts in numerous languages so we could reach out to more of the people we come in contact with.
When I opened the boxes tonight, I was ecstatic. As you can see in the photograph, I have before me an International Smorgasbord Extravaganza of gospel opportunity!
With tracts in Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Bulgarian, Albanian, Romanian, German, and even English we can now reach more people than ever before. It's as if Christmas keeps on coming.

Printable tracts posted online at:

Glory Hallelujah!

Rimljanima 1:16 Jer se ne stidim evanđelja Kristova, jer je ono snaga Božja na spasenje svakomu koji vjeruje; najprije Židovu, onda i Grku.

(Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dreams do come true

Dreams do come true!
After several months in Croatia, I have finally been able to get gospel signs made in the Croatian language, and I can once again stand up for Christ on busy street corners.
The sign pictured here is the first of a set (the prototype) that the signmaker produced last Friday. The others will be ready this coming Friday and I can't wait to get them all.

This sign says, Only Jesus Saves. Ye must be born again. Today, I was on the street corner at rush hour and already the results are exciting. I had the privilege to preach the gospel to a group of teenagers who came by on their bicycles. They all took gospel tracts and listened to me telling them about Jesus for about 10-15 minutes. As hundreds of cars passed by I could see the drivers and passengers intently reading the sign.
It's such a joy to share God's Word with hundreds of people in a short span of time.

Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Thank you God, for the opportunity to stand up for You!
It is my dream come true.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A great day in the house of God

We had a wonderful day in God’s house today in Varaždin and Čakovec! Praise the Lord!

Two first-time visitors were gloriously and eternally saved by placing their faith in Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God who died for us all and triumphantly rose again from the dead.  

One man who got saved today, Petar, is brother-in-law to Dejan from the village of Kuršanec.  Dejan continues to work hard for the Lord in bringing people from his village.  It is always a blessing to drive the church van to Dejan's house and have so many people pile in that we could not possibly fit another.

The other person who was saved today is the classmate of one of Hannah Leslie's friends.  Hannah's friend was saved just a few months ago and now she is bringing her friends. Praise God!

In addition, Bro Scott Holcomb is currently running a special promotion in the children’s program that he leads every week.  The promotion involves Bible memorization, attendance, bringing your Bible to church, and bringing visitors.  This is the first week of the promotion and already we are seeing good things happen.  Attendance was excellent, and EVERYONE remembered to bring their Bible – EVERYONE.  The spirit of today's meeting was very good and, as shown in the photo, more kids got up to say their memory verse today than we ever had before.

What an incredible day!  Thank God!
Glory to His name.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


With ice, snow, sub-freezing temperatures, and several holidays, it had been a little while since we were able  to get outside and greet people with gospel tracts in hand.
Today, it warmed up just enough for people to venture outdoors, so once again were standing in the town square of Varaždin giving out gospel tracts and talking to as many people as possible. In spite of the 40 degree temperature and 15 mile per hour wind, there were still enough people outdoors to enable us to give out  nearly 500 gospel tracts, personally invite a number of people to church, and have a few interesting conversations. 
It is so refreshing to stand up for Christ.  Thank God for the opportunity.
More seed has been planted, and we are counting on the Lord to grow it for His glory.  Hallelujah!

To get a view of the town square of Varazdin, click on this webcam link 

NOTE: The camera doesn't appear to be on today (Saturday), but check back again on a weekday.  This camera is run by the local college and shows only the town square.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas in Kuršanec

On December 28th, I got a call from Dejan, our faithful member from Kuršanec. He needed some help hauling some Christmas gifts to his village from a local doctor's office. This doctor, a very nice lady about 60 years old, has been collecting Christmas gifts for the Gypsy families in Kuršanec for many years. Today, they needed transportation.

I took the church van to her office and we loaded it up from top to bottom and headed to the village. It was a joy to behold as the crowd gathered and the gifts were distributed. Everyone was so happy. These dear people live with practically nothing, and for someone to care enough to help them genuinely blesses their hearts.

I was so privileged to be a part of this big day. Praise the Lord.

Sad Irony

For a panoramic view of the entire site, see

As a church, we went to a special place in Croatia where over a million "Christmas" lights are set up. This is an amazing sight.
It is indeed brilliantly decorated and beautiful. There is even a manger scene to celebrate the birth of Christ, and the name "Božićna Priča" (Christmas Story) over the entrance.
The sad irony in this is that it is done in a country where most do not realize that Jesus came to die to pay for all our sins. Sadly, for the most part, the people of Croatia worship Mary rather than the Saviour, and believe that good works will eventually earn them a place in heaven.
They do not realize that the birth of Christ was not Mary's miracle, but God's miracle. They do not comprehend that Mary has no power to save, but only Jesus saves. They fail to realize that Mary also needed the Saviour, just like the rest of us.
This display shows that people can know a few facts concerning a historical event and completely miss its true meaning and value. We can have something in our head, but until we understand it with our heart, we are lost and without hope for heaven.
The fact is that we are all sinners in need of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
We must receive Him in our hearts to be saved, realizing that He alone can save us and take us to Heaven. Our good works, baptism, church membership, and charitable giving are all polluted by our sin, making us unworthy to be with God. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse our sin and assure us of eternal salvation.
I am saved, and headed for heaven. How about you?

Evanđelje po Luki 19:10 Jer je Sin čovječji došao tražiti i spasiti ono što je izgubljeno.
Druga Poslanica Korinćanima 5:21 Jer ga je on učinio grijehom za nas, njega koji nije upoznao grijeha, da mi u njemu postanemo pravednost Božja.
Poslanica Rimljanima 3:23 Jer su svi sagriješili i ostali bez slave Božje, Evanđelje po Ivanu 3:16 Jer je Bog tako ljubio svijet da je dao svoga
jedinorođenog Sina, da svaki koji u njega vjeruje ne propadne, nego ima život vječni.
Djela Apostolka 4:12 Nema spasenja ni u kome drugom, jer nema pod nebom drugoga imena danog ljudima po kome mi trebamo biti spašeni.

(Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other
name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.)

Watch Night Service 2010

We had a great time of fellowship together during our Watch Night Service in Čakovec Croatia.
We are looking forward to great things from God in 2011, and watching for our Lord's return.
It is our heart's desire to reach all of Croatia (and Bosnia, Serbia, Herzegovina and others) with the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.

Praise the Lord for a mission-minded church!

Xavier Holcomb showing his great style in a game of Wii Tennis.

Magi is taking down Bro Scott Holcomb in a riveting game of Operation

Matthew Holcomb and Danijel going at it in a game of Sorry!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What it's all about

Sunday night, January 2nd, was a very special day in Čakovec, Croatia.
After taking a church van out on icy roads to the Gypsy village of Kursanec and picking up a "bunch" of people, we had a great church service.
After the service, Pastor Rajko Telebar sat down with four of the men from the village and led them to Christ!
Seeing four men gloriously saved was definitely the highlight of our day!

Thank God for Bro Telebar and his heart for the souls of men.

Especially exciting to me is the fact that the man in the plaid shirt had not planned to come. He happened to be standing near the van where I stopped to let everyone on. I motioned to him to come with us and he shrugged as if to say "Why not?" and got in. Praise the Lord.

Salvation - That's what it's all about.


Evanđelje po Ivanu 1:12 A svima koji su ga prihvatili, njima je dao moć da postanu djeca Božja: onima koji vjeruju u ime njegovo;

(John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:)
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