Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sowing Seed!

Much of our ministry here has been that of sowing seed! We are in a country that has very few believers. Many of the Catholics here see Baptist as a sect. Because of this we have found that the Lord has us here to sow the seeds that will one day grow and turn this country towards God.

Recently we received 100,000 copies of John and Romans, from Harvest Baptist Church in FT. Dodge, Ia. Our desire is for everyone in our city to receive a copy of the JR's, each book also contains a few Gospel tracts.

Every week my family stamp and stuff the JR's with Gospel tracts. We try to prepare about 700-900 for Saturday.

Then a team of us goes out and distributes the seed throughout our city. We sure pray that one day that seed will grow and that our team of sowers will increase. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Gal. 6,9

After a little work we all enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather at a small European coffee shop. We all had a great time sowing the seed and the fellowship that followed!

Friday, February 27, 2009

English? Who would have thunk it?

As a missionary you try many different things to have more and more contact with people. Our goal is to meet more and more people, so that we can witness to them. Through the years we've tried teen camps, Cowboy Day (for children), a baseball camp, and the very popular English class. In many fields teaching English to nationals has been a very useful tool. The problem with this is I slept through English class in school, and my lovely wife doesn't want to get up in front of people and teach English. Although I must say she prepared all the material that we're using. So this means every Thursday night I get to stand up in front of a few Croatian people and teach them something that I don't no myself. Sure wish I would have paid attention in Mrs. Wallace English class now!

Some of our people are wanting to learn English so they are taking the class as well. Brother Alen, a young man that is growing in the Lord, wants to be able to help translate for visiting preachers when they come. He has such a good spirit, and he is a soul-winner! Last night in the break brother Alen was witnessing to a lady, Branka, that's taking the class. She hasn't got saved yet. Brother Alen is trying to make sure she at least gets a chance to hear the Gospel! Thank God for Brother Alen and others like him who have a burden to reach their own people.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Future of Croatia!

Croatia is a former communist country which once was a part of the former Yugoslavia. For years it was under the influence of communism. After living here for the last 9 years I certainly can see the effects of communism on the people of Croatia. In general Croats are very skeptical people. Most Croats don't trust others that easily, especially outsiders (like Americans). After all democracy and capitalism have been the great enemy of communism. This has added to the difficulty of reaching these precious souls.

Most Croats are not second generation Christians. Most of the people in our churches here are 1st generation Christians.This is why last night at church when I saw Ruben, he is Brother Rich's son, I was filled with joy. Ruben is a second generation Christian, and his dad and mom are teaching him to love God from his youth! After Church last night I caught him wearing his dad's suit coat and tie (picture above). Can you see that little boy a man (like I can) preaching the word of the Living God to his own people. They wont see him as an outsider, like they do the Americans. Can you see him (like I can) filled with the Spirit of God and leading 100's to Christ! Ruben and many more young people like him just may be the future of these precious souls!

Oh God help us to reach more children just like Ruben!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm Not alone!

For years I've asked the question, "Why are there not any missionaries in Croatia?" Many times in prayer I've cried out to God asking Him why? We have served God for almost 9 years in Croatia.Yet at this present time there are not any other Independent Baptist missionaries in Croatia. Although we do have two families on the way! Praise God for them!

Yesterday I woke up, like I do every Tuesday to meet Brother Rich (he is the national pastor) to work on the Bible project. I got to Church a little early to get prepared for the day at hand. Now I'm sitting in front of my computer, the coffee is started, and I'm waiting for Brother Rich to show up. All of a sudden depression sweeps over me, and I start to feel sorry for myself, because I'm the only Independent Baptist missionary in the country. So I start doing what any good Baptist would do, I start complaining to God. After all I want Him to feel sorry for me too. I begin to tell Him how Paul had Silas; Peter had John and James; even on the road to Emmaus there were two walking together with the Lord. Now I thought I had a good case going there, as God patiently listened to me whine. After I complained a while it was almost as if I heard God say, are you done?

Then in the silence the depression was gone as fast as it came! That's when God said you are not alone. I promised you can never be alone (Hebrews 13:5)! However, God wasn't finished speaking. It was as if something nudged me to turn my head to the right. That's when it hit me and I felt lower than a snakes belly! There was a desk next to mine that belonged to Brother Rich. I was waiting for Him to get to church so we could begin work. Brother Rich surrendered to preach under our ministry. I have trained him, and the church called him as their pastor. He has worked with me for the last 7 or 8 years. He and his family have given their lives to the Lord. They are sold out completely to God! The Lord said to me son you are not alone. Because number one I'm with you! Number two you have your Silas; you have your Peter; you have your Paul. He's a Croat not an American!

I've realized through this experience that no one should argue with God, because you can't possibly win! I've also realized God does exactly what He says He will do, but not always like we think He ought to do.

I want to remind all of my many missionary friends that we're not alone! God promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us!

Monday, February 23, 2009

God help our back slidden hearts!

Just recently I read a blog from my good friend Sam Ward. I must say my heart was so stirred within me that I fell under such great conviction about my present spiritual condition. I cried out to God to renew within me a compassion for souls.

Brother Sam is a layman at Trinity Baptist Church in Arlington, TX, which is my home church. He works more for the Lord than most preachers I know (including myself in that statement). Lately on his blog, which I would encourage you to read, he has been telling us about a Chinese restaurant he has been frequenting. He has been witnessing to the workers there, which are Chinese. He has been praying for God to help him reach these souls for the Lord. Well God opened a door for him to teach English twice a week at the restaurant. He will be going there at 10:30pm and teach to 11:30. He will be using a program that is heavily saturated with the Gospel. Now, I know Bro. Sam, and he has little desire to teach English, but He has a great desire to win people to Jesus.

Bro. Sam works a job and already has a full plate serving the Lord. Yet twice a week when others are sleeping he will be at a Chinese restaurant trying to win Chinese souls to the Lord. Did I mention to you that Bro. Sam has MD. He lives in severe pain, and yet still gives his all to Jesus. I've never heard him complain about anything. I've never heard him criticize others. He lives to see one more soul saved! I can tell you that he is my hero! Thank God for brother Sam Ward. We need more men like him in our fundamental Baptist Churches.

God help our back slidden hearts! Most Baptist spend more time complaining and criticizing than they do winning Souls. May we learn from men like Brother Sam, so that we can get out and tell some one that there is a Saviour who died on Calvary for them! Most Baptist are more wrapped up in materialism, than they are about soul-winning! Most Baptist would rather criticize than testify! May we cry out to God and beg Him to put a burden for souls in our hearts. God please help our back slidden hearts!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here Goes!

Wow! This is my first ever post! I have no idea what to say. I'm really hoping friends and family from the states can keep up with our ministry in Croatia! I'm really sad I didn't do this before, because God has done so many miracles in this country. It's a shame I've not documented them all. Sometimes I stop and look back over the last 9 years, and I must say when I do I stand in awe of how big our God is! My family has served the Lord in Croatia for the last 9 years. At times it's been lonely for we're the only Independent Baptist missionaries in this whole country. For that matter we are the only independent Baptist missionaries in a 250 mile radius. However, God never promised a life of ease when He said, take up thy cross and follow me! I look back to what I was and now see who I am, and I must say, Lord here am I send me! What a joy to be in a life of service for the Lord. I've got the greatest boss ever!

I pray that through this blog many of you can take a journey with me. I want to share with you our victories and defeats, our joyful times and our sorrowful times, our times of great happiness and our times of great depression! So I hope you will come along with me, and learn what it's like to have a life in the field!

Brother Johnny