July 26, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

Once again the Lord did incredible things through the outreach team that came over this year. Our church was encouraged; the community was touched by their service and love; friendships were reestablished; even a few souls were brought into the Kingdom! Thanks so much for your prayers. The Lord answered all the requests I sent you in the last newsletter:

* They arrived safely
* Health was generally good (except for a few colds and stomach aches that quickly passed), and although we had many activities planned the Lord gave us the strength we needed
* The Lord gave them boldness to share the Gospel. (They were very assertive as they shared their faith with people this year.)
* There was no rain during the three days we were out on the main square for the children's event (except for a little at the very end).
* There was a good turn-out for all of the activities.
* The Lord really used them to build up our church through a conference, preaching, testimonies, one-on-one visitation, etc.
* There was just enough money to cover the costs of all the activities. (The team did a lot of fund raising before they arrived and even the local Sombor government pitched in from their own budget this time!)

"20-something" Team from "North Coast Church"



Below are some highlights I thought you would find interesting. Hope you enjoy reading them.
Jelena, the kids and I are all in America right now. It's so nice to get away from all the busy activities of ministry for a while and get our batteries recharged for when we go back in August.
On Aug. 12th from 4pm-6pm we will have an "Open House" at my brother and sister-in-law's place. You're all invited to come out. We'll have a slide presentation, a time for Q and A's, etc. Here is their address and phone number if you need directions or have any additional questions:

Steve and Dianne Sivulka
30831 Au Bon Climat Ct.
Bonsall, CA 92003
Tel. 760-726-4541

Hope to see you there! Take care and thanks again for your prayers and support.

Love in Christ,

Greg


Sombor Children's Summer Event 2007

As the summer got closer, more and more kids in the city would ask us questions like - "When are the Americans coming again?" Last year's event on the main square right in the middle of town was such a big hit that they just couldn't wait for it to happen again! (See www.SerbianOutreach.com and click on July '06 Newsletter.)
Once again hundreds of children came out to have fun with us: playing games, learning dances, making arts and crafts, etc. Toy stores donated prizes, the local dairy gave hundreds of fruit yogurt drinks, a bakery donated rolls, other stores donated materials, the local government made a large contribution to help us with expenses... The whole city of Sombor was involved in this three-day carnival-like event! Everything turned out fantastic! The kids had a blast!


Serving the children of Sombor in such a practical way with no strings attached has a profound effect on the generally negative mentality people have toward Evangelical Christians here. (Because we are so few in number and people know so little about us, many consider us a dangerous cult and actually put us in the same camp as Jehovah's Witnesses or even Satantists!) Community events like these really break down barriers and open doors for us to share the Gospel with people.

Painting

While the team was in Sombor, they spent a few mornings painting over grafitti of a local High School. This attracted much attention. People couldn't believe that they were doing this free of charge! Students from the school also helped out who became friends with the Americans. A couple of these students actually came to visit our church for the first time.















English Club

English speakers of Sombor once again came out to the church to spend time conversing with the team in a café-type atmosphere. The main theme of the club was "Trust" and they spent a lot of time talking about what it means to trust Christ. So many interesting conversations took place those evenings. Some even got to hear the Gospel for the first time.
 













Teenagers

This year we added something new to the list of activities we usually do. Teenagers were invited to come to the church for fun and games and around 50 or so showed up! A lot of new friendships were formed during the time they spent together.















Grand Finale

On the last night the team was in Sombor, we had our regular Sunday night worship service. The sanctuary was packed with adults, teenagers and kids that had been invited by the team during the various activities I just mentioned above. People from the team shared testimonies, songs and great Evangelistic message. I stood up to share just a few words and give people a chance to respond to the message and several people prayed to receive Christ! I can't express how thrilled I was! One of the new converts, a policeman named Ivica, is someone I've been praying for for years. His wife has been coming to our church for a long time now. When she found out the great news about her husband she said with a huge smile on her face - "Now our family is finally complete!"
Ivica with Wife and Kids
 




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Yours because of Jesus" (7/31/08)