|My dad led me to the Lord when I was six years old. He taught me about following Christ every day by his own example and through short Bible studies he would share with my three brothers and me each evening before bed. I was fortunate to have grown up in a Christian family and to this day I feel so privileged because of this. "To whom much is given, much is required."
Out of a gratefulness and love toward God for saving me and giving me such great blessings, I began to get more and more involved in serving Him by serving others. I began to realize as a young boy that the greatest way I could help a person is to bring him/her into a relationship with Christ and I decided to dedicate my life to such a service.
At thirteen I began a door-to-door ministry with a couple other friends in Arizona. I was young and naïve, but through that ministry I began to develop a deep desire to study the Word of God like never before. I would come across many questions that I didn’t understand about God as I would converse with various people and this would motivate me to go deeper into the Scriptures to "study to show myself an approved workman who need not be ashamed; rightly dividing the Word of truth."
I also used to enjoy witnessing to different people at school, during the lunch break, in between classes and even sometimes during classes. Sometimes I would pray, "Oh, Lord, I would just love it if one day I would be able to spend whole days witnessing, just as I do during the lunch breaks in High School." It was then that I began to think about getting involved in full-time ministry after I graduate.
When people would ask what I want to do with my life I would just tell them, "I just want to bring as many people as I can to Christ on this earth, die and go to Heaven." Most non-believers thought I was nuts in High School! I even got voted for the category "most likely to become a priest" at the end of the year!
I never would have dreamed that my love for the Lord and people would one day take me half way around the world to a country that I knew nothing about, but that’s exactly what happened!
I first went over to Yugoslavia back in 1990 with an outreach team organized by Calvary Chapel of Vista and Costa Mesa. We spent two weeks in Hungary and Yugoslavia having evangelistic outreaches on the streets, making friends and witnessing one-on-one, encouraging new believers, etc. It was an incredible time for me that totally changed the direction of my life.
I remember the first person I witnessed to in Yugoslavia. His name was Dejan. He was eighteen and had never heard the Gospel message before, never heard that God loves him, never even read the Bible before! Coming from a country where the Gospel is blaring on radios and where there are Christian churches on every corner, this was a total shock for me. My heart became broken for the people of Yugoslavia and I began to ask the Lord if He would want me to move over there.
Through a series of events, He confirmed His calling to me and when the outreach was over and we returned to America, I announced to my parents my plans to move over and start working there in the town of Subotica as a missionary. I found the ministry exhilarating over there. It was such a thrill to come into contact with people every day that had never heard the Gospel before and to help so many come to Christ.
After a few years of working in Subotica I decided to move down to another city called Novi Sad to help a small church that had just gotten started. It was there that I met my wife Jelena. Fortunately, Jelena also has a passion and burden for the lost, particularly for those that live in Yugoslavia, so we were immediately able to start working together as a team in the ministry. We got involved in distributing humanitarian aid to the poor and to refugees who had fled other areas of Yugoslavia.
After a few years of living and ministering in Novi Sad, we moved to a little village called Temerin to start a new church with a couple other believers. After that church was well established we moved to a different city called Sombor, where we are now living to start a new church. As far as formal training goes, I am finishing up a distant learning course with "Moody Bible Institute" in Chicago that goes through the basic doctrines of the Bible.