On our first Sunday in Serbia it was time to visit the largest church that we had planted--The church in Shid.
We drove about an hour west of Belgrade until we reached a blue, shed-like building. We were relatively early, but realized that people had arrived hours before we did to clean and prepare the meals.
We went inside and greeted the brothers and sisters who were setting up for the service. They were all so excited to meet us and eagerly showed us around the property.
The property belonged to a Serbian Pastor who graciously allowed for us to use his facilities to meet. It was a portion of his mother’s house. It was clear that he had a love for the Iranian people and a desire to see them follow Christ.
When we went out into the backyard, we found two men cooking food in the largest pots that we had ever seen. They were expecting a large number of people to come and were preparing meals for each one of them. Before the services started we discussed what they needed in order to feed the refugees that came in every week and it was wonderful to see their dedication to serving God and others.
As the food was being prepared, the others started to set up for the service and one by one we saw people come in from the camps for the Discipleship class that would take place before the main service.
Some came by bus, while others who could not afford public transportation walked for hours to reach the church. We were overwhelmed by their desire to learn about God’s word no matter the distance.
The discipleship class, taught by the Iranian missionary that lives there, lasted over two hours. They were going through the book of John and it was clear that the missionary’s goal was for the refugees to gain an in-depth understanding of their newfound faith.
After the discipleship class we ate with the refugees and had time to fellowship with one another and hear their stories. It was incredible to hear their salvation testimonies and see Jesus work in their lives. By the time lunch was served there were about 30-35 adults in attendance and about 8 children.
Soon after, the worship service began followed by a message from Pastor Firouz. Pastor Firouz preached on remaining strong in the faith despite hardships. It was a message that clearly resonated with everyone in the room and it was a joy to see the Holy Spirit working through Pastor Firouz as the refugees learned about the Word of God.
Please continue to pray that this church will grow in the knowledge of God’s Word and that it will be able to operate independently. Pray that the Lord will raise up leaders in this church and that a worship team will form for the glory of God.