I went to Slovenia, with European Christian Mission (ECM), in early June. We met up with Christian leaders from churches living in different parts of Slovenia and pastors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. For the first three days, we met together at a conference allowing these pastors time to share their difficulties. They also shared encouragements - one group which used to meet around a kitchen table, in a home, have been able to move as they are seeing some growth. This group has actually planted four small churches in Serbia.
A common problem, one that seems to affect churches in every land, is that the labourers are so few and as a result it is quite easy for pastors to burn-out. Throughout the conference, we heard encouraging testimonies about how the Lord had helped in these situations. I can say we all learned something more of the mercy and grace of God at work.
Those of us who travelled from Ireland and UK, (13 of us in total) then
broke up into groups and went to the homes of church leaders. We learned a
little about how they did outreach in their communities. I learnt that there
are many cultural differences within church services and I also learnt that God
blesses his people irrespective of cultures and denominations.
I would like to thank the Irish Coordinator for ECM - Charlie Anderson for organising the trip. I got to meet new brothers and sisters in Christ and I learnt a lot from Charlie. This trip opened my eyes to see how richly blessed churches across the North of Ireland are compared to the small Christian minority groups in Europe, who continue to sow the seed of the gospel. They do not see much fruit of their labour (yet), so please continue to pray for these church groups.