This world has many people that need help and unfortunately not enough willing people capable of helping the sick, hurting, or lost in the world. However, the power one person can have to influence many instills hope for a brighter future. These type of people are the people my team went looking for in the beautiful country of Montenegro located on the Adriatic Sea between Albania and Bosnia & Hercegovina and below Serbia. On month eight of my World Race mission trip to 11 countries, my team was given the task of finding these “unsung heroes” in order to encourage them in their ministry as well as establish a partnership to help bring them volunteer teams in the future.
Montenegro is one of the least evangelized countries in Europe, consisting of only a handful of evangelical Christian churches spread throughout the country, culminating in a little more than 100 Christians. Montenegro is largely an Eastern Orthodox country, but God has begun the process of changing hearts in this country. Upon arrival in the small capital of Podgorica, we reached out to Pastor Jovica, “John” as we called him. Pastor John runs one of only three known churches in the entire country and the Serbian native moved here with his family and worship pastor to start this small church. The persecution against Pastor John and his family in the beginning would have overwhelmed many, but his faith was made stronger and his passion to reach this largely unreached country was solidified. We came to encourage him and his congregation, which I think our mere presence went a long way to encourage them, but my team and I wound up being encouraged by their faith and passion.
Pastor John’s wisdom and determination were enhanced by the sacrifice God called him to make to start this small Christian movement in Montenegro. When he spoke, his love of God and his love for the people of his new country were undeniable. Although Pastor John leads a relatively small church of 25-35 people, he has encouraged and inspired countless others through the way he lives his life. In the short amount of time I was able to spend with this man of God, I came to deeper levels of realization about how much one person can impact the lives of many simply by living a life set apart and listening to the little promptings God gives you to go out and do something for His kingdom. Pastor John truly was an “unsung hero” to the small church community in Montenegro and his story encouraged me and hopefully you to make a difference, to be an “unsung hero” impacting your nearby community and growing the kingdom of God.
To hear more about Montenegro, Pastor John, and the Christian movement taking place in the country you can read another story at http://world.ag.org/article/montenegro. He was a featured story a few years back in an Assemblies of God publication.