Tomorrow afternoon, a team of 11 from my church will leave for a 2 week mission to Croatia. We will be working with the local Southern Baptist missionaries and the local Baptist church. The mission has two main objectives: to teach ESL and to do friendship evangelism in the small local cafe's.
The main reasons for the ESL classes is to help strengthen the English they have learned in school by practicing in a classroom setting at the church and to introduce them to the Baptist church and the pastor, Ladislov. Croatia is 99.9 % Catholic. They will tell you, "I am Croatian so I am Catholic." Catholicism has been the religion for about 1500 years. It is part of their culture. Anything else is considered a cult. Any sort of Protestantism is lumped with Mormons, Muslims and Buddhists. We will share Bible stories during the English lessons using the same Bible they use in their Catholic church. We have had some great discussions and some people have realized that they can have a personal relationship with Jesus.
The other ministry will be a first attempt to reach out to the young adults in their regular evening gathering place, the cafe. We will split up into groups and visit several cafes during the day, visiting with the cafe staff and the locals. In the evenings we will be playing music in the plaza and the park. There are many cafe's that face these two locations and we pray that God will bring people to listen to the music and engage in conversation.
I will also have several chances to preach. Please pray for me that God's words and not mine will be heard.
Please pray for our efforts, that we follow God's will and are faithful to the task. Also pray for travel safety and that we make all the connections. I look forward to posting the results of the trip in a couple of weeks.