dventists in Serbia have made meaningful connections with people through healthful activities. Health clubs have drawn a lot of interest from the community. Groups go hiking, exercise together, hold health lectures, and conduct cooking demonstrations.

If not for these activities, the participants might never meet an Adventist or be exposed to the Adventist message.

Marija, a church member there, says, “Here, it’s important to build friendships first, and then you can say who you are. Otherwise, they will reject you from the start.”

Personal connection is how Jesus ministered when He was on earth. So, these church members are following His lead by implementing Christ’s method of ministry. This is key to building relationships, especially in growing cities such as Belgrade, where people tend to focus on their own busy lives.

“There are a lot of skyscrapers here filled with people who don’t know or want to know about God,” Marija says. “That’s the challenge here. It is a secular country.”

In 2020, a portion of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped established this church in Novi Belgrade, a municipality of Belgrade, Serbia
The church members host a variety of activities, such as hiking, to meet the needs of their community
Novi Belgrade is a secular city filled with thousands of people who don’t know God. The new urban center of influence will help this church reach out to them for Jesus

Just a few years ago, the part of the city known as Novi Belgrade had no Adventist church. Anytime the church members wanted to gather, they had to travel far to the nearest church. In 2020, a portion of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped establish a church in Novi Belgrade. They were able to get a building with two levels. They hold church services on the second floor and are renovating the lower level to be an urban center of influence.

“It means a lot to us because we have our own services now and can invite friends,” says Ljilja, another church member. “The facility is very good, and we are grateful to God.”

“We are going to have the health clubs here,” Marija says. “We are going to teach people how to cook healthy food. . . . There are a lot of people here who like crafts, so maybe we’ll teach making soap from healthy ingredients as well as decoupage and quilling.”

Your contributions to the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering have been received with gratitude. The new space feels like home to this congregation, and hopefully, it will allow them to grow.

“I am grateful to those who helped us, all the brothers and sisters from all over the world,” Ljilja says. “We prayed for more than 20 years to have this church, and that’s why we are also ready to give our offerings to those who need to have their own church.”

“I’m grateful to God that He gave people the will to give,” Marija says. “That tells us we have to work and justify what we got. We have to pray for God to use us where we are and fill this building so that we will have to find another one.”

Please pray for this church as they open their urban center of influence in a new part of Belgrade. Thank you for giving to the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in 2020 and making this congregation’s dream a reality!

Urban Centers of Influence

Global Mission supports wholistic mission to the cities through the ministry of dozens of urban centers of influence. These centers follow Christ’s method of ministry to meet people’s needs and start new groups of believers. To learn more, visit MissiontotheCities.org/urban-centers-of-influence. Please support urban centers of influence by scanning this QR code or visiting Global-Mission.org/giving.


Watch this story at m360.tv/s2337.

Ricky Oliveras Office of Adventist Mission