To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 15.
s Nemanja was scrolling through Instagram, he noticed that he couldn’t find many pages with the Seventh-day Adventist message in his native language, Serbian.
He wondered, “Why isn’t our church well represented on Instagram?”
Then he asked himself, “Why doesn’t somebody do something about it?”
The next question that came to his mind was, “Why don’t I do something about it?”
So, Nemanja began an online ministry that today has more than 5,000 Instagram followers around the world and additional participants on two other social media platforms. In addition to posting messages about Adventist beliefs on social media, Nemanja oversees 10 small Bible study groups of 20-30 people each on Instagram. At least 10 young people have been baptized over the past two years, and several are studying to become pastors at the Adventist seminary in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade.
What is it like to be an online missionary?
It can be scary, said Nemanya, who is 25.
One young man wrote that his life was being threatened by an evil spirit. The evil spirit, who identified himself as a god, said that he had killed other people.
“Can you pray for me?” the young man asked Nemanya.
Nemanya organized an online prayer group of 10 people, and they prayed. Two days later, the young man wrote to express his gratitude.
“Yesterday, the spirit’s attacks were less, and today he hasn’t attacked at all,” he wrote.
The young man has joined one of Nemanya’s online Bible study groups.
“God has helped him,” Nemanya said.
Another of Nemanya’s Bible study groups, a group for women, received a message from a woman named Tamara in Vienna, Austria. She wrote that she strongly desired to take part in a Communion service but didn’t know where to go. After posting her message to the group, she wrote directly to Nemanya to ask which church to attend. “That’s easy,” Nemanya wrote back. “Read the Bible and pray, and God will tell you what to do.”
Tamara replied politely that she had already read the Bible and prayed.
Nemanya sent study materials and several of his Instagram posts.
“Thank you,” Tamara wrote. “But I still haven’t found an answer.”
She asked for help a third time.
This time, Nemanya replied, “I suggest that you go to a Seventh-day Adventist church.”
Tamara wasn’t satisfied with the answer and decided to visit another church. When she arrived, however, she couldn’t find a place to park. She drove around in circles but still couldn’t find an empty spot. As she circled the church in Austria, an Adventist woman located about 300 miles (500 kilometers) away in Bosnia and Herzegovina noticed Tamara’s initial post seeking help in the women’s Bible study group.
“Hey Tamara,” the woman wrote. “There will be a Communion service on Saturday. Here is the address to the church in Vienna.”
Tamara was shocked. “I was searching for a parking spot and feeling really low,” she wrote back. “It was at this moment that I received your message.”
She went to the Adventist church for Communion that Sabbath. Now she is preparing for baptism.
One night, as Nemanya was preparing to go to bed, the thought came to him, “You should pray for Aleksa.” Aleksa had accepted the truth after joining an online Bible study group but had not been baptized. Then he had left the group, saying, “I know the truth, but I don’t want it. I want to live life.”
Nemanya decided to pray that night. He prayed a very simple prayer. “Please, God, touch his heart. Amen,” he said.
The next day, Aleksa wrote, “Listen, I feel like the Holy Spirit is touching my heart.”
Nemanya was amazed. That was exactly what he had prayed for.
“It would have been nice if he had written, ‘I want to come back to the group,’” Nemanya said. “But he wrote that he was experiencing exactly what I had prayed for. He returned to the group after that.”
Another young man actively railed against Adventists on social media.
Nemanya wrote to him, “Hey, why don’t you read The Great Controversy?”
“OK, I’ll try,” the young man replied.
He read the entire book by Ellen White in a single night. The next day, he said, “It looks like I’m becoming an Adventist.”
He accepted that the Adventist Church teaches the Bible truth. Now he is preparing for baptism.
Nemanya is a product of Seventh-day Adventist education funded by a Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. As a teen, he studied at the Adventist secondary school in Novi Sad, Serbia, which opened with the help of a Thirteenth Sabbath Offering collected in third quarter 1997. Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings that have a ripple effect on many lives, spanning many years.