Along with my family and church, as well as my two major ministry projects of Hope for Life and CornerstoneArts Croatia, there are numerous smaller or occasional, but important ministry engagements that I feel blessed to be able to serve with.
Again, they will be impossible without many of my dear ministry colleagues who love people and God. I feel privileged to be the small part of the ministry networks that wants to use many creative ways to bring Jesus and His saving love to my country.
I'm also glad to realize the significant influences in those ministries that are coming from the theological perspectives and the ministry experience inherited from the Hope for Life ministry, or is even supported by its original programs.
Hopefully you will be blessed by reading about and watching many accompanied photos.
Children's Ministries - Foster Kids
Jesus said,"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."Matthew 19:14
- The folder is still under construction. Please come back shortly.
General Children's Ministry
My dear friend and close ministry partner Karmen Horvat is passionately dedicated to bring Jesus to the children in general. She is organizing all kind of camps and other Christian events for them and I'm glad that my daughter Ivana is always eager to helping her.
The Kid's Clubs
Social Ministries - Veterans
The Croatian veterans of the Homeland War occupy a special place in the collective memory of Croatia. As the defenders of the nation they became the true heroes of the narrative of the young state. The indebtedness of the nation manifest itself in a wide range of benefits made available to the veterans after they had ended their service. However, gradually an ever widening social, political and emotional gap has been developed between the veterans and the general public. Instead of a warm reconciliation taking place between the heroes and those for whom they had fought, thereby facilitating the successful reintegration of the former soldiers into society; alienation, suspicion and tension came to mark their relation.
As the state first had monopolized the care for the veterans, no citizen led initiative existed to catch those veterans who were too broken down to address their problems through bureaucracy. Independent charity which would brought about closer personal contact between ordinary citizens and the veterans, something which would have made reconciliation and reintegration easier, never took place on a larger scale. In addition to that, the ordinary citizens were becoming tired with wartime rhetoric and the veterans felt less and less understoon and accepted. The disunity of the veterans based on their political engagements further rendered reintegration to society even more difficult for the ever more alienated and marginalized heroes of the Homeland War. So, today each wounded veteran faces new challenges: readjusting, rebuilding their lives, and reconnecting with their families. For many of our wounded veterans, time away to rejuvenate is a luxury that is often unattainable and unaffordable.
Drazen Hrženjak spent his best years in the war when Croatia was attacked (1991-1995). Since he became Christian he realize that Jesus is the only answer to his fellow ex-soldiers. That makes him passionate to begin with the organization that will help traumatized veterans from the Christian approach. As we came together he realizes that the program of Hope for Life can be the most effective way to realize his ministry dream so he joined the group that is attending the Advanced Training in the city of Daruvar. Dražen is eager to use the new resources to help the hopeless and disillusioned ex-soldiers to find them saving life of Christ.
In all of that, Vukovar, as the most destroyed city in the recent war in Croatia, remained in the focus of the Christ-centered reconciliation we want to bring to the wounded people, especially the veterans.
The Christian Program in Vukovar
Social Ministries - Blind & Handicapped
Danko Tomanić is another HFL intern whom is Father effectively using in the ministry.
Danko was born in 1964. He was looking for strength to live as a blind and found it 1987 in Jesus. He began to sing about God and published even three music albums so far. Danko had more than 400 concerts in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Macedonia and Germany and has been often invited to many radio and TV stations. His numerous concerts helped raised funds for various social needs, especially during the war. As the president of the Blind people association, he does many concerts for their benefit as well. The president of the Republic of Croatia rewarded Danko in 2012 with the highest award for his work on the social protection, humanitarian work and the religious music. He also received the "Appreciation" from the city of Sisak where hi lives.
There are 500.000 handicapped in Croatia and Danko is praying for support to reach them with his music. He is looking for help to organize more concerts and spiritual conferences throughout the countries of former Yugoslavia. His association have the equipment to record the sound books for blind people, but needs funds for translations, quality speakers, royalties, packing and distribution. Danko’s biggest vision is that the Lord will provide the Christian camp for spiritual recovery of handicapped people where they could also learn skills for independent life.
In all of that, the Lord has been greatly using Danko's enthusiasm to found the day care center for blind people in the city of Sisak where he does his best to encourage the fellow blind people to look at God in their needs and deficits.
Gypsies in Croatia are the minority with the ongoing social problems. Though the government invested lot of money to improve their living conditions, sadly has great amount of that support spent improperly, often on alcohol. So the large gypsies families still live beyond the normal level, which is most affecting the children. The abuse in their families and in their society in general is very high. So we realized that there is lot of rooms and need to work with them using all great teaching, counseling and other resources of the HFL programs.
With the training I received, I became interested to meet, counsel and teach with the people that have extremely dysfunctional life, like the gypsies as well. The first couple of enclosed photos are taken from the Family Abuse Conference where I had privilege to teach. It is one of the biggest problem continually present in the gypsies' families.
The rest of the photos are taken from the children's program within the gypsies villages. In fact, whatever I do with the gypsies is only helping and assisting Karmen Horvat who has developed an amazing ministry to those needy people. Karmen is one of the first Croatian interns and the co-founder of the HFL. I am occasionally mentoring her when she does the counseling, while my daughter Ivana and her husband Dejan is helping her with the children program in the gypsies villages.
Media Ministries Radio
Though many new media has been develop in the last decades, it seems that radio has not lost its influence and importance either. The good old radio is still great tool to reach people we might never reach any other way. And while broadcasting at the existing radio stations is acquiring enough, it is so much more to develop our own radio. That's why I couldn't resist the invitation to join the small team of enthusiasts and conttibute with the ministry potential of the Hope for Life.
I was excited when given me the opportunity to work on producing the "seed thoughts", the short jingles that challenge listeners to think on God. But even more than that, I was pleasantly surprised when the project leader asked me if I would be willing to spiritually mentor the radio volunteers on some regular basis, involving them in the deeper discipleship based on the programs inherited from the Hope for Life.
It is impossible to imagine today's life without the Internet and more. And while there are all kind of influence on the global network, we Christians need to do our best to use it's social influence for good. That made me praise the Lord when being requested by the Catholic site "Vjera i djela" (Faith & Work) www.vjeraidjela.com/category/ekumena if they could publish my theological articles. No need to say how excited I was since they began to publish them even regularly.
In addition to that, I even got the similar request from Serbia, so was glad to read my article about the truth being translated:
The Bible warns us that we need to be careful how are dealing with strangers as sometimes God may send the angels for our benefit. And indeed, I have had the experience in my life that the Lord did send some extraordinary people to help us promote His Kingdom. Let me introduce you here at least two of them who are indeed very special and unique.
The Evangelistic Outreach with the Astronaut Charles Duke
You might wonder what in the world is the photo of the spacecraft-landing-at-the-Moon doing in the Christian ministry web? No, we didn't have the outreach on the Moon, it would be too expensive and I don't think there are many people up there any way. In fact, I learned that there were only 12 ever walked on the Moon. But one of them was our dear brother in Christ - Charles Duke, who allowed us to make the exciting evangelistic outreach with him and his wife in the city of Čakovec, Croatia. It was so inspiring when Charles got the question what would he do if needed to give up from one of his two most exciting life experience - walking with Jesus or walking on the Moon. "In that case - he said - I would rather give up from my walk on the Moon." Isn't that amazing?
Michael Jeffry Vijaya Kumar
used to be an Indian politicians. He was very cruel. And that not only to his political opponents, but even to his own wife and family. He himself was directly responsible for many murdering and bombing attacks until the Lord answered the 14 years of prayers of her wife Pushpa and brought Michael to the bitter repentance. Since that amazing moment about which you can learn more at his site www.gunstogospel.com, the Lord is effectively using that couple in bringing thousands to Him world wide, especially in the toughest countries where Western missionaries are not allowed to come.
But, as much as supernatural the ministry of Michael and Pushpa are, it was almost the same supernatural way the Lord brought us together and made them visit Croatia. As we didn't know each other, even never hear about, it was absolutely unplanned event that helped me see God's supernatural work at a very special way. Without any single human connections I received in June an email from an unknown person from India who introduced himself as the former politicians whom Jesus saved from his mean life. Even more surprising was that he never even heard for Croatia, but found my address in some Austrian directory. How my actual emails address ended there, I have no idea, perhaps will learn the explanation only in heaven. But anyway, I trusted Michael and organized the evangelistic tour in several cities of Croatia and Slovenia and I'm so glad that hundreds of people got touched and moved by his amazing story.
Though we live in the age when great biblical information are only a mouse click away, nothing can replace the "old fashioned" moments when people meet to grow in Christ together. I feel extreme joy whenever invited to teach at the Christian conferences.
Music used to be my life and my everything. But as much as I loved it, it never could release me from my depression. Jesus did. And when I gave my life to Him I thought that my music life was over as I clearly heard Him asking me to leave music for Him. And I did. But, as soon as I sold out all of my music equipment I met the Christian brother who asked me to make the band to play for God. Wow, what an amazing reward that was. So, the Adonai band was my first Christian ministry. It was the amazing joy to make the new music, so different then before, so much deeper and with so much more sense. We've been traveling all over the country, playing on the squares and preached the gospel. The music and the message eventually became inseparably united, like never before.
But then, as in 1997 I came in touch with the counseling program, I realized it was the time to replace the music with the Hope for Life programs. And I did it. But since then, I still like to use the occasional opportunity to sing with the Christian choirs.
I am so grateful that the Peter & Els Pilon and City Bibles Ministry
enabled us to print the special editions of the New Testaments with the cover of our local cities. No need to say how much more people like to read something with the local motives. We're especially glad that had the opportunity to use the modern Croatian translation which is more appropriate for the first touch with the Bible.
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