My younger friends insisted that I come along.
I sometimes have the idea that I will arrive at my destination, get unpacked and settled in and have a nice rest before rolling my sleeves up. I made it to my room above the church by 1 in the afternoon and was met by old friends Rok, Palona, Sergeja, Mitja, Deanna and the pastors wife, Sabina.I have been coming here to Ljubljana for about fifteen years and associated with this church for at least eight and in that time I can see incredible growth in a “gospel resistant” culture. Binkostna Cerkev Center now has two services and may be the largest evangelical church in the capital city with about one-hundred-twenty on Sunday. Pastor Chris Scobie has a vision to build a one million plus euro building as a visible witness to the gospel. A new mosque is being built, financed by Qatar wealth will exceed twelve million and be the largest mosque in Europe.
These people are amazing, most have no income to speak of but have devoted themselves fully to the Lord. For this reason they live in rooms above the church or some still live with family members though they are in their thirties. The average income is around 350 euro a month. We have so much and they have so little.
Todd Honicutt of California has been serving in Slovenia for years. A musician, he uses music to pry the lid off of Slovenia and let some light into this dark place where there so much corruption, New Age, superstition, alcoholism, incest, abuse and violence. First it was Catholicism, followed by Communism and then war which left the people of the Balkans (Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia) utterly crushed. Many people from the other Balkan poorer states have come come to Ljubljana looking for some sort of refuge or employment.
With this in mind Todd arranged to bring an eight member musical group from Modesto, California and give free concerts in various cities. The title of the event was. “A Gift of the Heart” and quite a number of unchurched people came to hear songs from the sixties to the present with explanations of how music reflects the inner needs and longings of every culture. At the end they offered a number of Christian songs and closed with a rousing rendition of “Oh, Happy Day,” to which most stood to their feet and sang along.
The night before they were in Ljubljana with about three hundred and in Maribor about two hundred-fifty attended. For the church in Slovenia this is successful since at least half have never been to a Christian event.
Binkostna in Ljubljana has translated and published about twenty books for a country that has has almost nothing Christian to read. They now have a publishing company, Horeb and put out a book table whenever there is an opportunity of getting Bibles and Christian literature into the hands of Slovenians.
I finally crawled into my bed at about one in the morning, exhausted but happy.