Vidovdan 28 June – pray for Serbia!

vidovdanJenny Blake has been travelling with us to the Balkans for a number of years, here she encourages us to take “Vidovdan” – in one week’s time on the 28th June – as a day to pray for Serbia…

Jenny writes,

“28 June is Vidovdan or St Vitus Day.  Vidovdan is an important day in the Serbian Orthodox Church calender and Serbian History.  The Serbian Orthodox Church remembers Prince Lazar and those who were killed at the Battle of Kosovo by the Turks on 28 June 1389.

“Other significant events in Serbian history have happened on 28 June.  For instance on 28 June 1914 Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist, in Sarajevo – the event which triggered off the First World War.   Princip and the others who were tried after the assassination are remembered on 28 June as  visits are made to their memorial in Sarajevo.  They hold a small service in memory of the young men.  Slobodan Milosevic, in his campaign for power, appealed to Serbs in Kosovo to rise up against the Kosovan Albanians on 28 June 1989, exactly 600 years after the Battle of Kosovo – a significant event in the lead up to the Balkan Wars in the 1990s.

“Yet Vidovdan is also known as a Day of Light as illustrated by some in Sarajevo who on 28 June remember Miss Irby, a lovely Christian lady who left her wealthy background in Britain and devoted her life to founding schools in The Balkans especially for women and refugee children.

“So I think it’s important that Christians set aside this day 28 June – this important day to Serbs – to pray for Serbia, praying that Vidovdan would be a true Day of Light, that many Serbs would come to know Jesus, the Light of the World.”

Banja Luka Church visiting Kosovo

Sinisa and the team from Banja Luka, Bosnia write…

Visiting Kosovo“VISITING KOSOVO In April a number of us visited Kosovo. It was an amazing experience, because that is the place where in 1389 the battle of Kosovo happened and where Christians were fighting against the Ottoman Empire (Turks).

“Nowadays Kosovo is still not safe as Serbs and Albanians (Muslim) fight over the country. The bombing of Serbia in 1999 was over Kosovo. Kosovo although claiming independence from Serbia, is not recognized by some countries and Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of them.

“It wasn’t a pleasant feeling to go there and we were feeling a little bit uncomfortable but when we got there God changed our feelings completely. The best thing was that our brothers from Albania who become Christians took us to the place where the battle of Kosovo happened and in that group there were Serbs, Muslim, Albanian’s, Croat and Finns, but as Christians we prayed for Kosovo, for Muslims, for Serbs and for reconciliation in this region.

“Only God could put us together and give us His love for each other. God is good.”

There is much more news from Sinisa and the team click this link to read on – Christian Fellowship Newsletter May 2013

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Thank you for your partnership as the work continues.

– Andy and Faye


DARKO SRNKA WRITES… “Serving Christ isn’t easy and it’s often a fight against the waves, in caring for the lost and weeping… sometimes when we see the hungry and the weak, we remember Jesus’ words – “Give them something to eat.” And other times we meet people who only want to use us. Walking on the water requires faith and a clear view of Christ…”  CLICK HERE TO READ ON

Teaching at the Bible School last week…

Gathering to pray and read at 7:15am...

It was a joy to be back in Serbia to teach through the book of Colossians last week.

There is an excellent atmosphere amongst the students and team as they serve, study, share their lives together.

Each day begins with a time of prayer and reflection around a Psalm – a different member of the community takes this each morning…

Following breakfast, studies begin.  Around thirty different teachers take a portion of the Bible each – between them covering all sixty six books in the year’s course!


With Branko from a Serbian church in Zurich, Anastasia from Russia now based in Serbia, Dragan from Montenegro…  representatives of Macedonia, the Rom people group, the Hungarian minority in the North of Serbia: there is a great range of backgrounds represented amongst the eight students!  Each have a key role to play – both in their studies now and as they head out to serve the Lord Jesus in their home areas in two months time.

Branko and Ghengis on a break in the grounds

These study days are punctuated by coffee, meals and practical work around the building – all elements that contribute to the thriving community here.

As well as studies, on Thursdays and Sundays, students and team travel across the region to support former students of the school and other local church initiatives where they also learn a lot personally through these experiences.

The team led by Riste are doing a superb job – deeply aware of their need of God’s help but also of your prayerful partnership, they are serving and inspiring the students…

All of you who receive these bulletins are strategically involved – thank you for being a part of this – we pray and serve on together.

– Andy

Two Great Pieces of News – Stojce in Pacir

Stojce writes, “I am really excited to share with you what God has done in the past couple of months in Pacir.
“This is a ministry that has literally grown out of nothing, and looking back now, I see how  God put everything together and opened up doors to new blessings  in a miraculous way step by step.
“When the ministry in Pacir started, the group of young people serving there didn’t have a church building and served under really tough circumstances. We used a room that was empty, only with a couple of chairs and without heating in the winter. Then, weeks later we couldn’t go there anymore, so we gathered in  the homes of people attending the Bible studies.
“Soon we found a house we could rent, but it was in horrible state and at the end of the village. During these months we have been praying for a house of our own,something that was more appropriate to be used as a church building and closer to the centre of the village.
“Last year God finally answered our prayers, and with the help of brothers and sisters from Canada, we could buy a house, which was on a great location and big enough, but in very bad state. We were happy for God’s blessings, but also knew that we had no money to renovate the building,which  really had serious problems. The façade looked horrible, the paint was chipped everywhere, the walls cracked and broken.
“However, God proved His faithfulness once again-when we least expected it, we received a sum of money from England that helped us fix some of the biggest problems. We repainted the façade, the rooms, fixed the bathroom completely, bought chairs, pillows,tables etc.The building still has many shortcomings, but we see a miracle when we look at the pictures of what it looked like before, and what it is today.”

On the 2nd March we had the opening celebration of the church in Pacir.We had a beautiful programme with worship,a short message and history of the church,and my ordination for  pastor.This is a great privilege,but also a great responsibility for me.Please pray for me for wisdom,humility and love for the people who are already coming to the church and are at the beginning of their walk with God,and for wisdom and persistence in  trying to reach other people in the village.

Looking back,the team who has been serving in Pacir can truly see God’s guidance and mighty hand in blessing us with finances,prayer support,workers,converts and an awesome building that is hopefully a small source of God’s light in this little village.We are thankful to God beyond words,and thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Praying for the work in Serbia

Thank you for being connected to the Oak Hall in Serbia website and for praying as the work continues.

Praying for Bible School Graduates – With over three hundred Bible School graduates across the region, there is much news to share!  A growing number are publishing to you directly through this site – we hope that it is giving you useful, prayer-fueling information.

Praying for Family Milenkovic – many of us are praying for Sara as she begins chemotherapy this week – please click here for all the recent posts about Sladjan, Jaroslava and the family.  These are very challenging days and the family continue with great grace and courage supported by your prayer.

Praying for the Bible School team and students – led by Riste and surrounded by an amazing team, the Bible School is continuing extremely well.  There is an exceptional group of students studying this year.  Riste is regularly posting news here so that we can pray as the students study and travel across the country.

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You can leave comments that will be read by all who visit the site – the comments that you leave are often a great encouragement.

Our prayer together is that the Lord Jesus would be honoured as we stand with each other for His glory wherever He has placed us.

Thank you for being a key part of this work.

– Andy Mayo

Please pray on for Sara Milenkovic

Belgrade, Oct 10, 2011 – Sladjan and Jaroslava write:

Dear friends,

We would like to thank you so much for the prayers that you’ve been offering to God for our daughter Elizabeta Sara. It has been one week exactly since we found out about Sara’s disease. Other then so much pain because of all that, we experienced an amazing God’s refreshment and the care of all of you who called, wrote, prayed and encourage others to do it too.

Thank you so much!


We would like to share with you what is currently happening.

Yesterday we had a magnetic resonance imaging and I have just found out that there might be one operation before the main operation. The reason is that the MRI is not as clear as the scanner image (which is very unusual and unexpected). According to the scanner image from last week, her condition seems to be much more serious (two surgeries are required), than on the MRI. The doctor who will perform the surgery says that says that the tumor might be benign after all, which, if so, are fantastic news! Tomorrow, there will be consulting with other doctors about the case. If two operations are needed, the first will be performed tomorrow, Thursday, Oct 11, and the other next week. If one operation is needed, it will be performed on Friday morning, Oct 12, 2012.

We believe that God is sovereign and good. He is with us and gives us strength, comfort and peace. He answers our prayers and does everything so that our trust in Him as such would grow. Our God is amazing.

During the last few days, Sara’s condition has been better, she is joyful, eats well, is in a good mood and feels just fine. For the first day or two it was hard for her to understand and accept the situation, but now she has an absolute peace – she knows that God can heal, that He works through the doctors’ hands and that things that ought to happen – will happen. This is exactly what she says now. I am thankful to God that He is the only One who can give such rest and peace in heart. We are sure that this is God’s answer to prayers.

Sara prayed like this today: “God, thank you that I feel better and that I keep getting better every day. Thank you that I will be cured soon. Thank you that you will either help me through the doctors or you will do a miracle. Thank you. Amen.”

What a trust in God!

Please, pray that God would lead the doctors tomorrow, so that they would make the right decision.

Pray for Jaroslava too, who is 8 months pregnant, that she would be strong enough to bear all that and that God would protect us and our child who is about to be born.

Thank you for being so supportive.

Yours,  Sladjan and Jaroslava.

Please pray for Sladjan and Jaroslava’s daughter, Sara

Here is Sladjan’s recent message in full – please pray with us all for Sara.

Our dear friends, faithful supporters, brothers and sisters,

We are writing this time in a great distress. We would like to ask you to pray for our daughter Elizabeta Sara. We don’t even know how to tell you all this.

Yesterday, on the 4th of October she was diagnosed with a large brain tumor which has to undergo an operation as soon as possible.

We took Sara to the hospital on Monday because of unusual nausea and vomiting which have been going on for a while now. On the first analysis of the head it was clear that something was wrong, and yesterday at the Children’s Hospital she was diagnosed. with it. We are now at the Neurosurgery Institute where Sara is waiting to be operated on. The surgery should take place next week.

We are all still in shock. All this seems like a bad dream that we should all wake up from. The doctors have said that a great struggle is in front of us. We are trying to understand it. We are now asking you to be with us and fight with us. We believe that God is in control of every situation and that nothing happens outside our Lord’s knowledge and sight. We trust Him even though we do not understand all this. It hurts and we cry, but we trust HIM, because that is the only thing that we have in this difficult and fallen world we live in.

Dear friends, please pray with us that God is glorified and and His will is done. Please share this with people around you and in your churches.
Thank you for everything.
Sladjan, Jaroslava, Sara and Jana Milenkovic