Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Krapina, Croatia

About 10 years ago I had the privilege of going to Croatia with NorthCreek Church for several summers in a row. We worked with a church there in Zagreb doing outreach into the community with conversational English. The pastor took me and his daughters on a day trip to this little town called Krapina, to encourage the believers there. This little trip changed my life. Never had I been in a place that was so spiritually dark. I had read about these places where there was little to no church established but the actual experience of being there really touched my heart. There were only a handful of Christians there and I knew we had past numerous towns on the way, that were in the same spiritual condition. We could have driven all day and not found one church. I equate this experience with reading about starving children in a magazine, but then to actually holding a starving child in your arms is a totally different experience.

I came home from Croatia with a new passion to take the gospel to places Jesus' name has not yet reached. I was given the opportunity to speak at NorthCreek about my time in Croatia and this experience of going to Krapina was my focus and passion. "Imagine if even some of our church (of thousands) brought the gospel to a place like Krapina!!" I said to my missions minded listeners and prayer worriers. My heart was on fire to make God's name known in places like this and I let everyone know about this little town. I also mentioned it to my supporters in my return letter.

Today, 10 years later, I headed over to Every Woman's Grace at my church, 300+ miles from the church I went to Croatia with. I was attending the Mindset for Missions fellowship. Little did I know, as I took my seat, what was about to happen. The missionary was from Croatia and started with a presentation about his ministry. It turns out that he is a lives a short distance from Krapina and is a seminary instructor IN KRAPINA at a seminary there!! The first class of the seminary graduated in 2004! I did not keep up with the news of Krapina, but of course I never forgot about it. It felt like years since I have thought about this little town. How amazing that right now, a time in my life of such uncertainty in my future, and facing the very real possibility of leaving all my family and friends, God would send me this not so subtle reminder. It is a reminder that when we pray for workers in the darkest harvests, God will hear and answer. When our passion is God honoring, He will confirm it to us. Out of all the places in this world... God chose to let me know, today, about a seminary that has started in.. of all places.. Krapina.

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