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Hope for Serbia

2010-10-11

 

Vladica lives with his family in Leskovac, about 300 kilometres south of Belgrade. He has a desire to give the good news to the 700 000 roma people who live in the country. He has planted several churches among them.

Vladica was born into a Muslim family and was the only child. During childhood the family moved to a different area of the city. On the same street there was a Christian family who regularly went to church.

- On Sundays, I saw that they went somewhere, Vladica says. Later I understood that they went to church. I felt that I also needed to go with them.

But Vladica could not because of his parents. But one Sunday he decided to go to church in secret along with the neighbors. When he arrived, only old people where there. He thought the church were only for the old people.


Halfway through the service the preacher said that he had a prophecy for someone.

 

- I did not know what that was. He pointed at me and asked me to come forward. I felt very uncomfortable. He is way off, I thought.

Somebody went to Vladica and told him that there was no danger. Vladica came forward and the minister gave a message from God: "You are chosen to serve me. God will fill your words with His spirit. You will travel back and forth for God. "

Vladica thought that this was not for him. It was just nonsense. After that he didn't go to church for a long time. He did not think of what he had got in the church. In school he was quite popular. His parents spoiled him a lot because he was the only child.

- But deep in my heart my life was empty, Vladica explains.

A few years later, he visited the church again. His mother was then very ill. They took her to one doctor after another, but no one could help her. At one time she had a penicillin shock. For about three years his mother bedfast.

- This was the hardest time in my life, Vladica says. Almost every day I cried when I entered her room. I began to think about the meaning of life and saw things differently.

One night there was a knock on the door, there was a team from the church. They asked if they could come in and visit. Vladicas father let them in and they started talking. After a while they began to talk about God. Towards the end they asked if they could pray to God for Vladicas mother.

- That night I saw a miracle, Vladica says. For three years, my mom had been in bed. In an instant after the prayer, she stood up. She began to serve the visitors coffee. This is a dream, soon I will wake up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From that moment Vladica God's love filled his heart. He was then fifteen years old. He became active in the church. He decided to follow God with all of his heart. His friends were not interested and teased him for his newfound faith.

Several years later a preacher prophesied the exact same thing that he previously had heard. That he was chosen, that God's anointing would rest upon him, that he would travel a lot.

-  I said to myself that I was not ready for this, Vladica says.

1995 the missionary Steve Manning from USA visited the church. He prophesied the same thing again. The following year, when Steve was visiting again, he told Vladica:" You can not run away. The prophecy that God has for you is following you like a shadow. You can not get away.

- During a church service some time later God set me free, Vladica says. I felt so small, but realized that God called me.

Vladica now began to evangelize on the streets. Many Roma people received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Several of them are now pastors. He organized a youth meeting in the church with only Roma. This was something new in the congregation.

Vladica felt the call to win people in other places, in other cities. He began to move around and make contacts among the Roma people. He wanted to go to places where no churches existed. In Serbia there are around 700 000 Roma people. Only around 3000-4000 of them are Christians. He started in Vranje, south of Leskovac, then Nis, then he continued to other cities. In some of these places there are now churches. Still, he maintains contact with them and visits them regularly.

- To succeed, one must first take care of his personal life with Jesus. Then I have to come down to their level, so that they can see how I live. It is also important to have a servant attitude, Vladica concludes.

 

 

Text & photo: Josef Sjöberg

 

 

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