Location, Location, Location

When buying and selling property, we are told by the experts that location is of primary importance. In the work of evangelism location is also important. It is no coincidence that the apostle Paul preached in the principal cities of his day. For example, he spent two years debating in the hall of Tyrannus in Ephesus, with the result that many were saved and spread the Good News throughout the province of Asia (Acts 19:8-10).

Kovin could hardly be described as a ‘principal’ city of Serbia. With a population of little more than 13,000 it is relatively unknown beyond the province in which it is located. Furthermore, the evangelical church in Kovin could hardly be described as influential - just a handful of believers who gather in the front room of a house which serves as their meeting place. An unpromising situation if ever there was one!

Yet Pastor Dane Vidovic, of the First Baptist Church, Belgrade, considers the church at Kovin to be strategically important when it comes to Gospel outreach, not because of its size or influence but because of its location.

The new building

Firstly, near to Kovin is the only bridge across the Danube for many kilometres; indeed, you could travel downstream for 150km to the Romanian border and beyond before reaching the next bridge. This means that many people must pass through Kovin to cross the Danube. Danko described it as a “bridge for mission!”

Map

Kovine church family

Secondly, across the bridge just 8km away is the large city of Smederevo, the administrative centre of the Podunavlje District. Smederevo is of historic and industrial significance and many people travel between Kovin and the city for business, medical care and education.

Danko explained that there are ‘contacts’ in the city, but currently no evangelical church. His vision is for the Kovin church to become an evangelizing centre for Smederevo and the surrounding district. He recognizes that the church will need help if it is to fulfil this vision. They need a missionary who will not only pastor the church but create the desired centre of evangelism. They will also need a building which will be more appropriate for this purpose. This is where SGA is helping.

Behind the current meeting place, a new three-storey building is taking shape. The ground floor will provide ample space for the congregation to gather. The first-floor will have further meeting rooms and offices. The top-floor will be an apartment for the missionary-pastor and his family. SGA has already provided an interest free loan to help meet the cost of the planned construction.

The believers there need prayer for the provision of a pastor with an evangelistic heart to lead them. The church needs to be strengthened and equipped for mission. Above all they need the Lord to work in the hearts of those who hear the Gospel message. Pray that the same might be said of them as Paul said of the church in Thessalonica, that the Lord’s message “rang out” and their faith was known everywhere (1 Thes.1:8).