Thursday, 2 November 2017

Wait, So You're Not Going to Slovakia...

A common conversation I've had since I became interested in Slovenia is where it is exactly. A lot of people seem to get it confused with Slovakia or at least think that the countries border each other. It probably hasn't helped that I did go to Slovakia in 2013 and 2014 to serve on an English camp for teenagers. 

I thought that I would focus this post on the country of itself to help those who want to know more about the situation I will be going into.

As shown on the above map, Slovenia is on the Mediterranean coast and borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. It is shaped roughly like a chicken with the capital, Ljubljana, in the centre of the country. It has a population of about 2 million people, 57% of whom identify as Catholic with just 0.1% Evangelical Christians. 

Slovenia was part of Communist Yugoslavia until it declared independence in 1991. It joined the EU in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2007.

School lesson over! Slovenia is a beautiful and interesting country. Not many places are known as both a Catholic and a former Communist country. When people talk about the church they are always referring to the Catholic church. Shrines such as the one below are common sights across the country. 

Street shrine near Jeruzalem
Evangelical Christianity is looked upon as a cult and viewed with suspicion. It is a country that needs much prayer but we know that God can work in all situations. I don't believe in coincidences and I'm struck by the fact that in Operation World the date for praying for Slovenia is 27th October which happens to be my birthday!

Psalm 96 has been an important Psalm for me as I have been seeking God's will for my life. v3-6 state: 

Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

These verses remind me of who is in control over all things. God is leading me to work in Slovenia and I pray that He uses me to declare his glory among the nations. 

I can't do this without both prayer and financial support. I know that God will provide all the things I need to serve Him wherever He leads me. Please let me know if you can help me in either way, to copy a phrase, every little helps. The task is daunting but God is big and will be with me every step of the way. 

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