Christ’s Love in Croatia

Steve Radke II, EI Intern

When I first heard I would be going to Croatia, I really had no idea what to think. I had heard that Croatia was a popular vacation destination for Europeans, but like most other Americans, I didn’t have much information to work with.

On our first day, we loaded up our rental cars and headed for a small Roma village outside the town of Varaždin. I realized on this road trip that Croatia is the most beautiful country I have ever visited! Around every curve in the road, I became more overwhelmed at the glory of God’s creation.

When we finally arrived in the village, we were greeted by a swarm of children. We felt like celebrities. But even beyond their curiosity about foreigners, these precious children were drawn to us because they could feel the love of Jesus in us. They just wanted to be loved. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, it was easy to communicate love.

On our second day in the village we performed a drama called “Set Me Free”, depicting a man trapped in the bondage of sin until he called out to Jesus. It is a powerful drama that really gets people thinking about the things holding them back from God. As the crowd applauded and gathered in closer at the end, I felt compelled to lead the invitation for people to receive Jesus. As I presented the gospel, the Holy Spirit gave me words every step of the way. I asked if anyone wanted Jesus to come live inside their hearts, and between 40 – 50 people stepped forward to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

These Roma people have been completely rejected by society. Surrounding neighborhoods look a t their villages with hatred. Society views them as worthless trash, but God cherishes and desperately wants to have a relationship with these precious people. I was truly inspired by their hunger for God, and I wouldn’t be surprised if revival in Croatia begins with the Roma community.