Ever thought about Europe as a mission destination? What would it be like to spend some time in a different corner of this continent? Sarah Deacon is serving with ECM in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Perhaps her experiences will inspire you to put Europe and short term mission together.
‘Slovenia is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s also a place with a huge need for the gospel. The country has a population of about 2 million, but only 1,800 people would call themselves evangelical Christians – that’s less than 0.1%! Slovenia is nominally Catholic, but has been greatly affected by being part of the former Yugoslavia. The Christian faith seems irrelevant to many people here today, and Protestant Christianity is often considered a cult.
I serve as a ministry intern at a church in Ljubljana, and I plan to stay for one to two years. My work is varied, and depends on the church’s needs. During my first summer in Slovenia, I was particularly involved in youth work and music. Once the academic year started, I began working one-to-one with some of the young women at church. A lot of my time is spent in training – I’m broadening my knowledge of ministry and theology, and I’m learning Slovenian. Whilst most people speak English, learning the language enables me to connect with others on a deeper level. One of the most important aspects of my work is spending time with people and building friendships. Gospel work is slow here and relationships are key.
Slovenia is a very exciting country to be working in. There is so much to be done. Many rural places have no access to the gospel and there are not enough workers to reach them. Despite this, God is at work and He is sovereign over it all. If you are interested in serving here, come and visit Slovenia. It’s so important to meet the people, discover their needs and ask how you can serve. Most importantly, pray about it! If God is calling you to Slovenia, then He will open the doors.’