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Not Chained

Dear Friends, 

How do you respond when circumstances force you into jail?

As I write this, the spread of coronavirus is accelerating to record levels across Europe. Restrictions and lockdowns are returning, often with stricter limitations. Every church and ministry is affected.

When Paul sent news of his difficult imprisonment in 2 Timothy 2:9, he added these words: “But God’s Word is not chained.” What does this mean for us?

As the epidemic spread in Serbia last spring, JV missionary and pastor Stojce Nikolov began thinking about how he could reach through the barriers with his Facebook page. Recognizing that people were needy and under pressure, he started posting daily 5-minute reflections from God’s Word, often with fresh thoughts that had just come from his devotions that morning.

2020 11 Jv Donor Letter In Text1

The evangelical church in Serbia is small, less than 10,000 members in a country of 7 million. Yet, Stojce’s Facebook page was soon reaching 3000 followers, 6000 followers, then 10,000. Interested Serbians began forwarding his videos on to their friends, and Serbian emigrants in Austria and Germany began following his posts.

Today his simple Facebook page has over 25,000 followers and an average of over 5000 views a day. The videos Stojce posted have generated an astounding 4 million minutes of viewing since the pandemic began. Because of the huge amount of traffic his daily Bible teaching is generating, Facebook internally benchmarks his page to large Serbian media outlets.

2020 11 Jv Donor Letter In Text2

Right now Stojce is teaching every day through the book of John, with regular explanations of the gospel and a challenge for listeners to put their faith in Christ. A team of young believers in his church is being trained to follow up on the growing number of notes and questions he is receiving through e-mail and Messenger.

After returning from a long weekend of ministry recently, Stojce received a message from a university student in Belgrade asking how he could put his faith in Jesus. Writing back and forth over chat, Stojce explained the gospel and the young man put his faith in Christ. Now he is connecting him to a group of believers in his city so he can grow.

These are challenging times, with uncomfortable limitations. But God’s Word is not chained.

Thank you for helping us spread the good news,

President, Josiah Venture



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