I love Sundays in our little church here in Croatia but especially love baptism Sundays. Baptisms in Croatia means so much more than it seems to mean in the States. To be baptized at a Baptist church in Croatia is a statement. It's a statement of acceptance of the doctrine of the Baptist church but it's also a statement of rejection of the Catholic church and in Croatia that's a
big huge deal.
To be baptized in a Baptist church in Croatia often means to turn your back on years and generations of family tradition. Being Catholic in Croatia is more than being religiously Catholic it is an identification. Before Croatia won it's independence from Yugoslavia in the mid-nineties Yugoslavia was made up of six difference socialist republics: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Three major republics were Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. If you lived in one of those during that time you were not identified by where you were from but by what religion you were. You weren't Croatian, instead you were Catholic. If you were Orthodox then it was assumed you were Serbian. Religion here isn't just another adjective you use to describe someone, it is in fact who that person is. So, for a Croatian to be baptized in a Baptist church, they are serious. It's a statement.
Hannah and Johnny did a lovely special in the morning service. I love this song and I love to see them sing together.
Per usual we have our normal Sunday morning service at our church and then after it's over we head over to a sister church in a nearby city.
We bring desserts and we all gather around to see the baptisms.
We were delighted to see Ana Marija baptized yesterday. She is newly saved and has such a sweet spirit. She is engaged to one of the men in the church.
We have been blessed with some incredible special people, (not special in that way!). They are the most loving and forgiving people I know. I've never seen a church with members that are so happy.
We have a great group of folks at Victors Baptist Church here in Croatia. We're not large but we're growing and we're excited to see what God does with our little church over the next few years.