Hope in Croatia


I am excited to tell you about our Fellowship Team’s recent experience in the city of Slavonski Brod, Croatia! But first, let me say how thankful we are that local churches weren’t significantly damaged in the recent earthquakes that struck that country; this allowed them to help in the smaller towns that did sustain major damage. For that we are so grateful! Please continue praying for the continued clean-up and rebuilding.

Photo of the Hope Festival in Salvonski Brod by Tonni Balog
Photo of the Hope Festival in Salvonski Brod by Tonni Balog

Though disappointed that we had to cancel our summer trip to Slavonski Brod due to Covid, we quickly saw that God had bigger plans. In September, a few of us joined people from around the globe in putting on a “There is Hope Festival” in the city’s main square. We helped with logistics, and also delivered tools that will allow the church to reach more people through online streaming. Imagine! A church of only 40 members reached 10,000 people each night of the festival! Incredible! Please join us in thanking God and praying for these individuals that heard the gospel.

Darko Mikulic's family
Darko Mikulic's family

The mission of the church in Slavonski Brod is to bring hope to people who feel hopeless. Each summer we partner with Darko and Gorana Mikulic, the local pastor and his wife, to hold a week-long summer camp that focuses on youth in their community. In the mornings we hold a Vacation Bible School for the younger children. Kids from all over the community just walk into the camp and all are welcome! We play games, sing songs, read a faith-based story, and do a craft project that reinforces the message. We finish each morning with a highly anticipated water balloon fight! Throughout this time, we get to know the children and show them love. They are able to ask questions and hear about Jesus and the hope that he brings.

Kids play games in Slavonski Brod
Kids play games in Slavonski Brod

In the afternoons, we host a sports camp for middle to high school students.  We call it the “Brodsko Sidro Games”, and we play ultimate frisbee, capture the flag, and kickball, just to name a few. On the last day there is a huge field day event, where the winning team gets awarded a prize. Let me tell you, it’s a blast and the kids really look forward to it. Throughout these events, we are able to connect with kids and share stories of how God has worked in our lives. It’s a special time for sure!

Worship service at Darko's church
Worship service at Darko's church

At the end of each day we head to the Korzo, their downtown area which is the city’s main place of activity. This is where we set up fun activities that allow people to get to know Darko and Gorana and hear about the church. We have a blast doing these events, and they’ve been a huge success. We’ve done Bingo, Just Dance on a giant screen, and Karaoke! (which was such a hit we finally had to pull the plug!). To finish out the week, we invite the community back to the church for a night of s’mores, bonfire, and fellowship. This is a big deal for them, since s’mores and bonfires are not common in Croatia.

House of Hope (building on the left)
House of Hope (building on the left)

Big things are happening at the church in Brod, which makes us very excited. Will you join us in praying over Darko and Gorana, the church in Brod, and the community as a whole? Please pray for the “House of Hope” that was recently purchased, thanks to funds from Fellowship’s Global Christmas offering. This house, located next to the church building, will be the center of several community initiatives, with a special focus on ministry to single parents.

Finally, please join us in praying for this summer’s trip. There are still some unknowns, but we are starting the planning process. We’d love for you to have the same opportunity that other Fellowship members have enjoyed—a trip many say is one of the best experiences of their life!

If you would like to know more about the mission trip or the work in Slavonski Brod, please reach out to Dave Bechtel ( ).