Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia on June 25th, 1991. For the first time in history, the Slovene people had the opportunity to govern themselves. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia’s transformation to a modern state.
Less than 1,500 people in all of Slovenia, a country of two million people, claim to be evangelical Christians. This places it among the most un-evangelized countries of the world! Of 192 townships, only 25 have an evangelical church and only 10 of those churches have functioning teen youth groups. The largest youth group is in the capital city, Ljubljana, with 15-20 youth in attendance. Most of the youth groups are made up of just a handful of students. This means that only a small percentage of youth in this country are presently being reached with the gospel. One pastor lamented, “Our youth are rotting on the vine with no one to harvest them.” The cults on the other hand, are making tremendous head way. Jehovah’s Witnesses out number all the evangelicals combined by a margin of three-to-one. The Lord has given us the opportunity to be a bright light in a dark place. We are beginning to see winds of change blowing in.
Our History of Involvement in Slovenia
Since 2008, Fellowship has been privileged to partner with Josiah Venture (http://www.josiahventure.com/) and the local evangelical church in Celje, Slovenia, Calvary Chapel of Celje. After much ministry throughout Eastern Europe, they have found the work is slow and exhausting, but they are beginning to see a growing number of Slovene youth with a passion to change their world with the love of Christ. The ministry focus is on learning language, sharing the gospel, developing youth groups, building relationships and trust, and assisting the local church.
In 2013, the Fellowship team put on a music camp for the Slovenes called Fusion in Austria. At this camp students learned how to play different instruments, sing, choreograph, conduct, read sheet music, and much more. We all worked together in preparation of a final performance in front of family and friends in Slovenia. Approximately five of the 20 folks that attended camp gave their life to Christ, and many of them continue to attend the weekly Fusion gatherings at Calvary Chapel throughout the year.
We recently strengthened a growing partnership with a native Slovenian pastor, Rev. Andrej Lovse, who has planted a small evangelical church in Maribor. We look forward to seeing how that partnership can grow and develop, to equip and launch more native Slovenes to make disciples.
Interview with Andrej Lovše
Andrej and his family
Andrej and Nina shepherd a church of 30 people in Maribor, Slovenia. The congregation is mostly young students and young families. The constant thread of their church is they want to be disciples who make disciples. This is what they see Jesus calling them to in Matthew 28 and this is what they believe can be the thing that transforms Slovenia; when people will really get that with the Lord they are always on a mission. Andrej is also the national leader for youth ministry organization called Josiah Venture. Together, Andrej and Nina have three children—Eva, Tim and Izak.
Each year, we work with our global partners to refine how our involvement might support their essential ministry efforts and projects, and learn about their kingdom-advancement and ministry expansion dreams—if God would provide the means to make them happen.
Last year, God provided resources for our partners' efforts with over $700,000 from our Global Christmas giving. Our plenty, providing for their needs. We encourage you to pray and ask for the Lord’s leading in how your generosity can have an impact all around the world, all to the glory of God!
Construction on Children’s Classroom
Money to provide more children’s classroom additions.
Train Ministry Leaders
Scholarship money to help pay for leadership training and conferences.
Most pastors cannot sustain their families on the tithes of a small church. This money helps provide salary stipends for pastoral staff.