North Adriatic countryside

Northern Slovenia

23 month mission to the Adriatic North Mission as member and leader support missionaries.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Self Reliance training for three districts

Last week we had the privilege of traveling with Brother Matthew Mathias, Manager, Self-Reliance Services/PEF – Balkans & Eastern Europe,  to give training to the district presidents and their Self Reliance District Specialists (SRDS) on the My Path to Self Reliance devotional and the doctrine undergirding it  (and of course, receive the training ourselves each time!)

Here's our "trip report" (and then a few pictures we took at the end of the week).

Brother Mathias talked with us prior to starting the Ljubljana District training, and then as we listened to his presentations over the next 3 ½ days, we were able to understand the Self Reliance ministry more fully and in different ways. Each district meeting presented different personalities and levels of understanding and enthusiasm. Brother Mathias adjusted his presentation to each situation. The opportunity to talk with him about the Self Reliance concepts, experiences, and successes in such a compact, repetitious, and intensive way really solidified and enhanced our understanding.

Monday, 16 November 2015 – Drove to Zagreb, stayed at the mission home, met with Pres Grant.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015 – Drove to Ljubljana, picked up Brother Mathias, met with Pres & Sister Grant. Bro Mathias gave us initial training prior to meeting with the Ljubljana District President and the SRDS (meeting 2 hrs.) Both were very enthusiastic and asked very meaningful questions.  The doctrinal foundation was presented very clearly as the SRDS’s first question was “Why are you starting with doctrine?" She really understood the need for the doctrinal base and that it is not just “getting a job”, which was an exciting difference for her! The SRDS asked for a meeting on Friday morning prior to Brother Mathias’ departure. Stayed at the Hotel Florjanckov in Ljubljana.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 – Drove to Beograd, met with Serbia District President and the SRDS. Both started seemingly a little skeptical but became quite enthusiastic by the end of the meeting (2.5 hrs.) Some of their concerns revolved around the lack of a Serbian translation for all of the material and the fact that it may be some time before it is available according to Bro Mathias. My Path is available but My Foundation and the group workbooks are not yet available. We have Serbian language materials that can be used instead.  Clarified the details of the My Path devotional and groups in addition to presenting the doctrinal foundation.  Stayed at the Hotel Mint in Beograd.

Thursday, 19 November 2015 – Drove to Zagreb, met with Pres Grant and received files from the previous SR missionaries, Bro Mathias reviewed the boxed materials so we could discard the outdated manuals. Later we met with Croatian District President, the SRDS, and the Mission Executive Secretary and his wife (meeting 2.5 hrs.) The DP and SRDS have already had 3 or 4 trainings with Bro Matthias so they were not presented with the doctrinal foundation. The SRDS had various concerns based on past experiences but became much more positive about the program as it was discussed. Clarification of how the devotional is to be presented as well as how the groups work was also given. Stayed at the Hotel Jarun.

Friday, 20 November 2015 – Drove to Ljubljana to meet again with the SRDS. More specific instructions on running the My Path devotional and the follow-up groups were given. She is very excited to start this ministry! She would like Bro Mathias to come back when they do their first devotional. She will let him know when they propose to do that. Dropped off Brother Mathias at the Ljubljana airport. Stayed at Hotel Florjanckov in Ljubljana.

Saturday, 21 November 2015 – Drove to Sarajevo.

We are excited to get started! We will be submitting a proposal to train both senior and young missionaries in the mission, as well as train the leaders in Bosnia & Hercegovina.

Friday afternoon we drove up to Lake Bled and took a 3 ½ mile walk around the lake.

Rowers on Lake Bled
Church on the only island in Slovenia (there were many white swans too)
A very unique residence
Sunday morning looking to the south east
We drove home in rain all day Saturday and woke up to about 3 inches of very wet snow Sunday morning.

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