Pastor Gary and Darlene Maroney, and Connie and I just returned from a wonderful pastors-wives conference in Croatia.
The total number of participants was just shy of 100 and they came from at least 5 different Balkan countries, including 25 coming all the way from Macedonia. They were so hungry for spiritual encouragement and refreshment. You can see the pictures and listen to the comments from various couples including pastor Danijel and Eva Mrsic, who organized and hosted the conference near the city of Split. Here are some excerpts from their letter: “First of all we want to say thank you to you and Gary and Darlene for coming to minister to us, the Split church and the rest of the pastors and wives from the represented countries. Thank you for enabling us financially to organize and host this conference, which has been, as all the previous conferences, such a blessing and encouragement and it lifted us up in our faith and call!
We really thank you for your advice, counsel and input in our lives. We do need mature spiritual people who will stand with us and speak to us. We appreciate your continued prayers and support, your ‘holding our hands up’ even if we are physically separated by a great distance. We need that. We have always been blessed by your transparency, your humble spirit, your sane doctrine and your perseverance in the race. You are an example to us. Our Split family church has been blessed by your preachings. Personally, Danijel and I have enjoyed the time we had on our own with you, sharing our hearts, burdens and vision, being free to open ourselves knowing you sincerely care and will pray for us. We pray for perseverance and victories as a result of all the decisions taken during the altar calls. We love you with the love of
(Note: Gary and I each spoke twice at their church on the two different Sundays that we were there and there were many decisions for Christ).
A couple who came all of the way from Macedonia, Dragan and Biljana Manev, wrote, “Dear Steve and Connie. We want to thank God and you for the beautiful time that we had in Croatia with you and for the Shepherd’s Support ministry. For my wife and me, that time with you, Gary and Darlene and with all the brothers and sisters was a gift from God. Before our coming to Croatia we were close to burn out in our ministry. When we traveled to Croatia I felt God’s anointing and presence. God renewed us and bought healing. We received spiritual and emotional strength.
“Thank God that He set up this Shepherds’ Support ministry. We enjoyed the teaching and preaching that you spoke to us. We feel like God fed us spiritual, physical, and emotional refreshment in our marriage. By God’s grace we will persevere on God’s call in our life. This ministry is really God’s care for us and comfort to us. This was very good spiritual food for us. Thank you for your service. Really, we are blessed by your ministry.”
Gary and Darlene summarized their thoughts in this way: “To all that made our ministry in Croatia a reality: We want to say Thank You for the privilege to minister to those who have heard the Macedonian Call today to Send the Light!—along with their brothers and sisters from Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, and other countries of the Balkans. Many couples were challenged to face their fears head-on and appropriate God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. What a great and mighty God we serve.”
On a personal note, we have really enjoyed the team teaching experience that we have had with Gary and Darlene. They have complimented and completed us in many ways with their messages and interaction with the people, and have been great traveling companions. We thank the Lord for them. And again we want to thank the Lord for each one of you, for making these conferences possible. We heard from many of the pastors and wives in the countries beyond Croatia, that they are often the only Beacon of light in a Muslim community of 40,000 people or so. And they and their children suffer for it in many ways. Please keep these brothers and sisters in your prayers. And pray for us as we prepare for our next conference in early September, first in the country of Georgia and then the second week in Tajikistan. Arlie Francis will be accompanying Connie and me, joined by Joe Carroll in Tajikistan. May God continually bless you as you have been a blessing to us.
Pastor Steve and Connie
Just released for our donors: The Revelation to Remember by Stephen P. Troxel. We have a limited number of copies of this 80-page book covering Revelation. Copies can be obtained by making a donation to Shepherds’ Support Inc. Email Diana if you are interested.