Interns in Slovenia!

 Some of the girls from our short-term team and the Slovene churches we worked with last year!

Some of the girls from our short-term team and the Slovene churches we worked with last year!

The opportunity for the gospel in Central and Eastern Europe is immense as young people are the first in their country to enter adulthood without the oppressiveness of communism in their society in over 50 years.  Many of these young people are searching for identity and place in a world of uncharted freedoms and opportunities that their parents never experienced.  This is the generation that will shape the values and the norms of their culture. Imagine a place so malleable and open to change, seeking it even, where the promises of life in Christ can be sown and take root to flourish, growing up to strengthen the church as a people who know the joy of the Lord and set the course for society. There are many voices and pulls competing to claim the identity and capture the love of these young people. In just 10 years, the percentage of Slovenes who professed to be Catholic dropped from 90% to 46%. This incredible fluctuation only points to the volatility of the overall conviction in the hearts of the people.  This is where the Lord of the harvest steps in to make His move (Matthew 9:38)!

Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
— Matthew 9:38

Josiah Venture is a movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that find it's home in the local church and transforms society.  Through His church in Slovenia, the Lord is raising up young leaders to know life and peace in Christ who also desire to join in His good work and purposes.  This summer, Kaci Stecker and I, along with many others whom God has called, will be joining this movement.

 Kaci in Maribor, Slovenia last year.  Little did she know she'd be returning the following summer!

Kaci in Maribor, Slovenia last year.  Little did she know she'd be returning the following summer!

Kaci Stecker

Kaci will be serving as an Intern with Josiah Venture in Slovenia from May 28th-August 3rd.  You may have already heard of Fusion before.  Fusion is a relational ministry that uses music as a tool to establish discipling relationships with young people and share the message of Jesus Christ.  In 2016 and 2017, we sent teams to help run a Fusion Music camp in Slovenia. As an intern, Kaci will join with our short-term team and our own beloved Karis Wadsack and her local church to run one of these camps.  This year as an intern, Kaci will have the joy of following up with many of these students after our short-term team leaves.

Kaci is currently studying Youth Ministry at Moody Bible Institute and plans to graduate in the spring of 2020.  Pray for Kaci as she finishes up her semester at Moody, prepares for this internship, and trusts the Lord to raise the remaining 51% of the financial support needed for this internship.  Consider joining in the work that God is doing by praying for Kaci and asking the Lord if He would have you join her financial support team. For more details, contact Kaci.  She would love to share more about what the Lord is doing in her heart, the journey He's had her on in the last few months, and her excitement and prayers for the Lord to move in the hearts of young people in Slovenia.

Heidi Ansiel

 That is a Czech flag around my neck, but really, on that snowy day, Kaci and I were celebrating the Lord's goodness to us as he led us (and continues to do so!) in paths of righteousness for his name's sake!  Our smiles and celebration on that day after church were our responses to the ways he's led us both individually through our internship process with Josiah Venture and also in friendships, schooling, careers, and our walks alongside our beloved church family!

That is a Czech flag around my neck, but really, on that snowy day, Kaci and I were celebrating the Lord's goodness to us as he led us (and continues to do so!) in paths of righteousness for his name's sake!  Our smiles and celebration on that day after church were our responses to the ways he's led us both individually through our internship process with Josiah Venture and also in friendships, schooling, careers, and our walks alongside our beloved church family!

(Yes, that's me!)  From May 15th - October 30th, I will be going to Slovenia with Josiah Venture as an intern to serve in the church and work with a newly formed communications team.  Since going to Albania with a team from our church in 2011, the Lord has been stirring in my heart a strong desire to join in His mission to strengthen and spread his kingdom through the local church.  The Lord also used that time in Albania along with my experience at Cedarville University and my role as a Communication Assistant at Grace Church of DuPage to further develop in me a vision to use digital media as a highway to reach and connect with people for the sake of Christ.  With this heart and vision, I am excited to use my gifts in leadership and teaching to serve and disciple girls in the youth group with the church in Celje and to use my skills in media and communication to develop projects in photography, video, and design.

Will you join me in praying that I would be an encouragement and support to those I'll be serving with in Celje.  Pray also that as I take this step of obedience, that this ministry experience would help me to discern God’s future direction for my life to utilize this gifting to further God’s movement.

Prayer is an integral part of this ministry!

The spiritual environment we enter into in Slovenia, a country of less than 1,800 evangelical believers (out of 2 million people), has, in the last ten years, also been known for a hardness of heart toward the gospel.  Apart from the Lord we can do nothing (John 15:5; cf. Psalm 127:1). We ask you to consider partnering with us in seeking and asking the Lord to cause the churches and ministries we'll be joining to bear much fruit, for the sake of His name and the progress of the good news of Christ Jesus. Additionally, as we've been walking through Philippians in the main service on Sunday mornings at Grace and learning about Paul's partnership in the gospel, pray that the Lord would continue to give all of us one mind and one heart to see many among us here in Warrenville and DuPage county surrender their will to the Lord Jesus Christ in all that they do.

 
SloveniaHeidi Ansiel