From “Life of Christ” to life in Christ
God works in miraculous ways, transforming people’s hearts and lives. First, He piques our curiosity, and then, as the story of His mercy and grace unfolds in front of our eyes, His love draws us nearer and nearer until we are ready to know our Savior—and discover our new family. Such is the story of Tamara who found her way to God and took on Christ in baptism this September. Introduced to the Bible by her unchurched, but spiritually seeking dad, she showed very little interest at
first. But then something changed:
When I was 15, I started to read the Scripture and God started changing my life. I realized that I could not find meaning in the trivial interests my friends were pursuing. In time, the New Testament became my good companion. I had become closer to my father about God.
Unfortunately, things were not going quite so well with my mother. When my younger brother Filip, who is now 11, also developed an interest in Christianity, she was so upset she ended up getting a divorce—although we still live in the same apartment, under one roof.
When Tamara was 17, she first came into contact with a local church of Christ. Along with her father and brother, they became regular visitors.
Finally, in March of this year a new Bible study group was started in Karaburma, the part of Belgrade where Tamara’s family lives. There were no other churches in the area. Drasko Djenovic, a local Christian leader, invited Tamara to join the group and gave her a Bible, a gift from Eastern European Mission.
I started to go there when time allowed it because in Serbia school usually takes place in the morning one week and in the afternoon the next. We were studying the book Life of Christ by Richard Rogers. Although we stopped meeting during the summer, I continued to read the book during my summer break.
During the summer I also turned 18, so I was now an adult. I continued to read Life of Christ and somehow when I studied it, I learned more systematically about Christ. I realized that I should do something about it. If I wanted to be a Christian, I should be baptized and testify that I am a follower of Christ.
As though reading her mind, Drasko asked Tamara about baptism at the end of August. She confirmed she had the desire, but did not know the procedure. They met twice that week to discuss faith, the Bible, and the Christ. Things did not take long after that:
On Sunday morning, September 4, just 9 days after I expressed my wish to be baptized, Drasko met with me, my father, and my brother at Ada Ciganlija, an island on the Sava River, and I was baptized there. My brother recorded the baptism on his mobile, dad took photos, and I received the Newcomer’s Guide to the Bible.
While we were still at Ada Ciganlija, Drasko showed me a message from Mladen Dominic, who was in France with the Varazdin youth. He was sending his congratulations on my baptism. Soon, Jura Lazar, who was in Varazdin, also texted to say the whole church from were congragulating me. I did not expect such an overwhelming reaction but Drasko told me—the children of God are everywhere and we all love it when someone decides to follow Jesus.
Tamara’s story is an inspiration to us. We are grateful that our books have helped plant the seed of God’s Word in her life. We pray that God continues to demonstrate Himself in her life in manifold ways and blesses the good work of Drasko in Belgrade, Serbia, who waters the seeds through his faithful service.