Earthquakes shake open new ways to serve and share Christ
March 2021

By Johann David Go in Croatia — When I think of the qualifications of being a missionary, these things never come to mind: 

  1. A roofer
  2. A paver
  3. A demolition worker 
  4. A digger and septic tank cleaner
  5. A furniture builder 

Since late December, when three strong earthquakes rocked Croatia where I serve, I have been all of these—and more.  

Teams from Croatian churches have partnered together to fix roofs and acquire temporary container homes to replace those that were destroyed. We’ve assembled Ikea furniture, made food and cleaning-supply boxes, and carted away rubble. 

Croatians help repair earthquake damaged homes

One day, we were in Moscenica, where we met a lady who needed help. After we looked at the extent of damage to her house, and decided to get her a container home. When the container home arrived, we began by digging to place pipes for water and waste. Compared to the other work sites we’d been on, this job seemed to take forever! Two weeks went by, and we kept running into obstacles. 

At one point I was having a hard time sleeping. I began praying for this woman and her home. I asked the Lord, “Why is this place taking so long? If you have something planned that is not accomplished yet, please show us.”

A container home for a Croatian whose house was destroyed by earthquake

That week, we went again to her place. As we were working, another obstacle arrived. Rain! We sheltered in a covered area and started talking. One of the men, Danko, began sharing his life stories with Jesus. The woman whose house we were working on felt safe to ask questions about her own experiences with God and other faiths.

About an hour into the conversation, I began silently praying and thanking God. I realized why it took more than two weeks to work on this home. God was waiting for Danko. This Croatian believer had a story and an answer from the Bible for every one of this woman’s questions.  

When the rain began to die down, we went back to work. I gave the woman a Bible at the end of our conversation. She was very grateful and started reading it right away. 

Pray that the Spirit would work in this lady’s heart! Stories like hers are why we go and serve, as plumbers and demolitionists and servants of the Word. To be the hands and feet of God. To give people the chance to hear the gospel. 

If you’d like to join our relief and outreach efforts, please click here to donate to the Croatia Earthquake Relief Fund. You can help bring eternal stability to a people shaken by catastrophe. 

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