Sarah Bradley to Croatia

When the Enemy attacks focus on God’s blessings!

The more diligently one works to follow God in unbridled surrender, the more diligently the Enemy fights! The devil fought hard in the month of September from every aspect: mentally, physically, and emotionally. I felt like the he was working overtime.

When I began my language classes at the beginning of September, I was excited to really dig into the language and learn. Although I had worked a little on learning the language while still in the States and during my internship in 2020, and even though others warned me of the extreme difficulty of learning the Croatian language, this did not prepare me for the reality! Learning Croatian has been one of the most difficult aspects of missionary life so far!

The difficulty of learning a new language was only one of the things that Satan used to discourage me. Half-way through my first level language course, I suddenly became extremely sick. Usually, with a little rest and fluids I can nurse myself back to health in two or three days, but this was not going away. I was sick for 10 days. If being sick was not bad enough, I found out that being alone and sick, in a foreign country, is even more difficult. The Lowries were back in the States, I missed my family, I missed my doctor, and I just wanted to go home. When I was finally able to get into a doctor, they discovered that I had a parasite from food I ate at a street vendor. Yuck!

On the day of my first language exam, I was still not feeling very well, so even though the train station is only a nine- minute walk from my house I decided to ride my electric scooter there. The scooter was typically my main source of transportation. On this particular day I rode the scooter to the train station and then rode the train to my language school. I locked my scooter up outside the school and went inside. Sadly, when I went back outside to check on my scooter, I discovered someone had stolen it! To top everything off, I failed the exam! I felt like I was being bombarded with one thing after another and everything was snowballing into some major discouragement which made it tempting to feel sorry for myself and make me want to quit. Yet through it all God was still working

I love how God always provides exactly whatever we need right when we need it. At the time I was going through all these difficulties, I was also doing a study on the Amour of God. The Holy Spirit reminded me that God has already given me all the tools I need to keep pressing on the upward way. I cannot learn this language in my own strength, my sickness and the theft of my scooter was no surprise to God. He brought me to Croatia, he has a plan for me here and He will give me the wisdom and courage I desperately need to complete the task He has given me to do. If I give into Satan’s weapon of discouragement and only focused on the difficulties, I will miss all the blessings. One of those blessings being the God given wisdom to pass the first level language class! In God’s strength I did pass, and although I have a long way to go, I know that God will help me through the rest.

Other great blessings have been the many ministry opportunities God has given me. In the last 2 months we have canvased three entire neighborhoods with gospel flyers. At our last few Bible distributions, we gave away almost 260 Bibles. And during one of the Bible distributions God allowed me to meet Tamara, she was so excited to receive a Bible and she wanted to exchange numbers so we could get together for coffee, please pray with me that God would work out the timing of this meeting. I am also excited for the opportunity to participate in a reading program at the Children’s library a few days a week. I will have the opportunity to read to the children in Croatian! Please pray with me that this tremendous opportunity would help me to build relationships with more children, improve my Croatian and most importantly open doors to share Christ with others.

I am also praising the Lord for the blessing of budding relationships. God has given me two occasions to talk to my land lady, about the Lord. Jasna does not speak any English, so we mostly communicate through the translator on my phone. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use what I have shared with her to work in her heart in-spite of the language barrier. I have also had the opportunity to speak with a classmate named Mia about my faith and share a little of my testimony with her. Please pray with me that the Lord would give me more opportunities to talk with her further and that she would come to church. It is my Earnest prayer that even through this season of language learning I may continue to be a vessel used of God to further the gospel and His kingdom.

Prayer Needs & Praises

  • Prayer: Tony has continued to learn and grow, but sadly, my time with him has come to an end. He and his family will be leaving for Belgium within the week. I ask that you continue to pray for safety as they travel and for God’s perfect will and direction for where thy will settle.
  • Prayer: Salvation for Mia, Jasna, & Tamara
  • Prayer: More children for my Sunday School class
  • Prayer: Learning the language.
  • Prayer: Opportunities to share the Gospel with people I meet.
  • Prayer: My Vehicle Situation.

Musings of a Single Lady In Missions

I am praising the Lord for the growth and unity God has brought to the young people at the church. Their excitement to serve the Lord in capacities such as outreach, special music, and helping in prep for church family lunch has been contagious. I was so excited to have Charissa (our intern) and a young lady from the church, over to my house on two separate occasions as we prepped for Church Family Lunch. It has also been a blessing to host a couple of groups at my home for dinner. And I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to praise God in song as a group. I am rejoicing in the fellowship we can have as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Cultural Corner

A Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. Not in Croatian. A word will change in seven different ways based on the grammatical structure of a sentence, words will also change form based on number, person, gender, tense, superlative, comparative, formal and informal. These are only the changes I have leaned so far. EVERYTHING Changes! Here is an example in of the changes to the word rose in its present tense singular form.

Nominativ ruža/rose
Genitiv ruže/rose
Dativ ruži/rose
Akuzativ ružu/rose
Vokativ Ružo!/ Rose!
Lokativ o ruži/about a rose
Instrumental s ružom /with a rose

Do not even get me started on irregular verbs! Your prayers for learning this delightful language are greatly appreciated.

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