How big is your vision? Maybe the question should be, “How big is your God?” For most of us our vision for ministry is limited by our vision of what we think God can do. We try to be reasonable with our vision. We try to fit it to business plans and human strategies. So it is both refreshing and encouraging to come across those whose vision is big simply because they believe the Word of God when it says, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (See Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:17, Jeremiah 32:27)
Such is the case with Sasko and Ira Bogeski from Belgrade, Serbia. I had just finished speaking at the Fellowship of European Broadcasters (FEB) conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, when a young man in his mid-30’s came up to me. It was Sasko, and he had kind words about the encouragement he received from God as I spoke. Sasko had ridden the bus for eight hours from his home in Belgrade to Sofia to attend the conference. His wife Ira had hoped to attend, but their 4-year old daughter, Abigail, had gotten ill, and mommy duties “trumped” ministry opportunities.
I later asked Sasko to share a little about how he and Ira came to know Christ as Lord of their lives, and to share something about the ministry vision God had given them. What I got back via email was amazing. Seventeen pages of material from the Bogeski’s detailed the testimonies of both Sasko and Ira, and their call to ministry through media.
Included in that was a 12-page booklet that laid out their ministry, ELION (after one of the names of Yahweh, El Elion, the Most High God), from the beginning of the ministry to its maturity. It starts with the translation and dubbing of Christian videos like The Hope and More Than Dreams (in process now), and continues through to the point where they will be teaching others how to produce television material to lead people to Christ and to disciple Believers.
In their testimonies I learned that Sasko is originally from Macedonia. Though he had some early church experiences, he allowed himself to be drawn into a sinful and dangerous lifestyle. With faithful family members who prayed for him and didn’t give up on him, Sasko asked Jesus into his life, repenting of his sins and seeking God’s path. It is a journey that has led him to Bible school and further media training. Sasko has served as a leader in a small Baptist church in Belgrade, but now commits himself fulltime to preparation for media ministry.
Ira came through a nominal Orthodox background. Eleven years ago she was confronted by the love of God as she heard and understood the Gospel story for the first time. She and Sasko met in Bible school, where Ira has served as a translator/interpreter for nine years. They share in the vision for a media ministry called ELION.
It was in the ELION booklet that I discovered the enormous vision Sasko and Ira have, based on their view of El Elion, the Most High God. The vision statement for ELION ministry is this:
Every person in Serbia be transformed into the likeness of Christ, and living in God’s will.
This would be a great vision statement for a Billy Graham-sized organization, one with staff and resources to impact a whole country. But this is the heart of a husband and wife who have little of these. No staff. No equipment. No income stream. No supporting ministry. Just a simple trust in the Most High God, and a desire to be faithful servants to their Master, who has given them a vision that is as big as a whole nation…and even bigger.
My last email from Sasko and Ira said, “We just can’t wait for the day when we will be able to see the Christian material on TV, and when all the people throughout Serbia and beyond will hear and know that our God is El Elion…the Most High God.”
So…how big is your vision? Your God? Your heart? Do we live our lives and run our ministries in a way that shows the world that we believe God when he asks that rhetorical question: Is there anything too hard for the Lord?
Several have agreed to help Sasko and Ira with their vision from God. If the Lord urges you to help, contact me and find out how. The contact information is below. NRB has a special fund for financial gifts to specific ministries, like ELION. I’ll be glad to talk about that with you if God leads you that way. You can read more on this ministry at www.nrbpartnership.org. Click on the "Partnerships" tab and select Serbia-TV.
I encourage you to pray for this couple, this family, this ministry, this nation of Serbia. God has great plans. You can pray specifically for Sasko and Ira. And, who knows, maybe it is the plan of the Most High God that you be a part of their vision.
Dr. Ron Harris
Senior VP for Strategic Partnership.
National Religious Broadcasters