History Opens Doors for the Gospel in Slovenia

distribution of New Testaments at Christmas market

The number of Christians in Slovenia is small. The response to the gospel of Jesus Christ is slow, and theological training is lacking, thus impeding efforts to equip nationals to become spiritual leaders.

Kim Kelley and her husband, Joe, have encountered these hurdles daily during the 15 years they have served in Slovenia. The Kelleys are field representatives in church planting in Radovljica, which is in the Gorenjska region.

Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia until gaining its independence in 1991. Nearly 60% of Slovenia’s 2 million people are Catholic.

Many times through the years, the Kelleys and their children have undertaken various outreach efforts to tell Slovenes about Jesus Christ. This past year, the Kelleys tried a different approach that used a little bit of history to get Bibles into the hands of Slovenes. That approach has created opportunities to encounter new people and to share about Jesus.       

“As we marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we took to the streets to engage anyone and everyone who we could meet with the gospel,” Kim said. “The main difference in our approach is that we were distributing a modernized copy of the Dalmatin translation of the New Testament. The original Slovene translation by Jurij Dalmatin was completed in 1584. Even Slovenes who have no knowledge of the gospel will have heard Dalmatin’s name in school because of his cultural contribution of translating the Bible into their language.”

When Slovenes are offered a nice, hardback Dalmatin New Testament without cost and without obligation, they are surprised. “Slovenes don’t readily accept gifts because they feel indebted,” Kim said. Overwhelmingly, their surprise melts into gratitude for the gift.

Pray for

  • the Kelleys as they seek to share the gospel faithfully in Slovenia’s northwest region;
  • Slovenian believers to study God’s Word diligently and to grow as disciples;
  • pastors to be faithful proclaimers of God’s Word; and
  • sound theological education, discipleship, and reliable theological resources to be readily available.

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, which is a vast missions field.

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