Steve and Laura Campbell (Ruth, Esther)
Serving in: Podgorica, Montenegro
Program name: transForm (long-term)
- Serving since:
Steve and Laura, and their daughters Ruth and Esther, are involved in a small Brethren Assemblies congregation in Podgorica, Montenegro, begun in 1996 by Serbian Pastor Vladimir Cizmanski. Montenegro is one of Eastern Europe’s least evangelized countries with only 250 known believers.
Steve is discipling small groups of believers who are young in faith. Laura is developing a Sunday School program for the many young children in their church. Their daughters attend a local day care, giving opportunity for connecting with young families. Their desire is to reach out to other families, youth and young adults in the region, sharing the good news of the gospel which proclaims freedom, healing and peace in this land wrought with corruption, drug abuse and human trafficking.
John 1:9 tells us that Jesus is “the true light that gives light to every man” Though only a few in Montenegro have seen that light, the Campbells are holding it out through their faithful work and witness in this pioneer setting.
From their featured Worker Profile in the Summer 2016 issue of Transforming:
We are working with a local congregation in Podgorica, Montenegro. We are making disciples in the way of Jesus. We are encouraging and training local leadership in the congregation and are making new relationships in our surrounding community. We see the work in the community particularly as introducing people to Jesus over and over.
We are getting better at the Serbian language, but this still is a challenge. We also are still learning the culture. We believe these two will remain challenges the whole time we are here; we view the challenges as opportunities to keep learning. We see these challenges as ways the local people can help us—we humble ourselves to realize that we need help. This is just one way to empower our brothers and sisters here. We see the model of Jesus with the women at the well in John 4 as our way in working in Montenegro. We humble ourselves and ask for a drink, for help with language and culture. This invites a further discussion to point people to God.
Our biggest joy is having seen some amazing answers to prayer in these past two years: Lazar being set free from alcohol addiction, Masha receiving healing from a bad operation and further healing through another surgery, the pastor catching the vision for being a praying church. We have sensed there has been a hole poked in the darkness over the nation of Montenegro and more light is streaming through. We are humbled and overjoyed to play a small role in God’s big drama for this nation.
A typical day:
We rise early for devotions. I (Steve) usually go up to the coffee shop and study Serbian and pray and continue the relationship with our friend Darko who is the waiter at the coffee shop while Laura does devotions at home. We get the girls up and do breakfast together and then take them to preschool by about 8:15. They go to the national preschool four days a week from 8:15-ish until about 2:45. After leaving the girls at school we have language lessons for two hours. Then depending on what else needs to happen for the day, there may be a meeting later to plan for, or a visit to someone’s house, or errands. We have supper together as a family. And depending on the day there may be meetings or Bible study in the evening. The girls usually are in bed by 9:00 and then Laura and I have some time together in the evening to relax.