Why Slovenia?

Why Slovenia?

That's a good question with a few answers.

Initially, we got connected to Slovenia because the Cru ministry at Ohio University started an overseas partnership to help build a campus ministry at the University of Ljubljana. That partnership started in 2010, during our junior year of college. Before that, we had never even heard of Slovenia!

Slovenia is where the Lord called us to vocational ministry.

During a summer missions trip to Slovenia in 2010, just before our final year of college, we felt the Lord calling us to become missionaries. That was a surprise to us to say the least! I (Jordan) remember sitting in a cafe in Ljubljana halfway through the summer thinking,

If we don't come back here and tell these students about Jesus, who will? Why shouldn't we come back?

We know about Slovenia. We care about Slovenia. We want to be a part of what the Lord is doing in Slovenia. (For more about our journey into missions, check out our calling.)

Slovenia has a great need.

Less than 1% of people in Slovenia identify as evangelical Christians. There are a few protestant churches in the capital, each around 50 or so members. The churches in Ljubljana don't have the capacity to focus just on reaching college students–students who will inevitably become the leaders of their country. We feel a deep burden to reach college students because they are at such a pivotal stage of life.

Even if students grew up with a spiritual background (likely Catholicism), many people in Slovenia have rejected authentic faith in favor of tradition and rituals. I've asked a student before, "What's your spiritual background?" and he told me, 

I'm Catholic, but I don't believe in God.

Few students know what a personal relationship with God means or even know a true follower of Jesus.

Slovenia is strategic.

Geographically, it's right on the border of Eastern and Western Europe. Slovene students have an identity in the west and the east, so they are cultural insiders in both directions.

Slovene students are incredibly sharp. They all speak Slovene and English and often speak a third or fourth language like German or Italian. One student connected to our ministry is even learning to speak Mandarin Chinese! It's amazing to dream about how God could use this little country to help influence the world for Christ.

Slovenia feels like home.

During our time in Slovenia from September 2012 - July 2013, we began to put down roots in Slovenia. Both of our children were born here. We love the people, our team there, our landlords and other Slovene friends we have made. We feel uniquely positioned to be a part of reaching the students there, and we feel like the Lord has blessed us by being able to call Slovenia home.