Called to Croatia

Apr 30, 2022 | News from a community | 2 comments

Called to Croatia

Faith and Ian Barton – UK

Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will truly plant them in this land, with all my heart and with all my soul. (Jeremiah 32: 38-41)

During a Bible week at Stoneleigh, UK in 1998, Ian responded to a message about being together on a mission. He felt God say that he would serve Him in Croatia and that he would do this with his wife. And so when our relationship was beginning to become more serious, Ian said to me: if we’re getting married, you need to be ok with going to Croatia! And so, since then, this call has been shaping our life together, knowing that one day Croatia would be a part of our future.

About two years ago, it felt right for Ian and I to start pushing doors for confirmation – asking questions, talking to leaders, getting ourselves on courses and going to conferences. I had also been asking God for a confirmation just for me because the original word was to Ian. As we have looked to God, he has been very kind and has used several dreams, sermons, scriptures and words that link into our situation and which have given us very specific guidance.

We are grateful to all those people who have been involved in encouraging, training, teaching and mentoring us. We are grateful for the checks and balances that we have experienced and for the importance of knowing God for our times and places. There have been huge benefits for us in listening to both the blessings and the challenges that others have faced who have been in similar situations; and so we are asking God to lead us – for us not to have our own agenda, not to lean on our own understanding – but to have Him guide our steps.

At times we have been overwhelmed: the shock of learning language & culture and the volume of resident permit options & documentation that is required – not to mention wanting to move with our pets! Nevertheless, we believe it is all worth it as we seek to love Jesus and to build his kingdom.

To love people and to serve a local church in Croatia will be an honour and a privilege for us and we can’t wait! We have made a good connection with the elder in Zagreb and we are stirred by his outreach to the poor and his vision for the future of that work. We have faith for this, as well as for God’s provision of secular work, hopefully in one of the British International schools. Also, as I grow in language learning, I hope to be able to use this skill to translate for pastors in Christian meetings! Zagreb is hopefully where we shall begin our time in Croatia and we are looking forward to what God will do and how the landscape might change over the next five, ten and twenty years: with more church plants and with the growth of existing churches.

Enlarge your tent, strengthen your stakes, your descendants shall inherit nations and make desolate cities inhabited. (Isaiah 54:2-3)


  1. Jonathan Butson

    thanks for the encouragement of your story, especially that God spoke to you 20+ years ago, it helps me keep on trusting God for his long term promise in my life, Jonathan, Kent, UK

    • Kevin Reily

      Hi Jonathan – thanks for this encouragement and I’ll pass it on 🙂


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