Are we in—or are we out?
Communities consist of cultures and sub-cultures, and within these cultures are circles of friends and family that have known each other for years. When you become an adult, it gets harder to make new friends, to be part of the in-group, especially in a new country, and Croatia is no different. You have to show transparency, but transparency can be challenging as it leaves you vulnerable.
The Bible says to be like little children. I see how my children make friends. There are no standards or holdbacks. If you want to play, then that is the only criterion.
My wife and I decided to make ourselves as transparent as possible to the people of Croatia through social media. We began sharing our new adventures on Tiktok, from devotions to funny experiences and cultural differences, with those in our local community. We left the States with about 100 followers and now have over 16,000. We gained national attention, appearing in our local newspaper and online news outlet, and were interviewed on the national TV news.
When they asked us, “What are you here for?” we were very clear.
“We are here to preach the gospel and plant a church.”
Now all of Croatia knows our purpose and goal, and they are hearing about Jesus. People often approach us and say, “I know you!” We are happy about that. That was our goal, for people to know us before we met them, to feel safe around “these missionaries,” and for them to know we love Jesus.