Dan & Abigail

Blair

Aidan


Serving in Slovenia, Europe


Account #2944015

8965 Ivey Road
Jacksonville, FL 32216

The Blairs are appointed missionaries to Slovenia. As the only AGWM missionaries in Slovenia, they will be partnering with the national Pentecostal church to inspire church development and revitalization by engaging the secularist. Togeter they can begin to reach a country that struggles with alcoholism and depression, along with reaching out to  the marginalized people groups living in Slovenia.

Dan grew up in Ohio, and Abigail grew up in Hungary as a missionary kid. They met at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium where they both earned their Bachelors degree. Dan has his BA in Misisons and Abigail has her BA in Christian Education. They have one son, Aidan who is 3 years old. Dan previously served as a youth pastor within the Peninsular Florida District and Abigail as a kindergarten teacher. They feel called to reach Slovenia by living out the love of Christ one relationship at a time.

Many people think of Europe as a beautiful, culturally rich, and liturgical continent, however at the heart of it, Europe is a continent in need of a revival, and the understanding of a personal relationship with Jesus.  With the recent refugee crisis, which has affected Slovenia and many other European countries, the gospel has never been more relevant.  They are excited to witness what God has in store for the people of Slovenia! Through Jesus' there is Hope for Slovenia!

 



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Hello, dear friends!  We hope you are all having a blessed and peaceful Christmas season!
We are experiencing our first holiday season here in Ljubljana, and we are enjoying so many of the uniquely Slovenian traditions.

Yesterday, we went up to the Ljubljana castle to see some lights, and were thoroughly tickled pink to see the official Saint Nicholas for the city of Ljubljana, just before he headed out for his procession through the city.
As we walked around, we noticed a life-sized carved wood nativity. It was beautifully intricate, and we stood there for a while admiring it.  We had been standing for quite some time, when I noticed something, and looked at Dan, and said "But where's Jesus?"


Now, I understand that realistically and probably the reason baby Jesus is not yet in the manger, is because it is not yet actually Christmas, so he hasn't been "born".  But is was odd to us, nonetheless that Jesus was not part of the nativity.  As Christians, whenever we set out a nativity, the "baby Jesus" piece is the most precious one, and is not one to be left out.
But as we admire the beauty of the season here in Ljubljana, this has been what we've noticed:

There are monuments to religiosity peppered through the city - churches, nativities, stars, crosses... but, where's Jesus?


People prepare to go to midnight mass, they celebrate a saint, Saint Nicholas - who devoted his life to serving others in the name of Jesus, people slow down and spend time with their families... but, where's Jesus?


You can buy Advent wreaths in all the local grocery stores and flower shops, you can hear Christmas music playing on the radio... but, where's Jesus?

Because Slovenia is traditionally Roman Catholic, their traditions revolve around the symbols of the season, and yet the true relationship with Christ, the "reason for the season", is missing in so many of their lives.


This is not a uniquely Slovenian phenomenon.  It is the same around the world, and yet our hearts are for the Slovenes.  It is our deepest desire that the people of Slovenia would know the personal relationship with Jesus that gives us joy, comfort and peace during this time of year - and throughout the year.

The beauty in the lights, is that Jesus is our light.  The meaning behind the stars, is the star that led the wise men to Him.  The sweetness of the nativity is being reminded of Jesus' humble birth - God became man.  The tradition of Saint Nicholas is special because of the idea of giving our lives in service to God and those around us.  The tranquility of the Advent wreaths, is to prepare our hearts for the Lord.  Christmas music (not Jingle Bells, but songs such as Away in a Manger) are public reminders of why we celebrate.  We spend time with our families and loved ones, because we are thankful that God gave them to us to love - because He loved us first.  All of these traditions and symbols are beautiful, and should be celebrated.  But if they are celebrated without Jesus, they lose their meaning.



This Christmas season, we hope and pray that the symbols Slovenians - our friends and neighbors, see around them cause them to wonder, and search for the true meaning behind them - Jesus.  And we pray that we are able to be there for them in those moments.  We are so thankful that God has allowed us to be here, and for the lives that will be changed because of Him.

We pray the same for you, that you and those you love would open their hearts to God, and allow Him to give you joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Please continue to pray for us, we are still dealing with a situation we cannot yet freely share about, but we know that God is in control, and the local churches here, and our new friends have been a great help to us.  We know that everything will work out in God's perfect timing.

Have a merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year!



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Hello, friends!
Thank you for being on this journey with us!  We so appreciate your prayers, emails, comments, and any other way you may reach out.  It is encouraging to know that there are so many people lifting us up before God.  We also pray for you, that God would bless each and every one of you, that He would give you peace and that you would know His love in a tangible way.

We have had a whirlwind of a couple months, and wanted to give you all an update, as we have settled into our regular routine a little better.

Last week was Fall break here in Slovenia, which means that everyone leaves town, and most everything is closed.  We decided to take that opportunity, and we planned a couple-day prayer retreat for our family.  We know the power there is in being covered in prayer, and wanted that to be one of our first and main focuses.  We made an effort to "hit" some of the major Slovenian national symbols, as we prayed for our new home.

1. Mount Triglav


Triglav is THE national symbol.  It is featured in their national crest, numerous businesses are named after it, and it has been said that you are not a true Slovene if you haven't climbed it.  (Dan is working on that.)  We actually went up to Mount Vogel across the way to get a good view of it.  Here we prayed that in the same way that you have to look up to see the mountain, people would raise their eyes to the Lord, and be filled with wonder of Him.


2. Lake Bohinj


Lake Bohinj is the largest lake in Slovenia.  It was absolutely beautiful and tranquil.  Here, we prayed for the peace of the Lord to come into the lives of our new friends.  That whatever their worries are, that they would be able to cast them onto their Heavenly Father.


3. The Church of The Holy Spirit



This church was amazing.  It was built during the I World War by Austro-Hungarian soldiers, as an homage to their fallen brothers in arms.  They dedicated it to the Holy Spirit.  The only way to get to it, is via a 30-minute hike - wow, what an image!  While we were here, Aidan thanked Jesus for his new Slovenian friends, and we also prayed that the Holy Spirit would sweep into this nation, and that He wouldn't be hard to reach, out of the way, and a hassle to get to - rather that they would see Him as the Helper Jesus says He is.


4. The Soča River

 

The mesmerizing emerald blue-green of this river is indescribable.  It is another main national symbols - it's also on the national crest, as well as the subject of art, poems and songs.  We drove along this river, stopping occasionally to enjoy the beauty of it, and also to pray that the hope of Jesus would rush into this country, much in the same way as the Soča does.  What a powerful force water is - it cuts through rock, forms the land - and yet how much more powerful is hope in Jesus Christ!

We were so thankful to have some quiet, reflective and prayerful time together as a family before this busy season.

As important as prayer is, we also know we can do nothing to engage the people of Slovenia, unless we are able to reach them in their own language.  With that in mind, this week we ALL started school.


1. Language School
Dan and Abigail started language school this week.  We meet with our language tutor, Melita 3 times a week.  She is patient, very knowledgeable, and a great teacher.  We've already learned a lot!  One of our favorite phrases is "taco-taco", which means "so-so".  It's interesting being back to doing homework, and using parts of our brains we haven't used in a while, and we're really enjoying it!

 



2. Aidan in Vrtec

Our son started at vrtec, the Slovenian equivalent of preschool, although they translate it to kindergarten here. Please keep him in your prayers - everything at school is in Slovene.  His teachers seem very nice and patient.  We know he will make great friends, and that the Lord is with him wherever he goes, but it is also a little scary to leave him in a situation where none of us are really quite sure what's going on, haha! 



As always, we are so thankful for you.  We love our new home, friends and neighbors.  Thank you for making it possible for us to reach them.  Please continue to pray for us, as we settle into our new normal.



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