Guest / Limited Access /

A shivering 15-year-old, Biljana Nikolić, stood shielding her one-month-old on a street corner in Serbia as a fierce thunderstorm whipped through town.

Biljana leaned against a house to steady herself against the wind. She was fleeing her abusive second husband, and this, less than a year after running away from her first husband, a man her mother forced her to marry. She watched her baby struggle to breathe, and remembered a song her aunt taught her when she was 9: I have a phone that goes up into the sky, when I have problems I can call Jesus.

"God, I know you are here and that you gave me this child," she muttered, "but I don't know what to do with him. If you want, take him."

Just then, a Serbian woman opened the door of the house Biljana was leaning against. She urged Biljana to come inside. It was the first of a long string of answers to prayer that would change her life.

Eventually, her first husband, Đeno, asked her to return to Croatia for the sake of their son. Yet the couple struggled for years. Grinding poverty compelled Biljana to beg on the streets, and forced to sift through trash for scrap metal to sell for cash. They had no legal documents in Croatia, so they were denied assistance from agencies. Mutual growing bitterness resulted in violent arguments. There seemed to be no end to their suffering until 2004. While Biljana was begging on the streets, a local Christian woman befriended her—an encounter that eventually led to Biljana to give her life to Christ.

The change in Biljana's life moved Đeno. "I would wake up in the night and could see she was in tears praying for me," he says. "I thought that she had surely cracked, but my conscience began ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedEbola Medical Missionaries Named Time's Person of the Year
Ebola Medical Missionaries Named Time's Person of the Year
Samaritan's Purse and SIM staff among physicians honored for 'risking, persisting, sacrificing, and saving.'
TrendingChristianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
Editor's PickWhat Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
Rooting our celebration of Christ’s birth more deeply in our lives.
Comments
Christianity Today
God Among the Roma
hide thisMay May

In the Magazine

May 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.