Faithfulness: The Pickslays Journey

Faithfulness: The Pickslays Journey

Many of us can probably think of a time when our plans suddenly changed, but looking back, we see how God was faithful through it all. Bog je vjeran! This phrase was repeated at Kent and Cheri Pickslays party celebrating 30 years of ministry in Croatia. It means “God is faithful!” Since coming to Croatia in 1993, Kent and Cheri have seen many plans change, revealing God’s faithfulness.

When commenting on their years of ministry, Cheri said, “It’s funny, when the Wrights (retired missionaries) left at 38 years, and the Babcocks (also retired missionaries) left at 32 years, I remember sitting back and thinking, ‘There is no way.’”

Living in San Diego, California, Kent worked as a computer scientist, and Cheri was a nurse. They were heavily involved in their church, which later sent them to Croatia for two years. What started as a two-year plan kept getting prolonged by another two years. Now Croatia has been home to the Pickslays for three decades. 

Over the years, their ministry focus shifted from working on discipling young teens, who were the core of the early evangelical church, to planting the first Wesleyan church in Croatia and running English camps. During all that time, their prayer has always been the same: “Lord, give me an authentic love for the people I am serving.” 

After sharing this prayer, Kent added, “That is the thing that brings me the most joy and keeps me connected for the long haul. I just love them and … I want to be in their lives and encourage them.” 

While each season is different, and some have been easier than others, the Pickslays have depended on God through it all. 

Cheri shared their hardships when moving to Croatia, saying, “I remember it was still the first year. I just called my friend and said, ‘Tell me what difference it makes that we are living here, because I can change diapers, chase kids, cook meals and clean clothes anywhere in the world. Why does it have to be here?’ … And she said, ‘But so many people are watching you do it, how you are living amongst them, struggling with them.’” 

The Pickslays’ decision to go has given the Croatian people a taste of God’s love and desire for them. Heading into this new chapter, Kent said their passion and focus is to return to a season of discipleship, working to raise up new believers and empower local church leaders. 

As they grow more excited about new discipleship opportunities and deepening relationships, the Pickslays will continue to trust in God and his faithful character, taking it “two years at a time.”