Croatian Evangelistic Outreach is the overseas arm of our church Crkva Cjelovitog Evanđelja (Church of the Full Gospel). Its function is to keep our contacts and supporters informed as to our work and ministry here in Zagreb through monthly updates and monthly translated messages from Pastor Mario's CEO Pulpit Series.
Crkva Cjelovitog Evanđelja (CCE) is an active, interdenominational church established in 2001 and is a movement connected with similar churches and ministries in Croatia and abroad. The vision of the CCE movement is to carry the gospel to every place where it is not presented with integrity, to change individuals and the community through repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ, and to present the gospel in a practical means through a variety of talents, personalities, gifts, and ministries. Our mission and goal is to train up a central local church that will act as a hub for future church plants throughout Zagreb and Croatia. We have set in place several support ministries that help us accomplish that vision, such as our Bible school, evangelism ministry, publishing ministry, and our worship band "Bez Kompromisa" (No Compromise).
Brief History of Croatia
With a history dating back to the 4th century B.C., when settled by the Illyrians and later by the Celts and Greeks, Croatia has endured multiple wars, empires such as the Roman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, as well as communism. National pride and sturdy resilience is what enabled Croatia to fight its way to freedom time and again. The early 1990's marked a turbulent time for Croatia. On June 25, 1991 Croatia declared her independence from Yugoslavia and brought on an attack by the Yugoslavian army. In this bloody war, lasting five long years, more than 20,000 people lost their lives not only through combat but in concentration camps and through ethnic cleansing. Since the Dayton agreement that finally ended the war, Croatia has fought to repair the damage that not only destroyed cities but also decimated the economy. At the turn of the new millennium Croatia's economy began to take a slow upward turn as tourism was on the rise, yet unemployment and political resistance continues to hold the country economically hostage.
Croatia and the Gospel
In a country with a landmass the size of West Virginia and a population of 4.5 million it is surprising to learn that approximately only 100 protestant churches exist with approximately 6,000 newborn Christians. Many villages and towns entirely lack gospel preaching churches and to this day remain void of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why we regularly plan evangelistic outreach events. Because Croatia is a Roman Catholic nation, historically she has been resistant to the gospel of Jesus Christ, perceiving it to be a battle of Protestantism versus Catholicism or even a further invasion of Western culture.
Mario Ducic was born in Zagreb in 1973 to a Catholic Family. During the war, in 1991, he began his theological studies at Theological Seminary Matija Vlačić Ilirik in Zagreb, Croatia. During his second year a Christian befriended him and began witnessing to him. At this time his grandmother became ill and so he asked his friends to pray for her. God answered this prayer and she was healed of her severe pain. The answered prayer softened his heart and that same night as he read the book of John he said to himself, "This is truth. I find myself in every word. This is what I need." And afterward he experienced great change.
After finishing his second year Mario decided to continue a third year of study at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia. While studying in Osijek he actively volunteered to work with a refugee camp in Gasinci through the humanitarian aid society "Agape". After his third year he received a scholarship to study abroad. These doors opened to his so miraculously that temporarily left his studies at Evangelical Theological Seminary and completed a two-year course in Practical Theology in one year at Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. After completing his studies in America he returned to Osijek in 1996 to complete his theological studies, in the field of Christian counseling, on the theme of "Sexual Abuse of Children". In 2007 he finished his post-graduate theological studies at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia, under the title, "Effective Christian Leadership - Understanding and Implementing Visionary and Foundational Characteristics of Leadership." In 2012 Mario completed his doctoral studies in Practical Theology with special emphasis on leadership through Wagner Leadership Institute in Phoenix, AZ.
Mario became pastor and president of Crkva cjelovitog evandelja in the fall of 2001. In addition to his vision to work and serve both in Zagreb and the entire country of Croatia, as the pastor, Mario has formed many ministries in the church, initiated civil organizations, and various practical church ministries with the goal of effective ministry and positive influence on society. He has also taken part in national events with other protestant churches and for some years has led the annual "Croatia for Jesus" festival, "JarunFest" as well as "Days of Reformation". Since 2003 he has actively written various articles as well as made public monthly sermons he has given at Crkva cjelovitog evandelja. In 2008 he initiated the formation of Croatian Christian Coalition, of which he is the president. The purpose of the coalition is to stimulate and realize solidarity, transparency, quality subsidies and collaboration along with realization of community influence among the members in the political realm through active promotion of Christian principles in churches of the reformation heritage in the Republic of Croatia. He is the Vice-President of Spirit Life Ministries International, a non-profit Christian organization based in Hermiston, OR. In addition to their active work in Croatia, SLMI also oversees Spirit Life Institute located in our church in Zagreb; of which Mario is the Vice-President and lecturer. Mario was a member of the central headquarters committee and council for supporting human rights, civil society, and the justice system for the main political party. He is also the author of the book "Effective Christian Leadership", which has been endorsed by several Croatian Evangelical Leaders as well as the former Croatian President, Mr. Ivo Josipovic. He is currently completing his second doctoral program at the Reformed Episcopal Theological School in Croatia as a Doctor of Ministry with his thesis on „A Biblical Approach to Finances“.
Mario married Bonnie Hackett, who is also an alumnus of Christ For The Nations Institute, Dallas, TX. Apart from assisting in various ministries and outreaches, Bonnie leads the contemporary worship band "Bez Kompromisa" (No Compromise). She is the writer and composer of the majority of the songs that the band has recorded. Their first album, "Ustani Gospode (Arise, O Lord) was recorded in 2006 and second Pred svetim Kraljem (Before The Holy King) was recorded in 2009. She is currently writing and recording new music. Together Mario and Bonnie have four children.