Croatian minister makes journey of a lifetime
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Bailey McBride Erik Tryggestad | Christian Chronicle
Mladen Jovanovic, right, and Odon Ramos stand in the former home of Jovanovic's grandfather in Humahuaca, Argentina. Jovanovic, a minister in Zagreb, Croatia, traveled to the remote village in the Andes Mountains recently to see the grave of Ivan Jovanovic, who left Croatia in 1924 to make money for his family. Ivan settled in northwest Argentina, where he worked and sent money home to his wife. “He wanted her to join him, but she was afraid to go into the unknown,” Mladen Jovanovic said of his grandmother. Ivan was unable to return to Croatia after World War II began. He was afraid to return after the war, when Croatia was absorbed by the Soviets into communist Yugoslavia. Ivan died in 1950 in Cordoba, Argentina. In addition to finding his grandfather's grave, Mladen Jovanovic found Ramos and a small Christian group meeting in Ivan's former home. The Croatian minister preached twice for the group. “It was a lesson to me that our God is present everywhere,” Mladen Jovanovic said, “even in the most remote place in this world, even in the places we would expect him the least.”