top of page



Protestant Christian Fellowship in Novi Sad, Serbia; Natasha Vuckovic (inset)

From atheism and witchcraft to passionate children’s minister

by Laurie Lind, Entrust staff writer

Natasha is passionate about children’s ministry. The more she serves kids, the more she sees the need for biblical resources for parents. When she learned Entrust offers just such a tool, she was astounded, thanking God for this specific answer to her prayers.

Natasha Vuckovic loves children. By day, she works at a day care. She invests many of her evenings and weekends in the lives of children and parents in her community and church, Protestant Christian Fellowship in Novi Sad, Serbia.

She discovered her calling to children’s work as a teenager, just two years after she came to faith in Christ. And that is a story in itself.

Alcohol and the occult

Natasha’s maternal grandmother attended a small Protestant church, a rarity in communist Yugoslavia. Natasha’s mother – seeing only rules and regulations in her mom’s church, women required to cover their hair and wear skirts – rebelled. She became very antagonistic toward anything related to faith.

“We were a typical Yugoslavian non-Christian family,” Natasha says. “Our parents actually would say they were atheists. I don’t even remember anyone talking about God in our house. It was almost totally forbidden.”

But grandma was praying.

Natasha’s brother Bera got into punk music and became a serious alcoholic. He couldn’t make it through a day without alcohol, Natasha says.

Natasha delved into the occult. She enjoyed popularity at school with her tarot cards and ability to tell fortunes.

Car accident

When Natasha was beginning high school, her parents traveled to Slovakia where they had a bad car accident. Natasha’s mom was in a coma for nine days and then died. In her teenage desire to cope, Natasha tried to contact her mother’s spirit. As she did so, something happened. She felt a presence and it terrified her.

“There was so much fear in my life,” she says, “but God started working at that time.”

Encountering God

“What I really really love in our story is that God started working in my life and in Bera’s life at the same time, but in two separate ways.”

Bera had left home to do his mandatory military service. A friend mailed Christian tracts to him while Bera was away. Some of those found their way into the pocket of a jacket that Bera left at home at one point.

At about the same time, friends began to talk to Natasha about Jesus. At school, on the bus, she kept hearing about Jesus. She stumbled across those tracts in Bera’s jacket pocket. She found a book about Jesus in the room where she slept when visiting her grandma. She tried to read that book. She tried to read the tracts. She tried to read the Bible. None of it made any sense to her.

An avid reader, she couldn’t understand why Christian materials were so hard to comprehend. “Later on, of course, I learned that it was because of my occult practice.”

So much exposure to Jesus. Things were stirring in Natasha’s heart. And grandma was still praying.

“I was totally blind,” she says, “until a moment when I realized that I need to choose; continue my old ways or come to Jesus with everything.”

Finally, one day before school, she got on her knees and said, “Jesus, I want you. I don’t want any of my old ways. I just want you.”

It was, she says, “like a physical thing that happened. I could feel a warmth from my head to my toes. It was like a blanket or something, and I felt that all those bad things were gone. No more.”

The next time she picked up her Bible, she was amazed to find she could understand it.

Soon she came across Acts 19. She learned about the Ephesians who practiced magic and how, after they believed in Jesus, threw all their magic books into a fire. Natasha burned all her occult-related possessions.

Shortly after that, she told her brother she had something to tell him. His reply: “I have something to tell you.”

“Both of us said, ‘I know Jesus!’” They’d come to Christ within a month of each other. And Bera’s desire for alcohol completely vanished.

Protestant Christian Fellowship

Today, Bera is one of the pastors of Protestant Christian Fellowship. He received his pastoral training at a Bible college in Serbia. With her love for children, Natasha jumped into the church’s kids’ ministry. She gained valuable insights from Child Evangelism Fellowship in Serbia, things she applies to this day and passes along to her colleagues.

The church launched a recovery center for men seeking freedom from addiction. Things were going well.

And yet, God was about to bring additional resources to further the church’s ministry.

Entrust comes alongside

Through connections with Christian friends in Serbia and Bulgaria, Entrust learned about Pastor Bera and this church in Novi Sad. Various Entrust staff members, American and Bulgarian, began to visit with Bera, asking if and how Entrust might assist with anything.

Soon, men and women from Protestant Christian Fellowship were meeting with Entrust staffers who traveled from neighboring Hungary and Austria. Together, they studied and applied new skills related to small group leadership, inductive Bible study, shepherding others in their spiritual growth.

Because of her fluency in English, Natasha translated nearly all of these training events. Soon she found herself translating the written workbooks. She loved and absorbed everything.

Biblical parenting

Then came the day that someone happened to mention an Entrust module to Natasha, one she hadn’t heard about, called Nurturing Our Children. She was amazed to learn such a resource existed.

“After years of praying, there was this answer that came through the parenting course. It was really like a revelation to me, this practical material that I could use.”

The church organized a group of parents who worked through the entire module. Natasha says it was a lot of work, a huge time commitment, but for her, as both a children’s worker and a parent of teens, well worth it.

Asked about specific things she learned from Nurturing Our Children, Natasha says that for one thing, she discovered “I have a parenting style! I didn’t know people have parenting styles!”

Natasha learned that children have stages of moral and faith development. She gained biblical understanding about how and why to discipline children. She was surprised to find that parents can and should develop parenting objectives for themselves.

She applies principles from Nurturing Our Children to her work at the day care and in the children’s and parenting ministries at church.

Recently, Natasha began joining a friend on a podcast for parents. She hopes to pass along biblical parenting tips on that podcast, and to invite listeners to take the Nurturing Our Children module.

She wants parents to realize that the Bible contains practical help for them, better help than the many secular resources parents tend to rely on Serbia.

Reflecting on her first years with Entrust, Natasha says she was touched by the humility she saw. Entrust staff people approached her church with questions like, “What are your needs? How can we help?” As it turned out, those questions led to desired training, including, a thorough biblical resource for parents.

Natasha’s summary: “It was really like a balm to our heart.”

bottom of page