Branislav Jaksic almost didn’t make it into this world, and when he did arrive, his alcoholic father disowned him and his uncle said he was “ugly.” Born in communist Yugoslavia in 1938, Branislav had a rough start in life. But life didn’t get any easier as he grew older. War, food shortages, an abusive father, and religious persecution were part of Branislav’s life. Despite the turmoil around him, his mother’s unshakable faith and trust in God and His divine plan for Branislav’s life gave him hope.
Upon becoming a Sabbathkeeper, Branislav faced an uncertain future, especially in light of the mandatory service he was required to complete in the Yugoslavian army. What was he to do? He could not join as a noncombatant. He could not request Sabbaths off. Other young Sabbathkeepers who refused to do as the military demanded were imprisoned, beaten, tortured, and starved. He had heard the stories.
The only option was to leave the country. But how? Could he escape across the border into Italy and apply to the Italian authorities for protection? Could he leave his beloved mother and family, not knowing if he would ever see them again?
The Vacant Seatwill thrill you as you read about God’s protection and His divine plan for one of His servants—Branislav Jaksic—a man who trusts in the Lord and has devoted his life to serving his Savior.
Branislav “Brian” Jaksic lives in Adelaide, Australia. The city is situated between the sea and the hills, and he and his wife live 16 kilometers outside the city in the hill country where they enjoy views of the city and the sea. Now retired, Brian spent his career working as a tailor and manager for a clothing manufacturer before accepting a call to work as a missionary for the church.
Today Brian enjoys going door to door spreading the good news of God’s love and His soon coming. He and his wife also enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren, walking, gardening, and reading.
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Posted by Esther Wiseman on 3rd Jan 2013
Wow! What a great story. I could hardly put the book down once I started reading. The trust and courage of Branislav's mother as she made the decision to place her life and the life of her child in the hands of God is a real lesson of faith in action. Living her life for God obviously had a great impact on Branislav, who lived his life faithfully following the Bible teachings he had learned and having to stand against many temptations and even the threat of loss of life to follow God's requirements. So good to read a true story of faith and trust in God and to see how He can work out all the details if we do our part and trust in Him. Thank you for putting your story in print.
Posted by Tara Downey- Director of Angel Blue Enterprises Pty Ltd on 20th Dec 2012
With his mother fighting polio during her pregnancy, Branislav Jaksic almost didn’t make it into the world and when he did he was called “ugly” by his uncle and disowned by his alcoholic father. The Vacant Seat is a book about his life from that moment, with the laughs and light hearted days, to the heartaches and heartbreaks. Born in Yugoslavia in 1938, the book takes us through the war and food shortages, Branislav’s days spent with his abusive father, and through to his attempts to escape the turmoil around him. We join his journey as he turns to God, fights for freedom, spends time in prison, and eventually finds his way through the persecution to his new home in Australia – the place where he meets the love of his life and finally finds peace through devoting his life to servicing the Lord. This book is a fantastic read that will have you laughing and crying at the same time and Branislav is a real-life character who will remain in your heart forever.