Monday, June 21, 2010
The Global Body
Yesterday was a time for us to visit some of the local Bosnian churches. In the morning, our group split into two and participated at two different locations. Michelle and I visited a church in the East part of the city that Mark and Debbie Byrom attend regularly. Caleb and Mike also join us. I had the privilege of preaching a "mini sermon" before the real sermon. Evidently, they do this every week. My message was 7 and 1/2 minutes long, and that's with translation. I know, most of you are shocked by this. Mike and Caleb helped Mark teach Sunday School for the older kids. All I know is that there were bagpipes involved.
Bob, Chris, and Jason attended a church in the West part of town that Mark and Kathy Eikost regularly attend. Jason played on the worship team and Bob was given an opportunity to share about our team. He took the opportunity to also share his testimony. Way to go, Bob!
In the evening, our whole group attended the Malta church, which is where the guys are staying in a dorm. This is a very hip church- they've made some worship CDs and have audio/visual equipment on par with churches 5 and 10 times their size. We enjoyed worshiping with them even in Bosnian. Jason played guitar (again) and Caleb helped out on drums. All 7 of us wore headphones to hear the sermon translated in real time. I didn't want to take a picture mid-sermon, but we were quite a sight.
The churches averaged 25-30 people, and that's being generous. Almost half of the attendance was foreign missionaries. It is stunning to think that we may have met half of all the believers in Sarajevo. The messages were all very powerful. God is definitely at work in these churches and in the hearts of these pastors, but for some reason they are making very little progress into this city. But I was very encouraged by their passion and their words of encouragement to live out our faith. I think in a city like this, the Bosnian believers are very aware that preaching the gospel won't be enough- the gospel must be seen in action!
Be praying for these churches! They are such a minority, but they are truly believing God for big things. In this place, 1 out of every 4,000 people are believers. Pray for Pastor Slavko, Pastor Zelko, and Pastor Sasha. They need our help!