Greetings! We hope that you will check this blog several times in the next few weeks to get updates on our team in Bosnia, and to get specific ways you can be praying for us and for the people of Bosnia Herzegovina.
After a decent night of sleep (for most- one of the team members mistook advil for a sleep aid, tossing and turning all night. But at least she was pain free!), our team began our first full day in Bosnia. In the morning, Nick and Jim gathered with a group of international workers who meet each work for discussion and encouragement. After this, our whole team met for a brief orientation at Mark and Kathy Eikosts.
Following our team meeting, we headed out with Todd Denius to a local park that overlooks part of Sarajevo. To me, this park captures the essence and spirit of the last 150 years or so of the Bosnian people. The park was original a fortress built during the Austria-Hungarian Empire in the late 1800's. During World War 2, the Nazis used this area as an execution site where many Jews were put to death and buried in mass graves. Under Tito and his communistic government, the area was transformed into a war memorial and park, with a wall listing the name of every Bosnian killed in that war. In the 90's, Serbian forces used this position as a strategic point from which to bombard the besieged city below. Today, the park is minimally maintained as the fountains sit dry, memorials are crumbling, and weeds have begun to take over. From this place that represents a great mix of pride and pain for the people, we prayed. We prayed that the God of peace would bring His peace to the hearts of the nation.
Following our prayer gathering, we headed over to Izvor, the cultural center in downtown Sarajevo. It's good to see this space in full swing, as the team is in midst of preparation for an editing workshop and kids classes on Saturday, English classes during the week, and a Thanksgiving open house next Saturday. A local news station is even planning to come and film a member of our team about the editing seminar being put on by the Source.
And what would a day in downtown Sarajevo be without a trip to our favorite cevapi place? For those who may not be initiated to the tradition of cevapi, this is a sausage-like meat made from lamb and veal that gets tucked into a pita like flat bread, and is served along with onions and kaymak. (A salty, creamy kind of butter.) This is a heart attack waiting to happen. Most of the team order a small plate of 5. Pastor Nick ordered 15.
Please pray for the team as they continue to adjust to the time change. Pray also for the gals who will be helping out tomorrow at a Kids' reading class and a card-making craft session at Izvor. The guys will be meeting with a local pastor. Pray that our connections and conversations will be meaningful; encouraging believers, and displaying God's great love to seekers.