Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 3- Sarajevo

On Sunday, the team headed out to West Sarajevo to take part in the church gathering at Ilidza. This small church meets in a tiny building- half a house. The man Nick is posing with below leads this small fellowship with great passion and grace. His name is Zeljko, and he has a challenging job! In addition to leading the church, he runs a small printing company right next door to help provide income. He also oversees the Second Hand Shop ministry this church has. A group of gals comes in each week to sort through clothes and household items, and then puts them up for sale in one of their 3 stores. Can you imagine a church of 9 or 10 people running 3 stores? That's what they do- all of this in an effort to reach Sarajevo with Christ's light. After several years of these efforts, the church has seen very little growth. They have had many positive contacts, but hearts are still resistant to the gospel. Please be praying for Zeljko, his wife Voika, and their small fellowship. 

After the church gathering, our team split up for the week. The gals will stay in Sarajevo and help out at a number of different events at Izvor and around Sarajevo. In fact, on Monday they will be helping sort clothes for the Second Hand Stores just mentioned.  I hope that you will get a first-person report from one of them later this week. Nick and the Venables headed further south and west to the city of Mostar. As you can see, the fall colors along the way were outstanding. Bosnia is a beautiful, beautiful country. It is so sad to see the scars of war all over this picturesque landscape. Perhaps one day you will come and see it with your own eyes.

Mostar is a city about 30 miles inland from the Aegean Sea. The weather is more temperate and the land produces great fruit and vineyards. This is also the location of the Mostar Bible School, the only Christian higher education option in the country. This week, Nick and Jim Venable will be teaching a class on spiritual formation to 4 or 5 Bosnian students. Please be praying for their connection with these future church leaders and for the effectiveness of the class.

Upon arrival in Mostar, we were able to participate in a church service with the West Mostar Church. This is another topic of prayer. This church of 40 or 50 meets on the east side of the river, even though they all live on the west side. They have owned property on the west side for over 10 years, but have been consistently blocked in their efforts to build due to government red-tape and opposition from neighbors. Pray that God would pave the way for Pastor Carmello and his group to get the permits they need to move forward.

After church, we strolled down a cobblestone street to one of the most awesome bridges  you will ever see. This bridge connects the Catholic west side to the Muslim east side. Please pray that Christ would become the bridge between these people as they are still very, very divided in spite of the physical bridge that connects them.

Prayer matters! Thanks for journeying with us-

Bosnia 2012

1 comment:

Lori said...

26I am so proud to call all of you friends! Especially the "gals"!!