Our time in Sarajevo was really special and it was such an amazing privilege to spend time with the OM team. The hospitality which they should us was very special as were all the conversations which we had with them.
Soon after arriving in Sarajevo we were taking to a prayer meeting which we as a team lead. We were asked to share about a country, so we shared about the UK and each of us spoke about an area of ministry which we are involved in. It was just awesome to be praying for the UK with people from Bosnia and demonstrates the unity which is within the body of Christ throughout the world.
After this meeting we had a time of fellowship and coffee together. It was during this time that one of the true highlight of this trip for me took place. It was listening talking to a Bosnian sharing about his views on everything which has happened, his dreams for Bosnia, and the view of the Bosnian people on the church.
One women was explaining to us how she tries to share Jesus with a community who has a lot of division but also accepts a lot of same beliefs, i.e. God is merciful, people sin etc She said ‘If I try to be like Jesus, then people can only see me trying, but if I just follow Jesus, then people will see him living through me.” I thought this was amazing and really is in the same spirit that John the Baptist had when we said ‘that I may decrease so that people may increase. It is really nothing about us, but all about him.
It was interesting to hear also how before the way there was no real access to the Bible and even now in many orthodox church how only the priest is allowed to read scripture.
Our second day in Bosnia start with prayer walking around the area and praying for unity between people and also churches. Three is still massive division in place and even street are divide in half by Serbs and Bosnians, Orthodox and Muslim. This also follows in to the names that people give their kids with some people saying ‘that’s not a real name, that a ……… name’. Even in car parks local youths have put up dividing fences.
Another place we visited was the tunnel museum in Sarajevo. It was terrible to see and hear of the things which ‘the Christian’ side did. This has an huge impact still on how the unchristian Bosnians view the church.
OM team meeting – It was great to hear the stories of how everything found their way to Bosnia and also the ways which while there God has guided the team into different areas of ministry and has been providing for them.
Today we would travel up to Banja Luka, but first we had a man’s breakfast in Sarajevo with other church leaders. It was really interesting to hear of all the different work which is going on there and again how God has called so many people to this city.
Following the breakfast it was time for us to catch the train to Banja Luka. After a little while waiting (1hour 30min) because the train was delayed we managed to get on and start our journey. The journey was really slow but at least we arrived safety.
YWAM – British Evening
The main reason for our visit to Banja Luka was to run a British evening at the new cultural centre which YWAM and some other mission groups have recently opened and to advertise the next5 ESL course which they would run.
The day was spent preparing for the evening and advertising by handing out flyers in the street, although we did have the chance to try some nice Bosnian pita for lunch.
During the late afternoon it started to rain, which meant it was really hard to talk to people in the streets, as there was no-one around. Also people were saying that people don’t come out to events if it is raining so we were praying that the right people would still come and they did.
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We had our quiz on Britain, sung some songs and ate some typical British food.
The evening was really amazing and we had some really great chats not just with people who came to learn more about the ESL course or for fun but also with the missionaries who were there and being able to encourage them.
(please use link below to see photos)
It was really a blessing to be there with them and serve them in this simple way. Please pray that there will be an ongoing impact as a result of this evening.
Following our time in Banja Luka, we travelled up to Kutina to visit M18. It is always a pleasure to be with my friends there and it is so amazing to see how the work is growing. I also had the honour to speaking at the church on Sunday.
(at the moment I am in Brazil using mobile internet access so I am unable to upload more photos to this blog post, but you can view all the photos from the trip on Flickr by clicking here or via the slide show below.