Bosnia Mission Week

We apologise for the delay in giving the final update from the mission week in Bosnia. Here are the reports from both David and Joe.

David writes…
….”Bosnia was perhaps, one of my favorite places that I visited this past ten months. It’s a place full of colours and mixture of culture. You can definitely see the clash between East and West.

The Sarajevo student movement (EUS) was super welcoming to us. They really wanted to use our experience in doing missions which we were able to share through leading many of the activities required to do a mission. This mission was the smallest we’ve done as the Christian presence in Bosnia is very small. The majority of the population are Muslims. Even though a big number of them are not practising, they are very proud of their roots which has hindered our persuasion in sharing the Gospel with them.

Due to its size and limited resources, EUS has not been able to do a student mission in about four years. This caused a lot of nervousness among the local Christians but the Lord showed up at every event and gave us the joy of seeing his hand at work. There were only two outreach events for the students. We were anticipating a handful of students at the most, but we were blown away by the student response and numbers!

The first event of the week addressed the topic of happiness and looked at whether our understanding of happiness can fulfill us completely. The second event was about answering the question of God vs Science. David Glass from Ulster University gave the talk. The local students were particularly interested in his talk and getting to know his opinion on science and faith. Towards the end, some students expressed interest in talking more to him, which led to the Gospel being shared, and people were prayed for. EUS members were particularly glad about this! They mentioned that they are thinking of doing another mission next year so pray for them as they prepare to reach out to the local students in the coming months.”

 Joe writes…
‘Our stay in Sarajevo, as David has already alluded to, was an enthralling experience. A valley city straddled between firm Turkish-Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian roots ensures a striking mish-mash of civilisations to begin with (as evidenced by the East-meets-West boundary line drawn on the ground deep into the city). Set these sights and sounds to a backdrop of previous Yugoslav rule and a dominant Islamic worldview and you find a place steeped in varied cultural influences with a people shaped all the same. Visiting as an outsider for the first time, it’s hard not to fall in love with the place. Coloured by it’s collectivist spirit formed following Sarajevo’s siege in the 90s, the city proved to be a place of both warm local welcomes and rich spiritual openings amongst students. We first saw this curiosity worked out in the numbers who came to events. Being the first focused mission week organised for some time, those we partnered with at EUS had anticipated a handful of guests at most. Seeing around 60 guest students attend across two events then was a huge encouragement to the movement!
The level of engagement though delighted us even more- keen students, sceptical yet with curious questions, stayed to discuss thoughts concerning the afterlife, human uniqueness and the just character of the Christian God long into the late evening at both. There seemed to be a genuine hunger among a group of 4 of these students to know more- please pray for these! Many an opportunity arose in these conversations to persuade of the goodness of our God and His call for us to be found in Him, particularly after Prof. David Glass, adjunct speaker from NI, had began to direct us brilliantly to the incarnation and Jesus’ perfect human fulfilment toward the end of his talk on science, artificial intelligence and human identity. Others took further info and Gospel literature away, and a good few left contacts and connected with EUS to explore things more face to face. Praise the Lord for His clear work here. We were also heartened to see a few students return after we met them on campuses and streets, with others’ interests prompted from existing developed relationships with the EUS student workers. One such student has been meeting with student worker Greg to read the bible for a while now, and joined us throughout the week- please go on praying for Greg and this student! He seems to be edging ever closer to trusting Jesus. There are no current Christian students involved within EUS’ outreach to students in Sarajevo either; it would change their witness dramatically were they to have a Christian student on board, so please pray for the movement to grow in this way!’

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