Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back from Bosnia

I have been silent on this blog for several weeks, but I have not been silent! Sandra and I recently returned from a ministry trip to Bosnia. We took along a team of ourselves and four others and we put on a Home Education/Christian Family Living Conference in the city of Ilidza, a suburb of Sarajevo. The conference was sponsored by Lifework Forum.

Sarajevo, you might recall, is a rather historic city. There are many associations we might make with this name. It was the site of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the event which touched off World War One. More recently, it was the site of the 1984 winter Olympics. As part of Yugoslavia, it was also under the hegemony of the Soviet Empire for more than 40 years.

Disastrously, Sarajevo was the major battlefield for the Bosnian War of 1992 to 1995. This was the harshest episode in the breakup of Yugoslavia after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Neighbor turned against neighbor in what has become known to the world as “Ethnic Cleansing.” Though the hostilities ended with the Dayton Accord of 1995, the region remains scarred and rebuilding is slow. Trust is a major issue among people who are no longer sure who will turn on them.

This was the field of our endeavor as we conducted our conference. Yet we met and ministered to – and were ministered to – by some of the sweetest brothers and sisters one can imagine.

Please continue to pray for these folk. Also pray for us as we continue to minister to our brethren in the Balkans and begin to work on plans for the conference for next year.