Sharing Hope

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Have you ever taken for granted the freedom of opportunity to achieve your dreams? I never realized until we left for this trip that I absolutely have; after speaking with a young translator who is working at the center with us. She is a beautiful, intelligent eighteen year old with a beaming smile and a personality to match. As she asked one of the interns and I about what we did back in America, she was in awe of all of the goals and ambitions the two of us had, although they were quite simple to us. I asked her what her dream job would be, and she excitedly replied that she would love to become an archaeologist or go into a field within criminal justice. She sadly smiled and told us that she wished that she could go for her dreams like we were, but she was never going to be able to. I asked her the simplest question of, “Why not?” She sat back, surprised at my response before admitting that she didn’t know why. She told us in the Bosnian culture, they tell you that you aren’t going to be able to achieve your dreams and that you simply settle into a job at a shop or something of the like. That there is no hope. I told her that no matter what others say or what obstacles were ahead of her that if she could dream it, she could absolutely do it. A lightbulb seemed to go off and she lit up, saying that no one had ever told her anything like this and that it had never dawned on her that her dreams COULD be within reach. She asked many questions about school, specifically international studies in America and we told her about financial aid, scholarships, and academic advisors-all three of which she was mind blown by as she never knew anything like this existed. We even helped her to email the school she had always dreamed of in New York for more information on their international student options. After a long conversation, she hugged both of us excitedly and thanked us profusely. It’s moments like this that make our trek overseas completely worth the immense effort. Even when we are not able to openly share the gospel, we are still providing a light of hope to at least one individual living in such a dark place. We are placing bricks in the solid foundation that is being built within connections and relationships that our full time missionaries are constantly working at. One brick at a time, one person at a time, and one life changed at a time. And this labor-intensive foundation is being built on the love of Jesus. What could be any better than that? We should never stop dreaming and praying that this foundation that is being placed here in Bosnia will eventually bring more of its people to Christ, giving them hope, joy, and purpose that they so desperately crave.

- Haley

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