Our first day in Bosnia is in the books!
After a three-legged flight from Seattle to Sarajevo, we arrived Friday afternoon and hit the ground running! Our international partners Mark Eikost and Todd Dinius met us at the airport and transported us over to our places of lodging. Then we had a great lunch of American-style chili at Mark and Kathy Eikost’s apartment, followed by our team orientation.
We then met up with our friend and local Bosnian pastor Sasha Nikolinovic for coffee. He pastors the Evangelical Church at Malta, where we are also doing a Spiritual Formation seminar this weekend. Round one was Friday night, as both Matt Howell (Tacoma Alliance) and I did some presenting. Considering that we were running on just a few hours of sleep on the plane, we felt that we did pretty well! Working with a translator always takes some getting used to, but the message seemed to be communicated clearly. Please pray that our second round on Saturday would be equally smooth and that we would be a tremendous encouragement to the local church. Pray also for our energy and stamina as we adjust to the new time zone. Local time here is 9 hours ahead of Pacific Time.
For those who may be reading this update who are new to our partnership with Bosnia, let me give you a couple more ways to pray. The Evangelical Church of Bosnia is a very, very small percentage of the people in this country. On average, about 1,500 people worship weekly in an Evangelical Church in a country of over 4 million. The church at Malta (the name of one section of the capital city Sarajevo) is probably the largest Evangelical church in the city, averaging 60-70 in attendance. As much as half of this crowd on any given weekend is foreign workers here to do ministry. Pray for Pastor Sasha and the Malta Church as we worship with them the next two weekends and do the preaching. On Sunday morning, we will be out at Ilidza, which is a church plant from Malta. This group of 15-20 has a tremendous heart for their community, but limited resources. Pray that their second-hand clothing ministry would be effective at creating bridges for the gospel.
Until tomorrow, keep praying for us. We would love to read your comments and prayers, so please post them below. Also, if you have any questions about our trip, our team, or the people of Bosnia, please post those as well and I’ll do my best to answer them!
Thanks for taking this trip with us! We are your hands and feet on the ground in Bosnia for the next 10 days. Blessings-