Team Bosnia, 2016
By Jim Venable
Let me introduce the team from East Hills and The Grove headed to Bosnia and Herzegovina this summer.
Vicki Taylor I have been married for 26 years to my best friend, Bill. We have two children. I work as an accounting assistant at a credit union.
I have been a believer my whole life but came to a greater understanding of “relationship” when I started attending East Hills Alliance 17 years ago. My faith has grown greatly in those years. My first mission trip was to Mexico with the youth a few years ago. That trip really moved me to want to help in this area when and where I am able. I have had a desire to go to Bosnia since we started a partnership with the missionaries over there years ago. Last summer I really felt it was my time and I was able to go. The experience I had was amazing in Vares! Going back this summer, I know will be a completely different experience and I feel called again to do what I can. I am confident that our team will do great showing the love of Jesus by being there and helping with the children’s’ camps during our time with them. I am excited to see groups of children from different cities we will visit. This is the verse that spoke to me last summer and continues now -
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
I may not be a prophet, but I know I want to share the love of Jesus with as many as I can.
I am privileged to be married to Debbie. We have three wonderful boys scattered between here and China. As an occupation I teach computer server technology at Clark College. When I get home I do not want to deal with technology. We do not have a TV in our home (I was addicted to it growing up) so I enjoy working in my workshop, reading books, and playing table games with Debbie. Over the years I have had a deep interest in Christian evidences (the theological term is called apologetics). That has also led me into delving into the lack of
evidences for the following groups: Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Atheists. I was asked why I feel called to
go to Bosnia. I don’t. I look at Mark 16:15. It says “Go into all the world.” That’s why I am going.
When I was a little girl my mom took me to a New Tribes Mission Conference. I loved hearing about other cultures, what they wore, what they ate, seeing the pictures of where they lived, and most of all seeing what God was doing. I remember telling my mom that I wanted to go Peru, Africa, or wherever God would take me. In our church at the time, I was in a club for girls called GA’s (Girls in Action) and ActTeens, where we learned about Missionaries.
We helped missionaries by raising money and we did mission work in our town. Missions have always been a passion of mine. I feel led this time to go to Bosnia, other times it was more of “oh I would love to go there”. This time, I really feel like God has prepared my heart. I have walked through some shadowy times. God has met me all of the uncertainty I’ve had recently, whether it be physical or emotional, God is in my brokenness. While my hurt was still raw I knew something new would arise. I was never facing it alone. God planted people in my path to build relationships. Sometimes, we need to be that person. The one that shows mercy. God’s shepherd’s sometimes are just the friendly faces that help out at English camps, build relational bridges and shine the light in dark places. I asked God to use me, send me, and I will follow whether it is here in Longview or across the ocean.
Jennifer Sharer I have a husband and three girls, ages 18, 16, and 12. I love reading, scrapbooking, and Candy Crush. I have taught at the elementary school level for 17 years. God has given me a passion for learning and for children. I've wanted to go to Bosnia since we first started partnering with them, but it has never worked out. When I heard that this Bosnia trip centered around hosting an English day camp for kids, I knew it was the opportunity I had been waiting for. Thank you for remembering our team in your prayers!
I am married to my best friend, Danny and I have a wonderful 8-year old stepson, Austin. It has been a passion of mine to be on the mission field ever since I can remember. I love that our God is so big and so great that he uses everyday people to accomplish something so beautiful for his glory. As the Children’s Ministry Director, I’m sure you can imagine the passion I have for children, so I am so excited to be a part of this English camp and kids festivals in Bosnia this year, where we can share God’s love with these children. God is working through our international workers already, and it’s an honor to be used to further his mission.
I have two wonderful cats, Rocky Raccoon, and Precious Princess. As for me, well if it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be where I am today. I prayed and prayed and prayed when I heard about the opportunity to go to Bosnia, and I feel like God wanted me to go to Bosnia and hold those little children, like he did. I feel like I have to go and love on those children personally and share with them the truth of how much Jesus loves them.
Jo-El is the team lead. She has expressed the objectives and needs of the team this way:
“We will spend most our time at the Source Community Center in Sarajevo… We are preparing to teach an English camp for a week… We are practicing many puppet routines to share with the children at the English camp, as well as the kids in Vares, where we will lead a one-day Kid’s Festival with puppet shows, games and prizes… As we talked with Petula, she shared that cyber bullying is becoming a much more common issue among people. We want to bring an awareness of the matter…”
“Please join us as we prepare for this trip to Bosnia… that God will work in our hearts… to be flexible…and united together as strong team… Please pray as we prepare to go financially, that we are able to raise the money necessary to take this trip.