Monday, November 28, 2005

good news day...

I started in May and worked on my "borovak" (or visa) pretty solidly until the beginning of August - doing all sort of things (many that turned out to be unnecessary) and then have been waiting since then - handing in more things as necessary and going once a month to extend my temporary stay paper. I went in today to see if the final "rjesenje" (or decision) had arrived and at first they said it hadn't - and I was getting all depressed again - when the head of the section comes out and says that it was actually here... and not just the "rjesenje" but also the actual visa "sticker"!!! (this means that I can travel!!).

The funniest/worst part of this process was definitely when the person in the police said I needed to get a work permit and then the work permit people said I couldn't because I was a volunteer and then the police said I couldn't be a volunteer because I had a work permit (from last year when they MADE me get it). But in the end we managed to work it out - and because they were all so nice and sweet to me (well on the whole) I took them a BIG chocolate as a thank-you... (it is NOT a bribe as it came after it had already been done... the fact that hopefully they will be as nice if not nicer to me next year is not the point :-)

Anyway, that was the start of the good news... Ljilja (my roommate) finally passed her exam which she has literally been trying to pass for over a year. I will write another time about exam writing in this country because it is one of the things I am grateful for - that I don't have study here!! (the system here is WORSE than appalling) but that is for another time...this is good news day...

Then Ljilja and I popped into visit Sinisa (the pastor I work with) who has been trying to get credit for a new place to stay (they are renting) and because he doesn't have proof of income (it comes from donations from abroad) it was something he never thought possible. But today he found out that the bank will give him financing - so now he just needs to find an apartment!

So, PRAISE THE LORD for all of the above... it is really a GOOD NEWS DAY!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

shots fired...

I can hear shots being fired in the air. Is it the beginning of war here again? What is going on? No, nothing serious - they are just celebrating a wedding up the street! The first time I heard shots being fired in my neighbourhood I really thought someone was killing someone else - but now I know that it is just a way of expressing joy that someone has tied the knot...

The other give aways are loud hooting (horns honking for the Americans) as the cars drive in from the wedding ceremony and here in Banja Luka, the LOUD "trube" (or "trumpets") which will play late into the night as the couple celebrate their nuptials...

The first time I heard the cars hooting as they drove around town to celebrate, I thought it was a riot! But now I know it is "just a wedding"...

Got to love it here...

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Me at the Kastel Fortress in B-L, July 2005 Posted by Picasa

Two prayer requests - Nov 2005

Two things to pray for:

My visa application - it is still in process and who knows when I will get it. I handed stuff in at the beginning of August - so this has beena long process. Please continue praying that I WILL get it as that is still not a certainty. Pray that I will have grace while I wait for it as well.

Second thing: We are busy trying to register the Church here in B-L. This would mean we would be able to do many more things than we are able to at the moment - so it will be great if we could do it. Up until now we have been working under the guise of a humanitarian organisation as we couldn't register the church before, but now the law has changed. It is still pretty difficult- and I think that we would be the first Evangelical Church registered in the Republika Srpska. (There have been others who have successfully registered in the Federation part of Bosnia). We need to get 300 signatures in support of the registration, so we are very busy collecting them. There are many things that could go wrong and despite having a lawyer working on our side it is no guarantee that it will go through. Pray that we can get the required number of signatures. Pray that the process will go smoothly and that nothing will be able to stop it.
It is snowing outside and I am sitting in my warm house listening to worship music and catching up on emails while my roommate, Ljilja and her friend, Sladjana (who is staying with us this week as she had no where else to go - in between being kicked out of student housing and leaving for home after her exam on Monday) make lunch (got to love that!!).

I am busy recovering from a little stomach bug thing that I had on Tuesday. (I was over at a friend's house when I started to feel funny - but luckily got home before anything serious happened!)

I am supposed to be in Zenica to celebrate Thanksgiving with my American friends down there, but figured that my stomach wouldn't handle it (and Thanksgiving is all about eating!) and didn't feel up to the travel either... :-(

Anyway, instead of going I am hanging out at home with my roomie and Sladjana and watching the snow collect around the house...

And starting this blog...

Belinda C's Blog

This is a blog about my life in Bosnia. I hope to keep people up to date with what I am doing, Prayer requests, and also just give an insight into my life here... I hope you enjoy it!!
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