Monday, January 30, 2006


I have been here for a week - with a weekend trip to visit friends in London and Burgess Hill (which was GREAT fun) and am really enjoying the time at the YWAM base to relax and reconnect with friends and God.

Today we started the Relational Peacemaking and Diplomacy Workshop which is the reason I am here. There are 5 of us on the course - the facilitator is a Texan and then one participant has come from Canada, one is Irish and heading to Gaza straight afterwards and the last is South African from Pretoria who lives in the UK.

It has already been a blessing - just to remind me about some of the concepts and ideas which I already know - but just need a refreshing and refilling. And also just to realise how living in Bosnia has given me insights and understanding into the area of reconciliation - kind of like I know a lot more than I give myself credit for! So that has been encouraging...hopefully the rest of the week will be just as good!!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Oxford Impressions...

Well, I am only here a couple of days, but being with my sister, brother-in-law and the kids means I don't have much time to "see" the sights as it were - and having been here quite a few times before, I don't really need to. So my impressions are definitely more of the kiddie kind - like the fact that my niece (who is 3 in June) is a fellow marmite lover and my nephew (who turns 5 soon) is just gorgeous. I had the privilege of taking care of them this morning while my sister went to work and it was fun to be Aunty Belinda without mom or dad around... I was a bit apprehensive as it could have gone disastrously haywire - but despite both being quite headstrong, they are essentially good kids and behaved like angels! We took the bus and dropped James off at school and then I took Amy to the church's toddlers group and helped out there - and on the way home on the bus she fell asleep meaning I could go do some great charity shopping while she slept! When we got home we ate marmite sangwishes... and it was all over far too quickly...

I am off to YWAM Harpenden tomorrow!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Arrived in England

Just a quick note to say that I arrived safely (to those who care!) in England after a few days seeing friends in Zagreb. I am staying with my sister and brother-in-law for a couple of days before heading to the YWAM base in Harpenden (just north of London).

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Belinda's Support Group email...

{This is an email that goes out approx. once a month - if you want to be on the list and aren't, add a comment to the blog and I will add you!!!}

Thanks for praying for Sandra - she is well on the road to recovery and the tumour was benign so no more surgery. She also was left with half an ovary so she has got at least the chance to have children...

I had a crazy time over Christmas and New Year - but it was good, because I was worried that I would get depressed as the winter weather gets me down - but I was having so much fun I forgot to get depressed
- so PTL for that!

PTL that Sinisha and Olia have bought a flat - they have been praying for YEARS for a place over their heads and finally it all came together in December. From money from her family, his family and completely unexpected credit from a bank they have managed to get quite a nice place, albeit on the 10th floor!! They will be moving in at the end of the month (I did good planning this trip now to miss having to help them move :-) ). Pray that everything works out - there are still some paperwork issues - and that the move goes smoothly.

Prayer requests:
I am off to the UK for a couple of weeks to visit Astrid and Dave and the kids and to go to the YWAM base in Harpenden to chat with them about reconciliation - and brainstorm about what that could look like in Bosnia and how we can make that happen. Pray that I will have a good time, and a nice break - but also that the time will be productive and I will come away with practical ideas as to where to go from here. I really believe that God has something more for me here than what I am doing - and I want to be faithful in seeking that out and getting advice from the experts in that particular area.

For the church while I am gone - our bible study and women's meetings are all on a "break" and Igor and his sister Alyona (two Ukrainan missionary kids) are leading worship while I am gone (they have been leading with me for a couple of weeks, which has been great!). Pray that the people coming to church will continue to be encouraged by the services and that people will come despite the winter weather.

Pray for the registration of the church - we have got almost all the signatures needed, and Sinisa will finish that up and be handing it all to the Lawyer in February. Pray that things go okay as it will be fantastic to be registered, but very likely that we will have problems...

Pray as the Spirit leads...
thanks for your prayers!!

Latest General Email...

{If you aren't on the list and want to be, place a comment on the blog and I will add you.}

Going to the UK...

Well, first I am going to be 48 hours in the lovely country of Croatia which (PTL!) gave me a visa so I can fly out from there to England and so am taking the opportunity to see some friends in Zagreb before I leave...

Then I am staying with my sister, Astrid for a couple of days and seeing her, Dave and the kids (which the aunty in me is really looking forward to!) and then heading to YWAM Harpenden just North of London to hang out there for 10 days, networking and trying to brainstorm around the area of reconciliation and what that can look like in Bosnia and how we can work together to make that happen...

I am also taking a short trip to visit friends in London and surrounds which I am also looking forward to...

I am coming back to Bosnia on the 6th of February and then on the 13th I will head down to Trebinje to hang with my roomie, her family, friends and the missionaries down there. Ljilja and I will come back via Sarajevo where we have an EUS (Evangelical Union of Students) meeting on the 18th. On the 21st, Carmelita, YWAM's leader for the region will be coming for a couple of days and during that time the rest of YWAM Bosnia will descend on Banja Luka (I say descend as there are almost 20 of them!) for YWAM meetings.

In March we be meeting regularly to pray for and plan our next Alpha - which will either start later in March or early April. I will again be running English, and leading worship and our Sister's Meetings in the church... so I am looking forward to this little break before the madness of the rest of the year begins...

Once again, if you want to see more of what I am up to, check out my
blog: I have fun doing it, and hope you have fun reading it!!

I hope you are all well!
Many blessings

Monday, January 16, 2006

by myself...

Jocelyn and I had a great time while she was here. I think when you are on "the field" as a missionary there are very few people who "get you" as much as fellow missionaries and so it was great to have some chick time with my bud - and we worked out that we haven't had time for just the two of us in almost 2 years, so it was long overdue!!

But now I am on my own again...After two years of living on my own in Zenica I thought that I enjoyed living by myself, but being on my own a couple of weeks now, after getting used to having Ljilja around, I must admit that it is weird!! It has helped me realise that God does give you grace to get through whatever situation - I managed to enjoy my time in Zenica despite being on my own - and when Ljilja moved in, there was a time when I wished that she hadn't, so I could have my "peace" back... but now I enjoy living with her so much it is almost torture when she is home for a long period of time...

But it is just for a couple of days as I leave for England (via Croatia for two days) on Wednesday! I will be visiting my sister and then spending time at the YWAM Base at Harpenden... Back again on February 6th...will be blogging while away so keep checking out my blog!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The angel in my home...

Jocelyn is here to wisit from Wisoko (oops visit from Visoko). We are having a GREAT time, even if she isn't much of an angel - egging me on to drink beer and bite off chocolate Santa heads... (for therapy and beyond!!!!!)

Anyway, this is a very goofy pic which deserves to be on the blog! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Hristos se rodi!

Living in the Republika Srpska has the distinct advantage in that I get to celebrate "my" Christmas on the 25th, and then also "Orthodox Christmas" on the 7th of January. We also have "Serbian New Year" on the 14th - so bring on the fireworks again on Friday night!!

Ljilja having gone home to Trebinje to celebrate Christmas with her family, and me being "on my own", everyone wanted a piece of the action... but having too many invites is never a problem! I decided to go to two places - my friend Dragana's (whose family was having "lunch" at 10am as her mother had to go work 2nd shift at 12) and as I usually do, with my friend, Olja (at 5pm).

Then my landlady phoned just before 9am and said "come up now, we are waiting for you to eat" - and not being able to say no, I went up to celebrate with them. I also managed to get the coin out of the bread (kind of like the money in the christmas pud) and so incurred the 'wrath' of my landlady's daughter who was hoping to get it!!

After that, I went to Dragana's at and stayed there until I had to go to Olja's and only got home at 9.30pm - so it was a loooong, and very food filled day (3 Christmas meals takes some walking off!!!). But it was good to celebrate with friends and be able to remind them at times the real reason for the celebration, as that tends to be forgotten!

Hristos se rodi! (Christ is born!)
Vaistinu se rodi! (He is born indeed!)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's eve...

We had a great New Year's... We had 3 guys from Serbia come to stay for the weekend (friend's of Ljilja's) and had another 5 "stragglers" come for the night - some Christian, some not... It was great fun, but as we didn't get to bed until 6am, I am a leetle tired!!

First we started off with dinner (cooked by moi!)- this is Dragana, myself, Ljilja, Sladjan and Brane (two of the guys from Serbia)... Posted by Picasa

Then we went to the "Trg" or main square downtown... it was cold (but not as cold as the night before when it was -11 when we went to pick up the boys form Serbia at 6am!) This is us before New Years...enjoying the concert and waiting for the fireworks... Posted by Picasa

Then singing and enjoying ourselves... With Sasa (from Serbia) playing... They even did a few songs in English (or tried to!!) Posted by Picasa

Happy New Year!! Vuja, Neda, Ljilja, Sasa, other Ljilja and Sladjan... And spot Brane behind them! Posted by Picasa

It wouldn't be New Year's without sending messages to all our friends... caught in the act, Ljilja, Sladjan and Dejan. (And I think this for me is one of the funniest pics from the night... it just sums up the new generation and their Mobile phones!!) Posted by Picasa

Sladjan, me, Ljilja and other Ljilja having fun on the Trg... Posted by Picasa

After this, before we went home to hang out, we had a massive snowball fight (which we all enjoyed incredibly...) and ended the night playing charades - which I did well at despite being in Serbian. I even got one of the local films right before everyone else (whose first language is Serbian) did, much to their disgrace!!!

All in all it was a great way to see in the New Year... Hope you all had a good time too!!
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