Thursday, May 31, 2007

My thighs are sooo grateful!

My friend, Cath Draper, arrived from South Africa with over 2 kgs of Cadburies chocolates and presents for my birthday and other assorted items... Showed her around town tonight - and will be keeping her busy the rest of her time here! She won't know what has hit her... Including all day birthday celebrations on Saturday (although my birthday is on Sunday) and church and then a Christening celebration in the afternoon on Sunday... We leave for Hvar on Monday morning - can't wait!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Germany!!!

I have just got back from YWAM Europe's Festival of the Nations which was held in Germany. It was a phenomenal experience - with over 1000 people attending from all over Europe who are working in YWAM. There was a big session every evening, workshops and seminars during the day and just so many people to catch up with or meet for the first time that I am so glad I managed to be a part of it!

Here is the main tent on Sunday morning when we joined in with the Global Day of Prayer.

This is just to get an idea of what it looked like from the back. This is when Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM was speaking at the last evening session. It really was amazing to hear him speak - even at 70 his is full of fire!

We had a leetle adventure on the way back up to Berlin. When we had to change trains, the train that pulled up to the platform was the right number and arrived 3 minutes before ours was supposed to leave - how were we supposed to know that it was actually going in the wrong direction??!!! Luckily there were 4 of us so it wasn't too bad waiting for the next train back the way we came for an HOUR in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!! Here is Anna from Russia, Johnny from Northern Ireland (who leads the Belfast base), and my friend Doreen from England (with whom I shared a hotel room in Berlin before flying out the next day back to Bosnia...).

All in all it was a fantastic experience and I am so glad that I got to be a part of it - great memories: being snuck into the VIP lounge by Benny the Most Travelled Indian Musician ever - check his website at bennyprasad.com - so I could get my afternoon cup of tea; talking to Loren Cunningham and getting him to sign one of his books for Ljilja; getting a free cup of tea at Berlin airport -where it is normally 2.2oEuros because I had my own tea bag(!); typing the announcements LIVE onto the big screen one evening; all in all a GREAT TIME!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Germany

I am about to leave for the YWAM Festival of the Nations in Herrnhut, Germany. I will be taking a bus first to Zagreb and at least have company for that leg with Froukje from EUS (IFES) who stayed with us last night. I am then flying out of Zagreb for Berlin and taking the train down to the border with the Czech Republic which is where the conference will be. I leave Banja Luka at 6.30am and get to the conference venue around 6.30 (if all goes well) - so it is going to be a long day!

The conference actually only starts on Friday, but there is a gathering of Central European Leadership for two days beforehand. I come back (again via Berlin where I stay overnight) only next Tuesday.

Two days later, my friend Cath from SA arrives!!! :-)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Team Indiana

This past week we have had a team from the supporting church of my colleague, Sergej from the Ukraine (he and his wife Ira and their daughter are on the right of this photo with the Missions director, Linn and Paul, the pastor of the church-behind Ljilja). The team came to see him and have meetings with him and also to see in what ways they could help out the Christian Fellowship Church (with which he is now working). The team was great and we had a fun week with them (this is us at the Kastel with the Vrbas river in the background at the end of the tour of Banja Luka).

They also helped us do a joint English club with people from the other English joining with the girls from my English Club - most of my girls are in the above photo with me, Linn and Ginny- who at 68 is proof that it is never too late to go on a missions trip! There were about 12 Bosnians who came in total and we all had a great time - people hung around talking an hour and a half after it had officially finished!
While they were here they bought the church an electric piano to be used for Sunday worship! We are so excited - it is soooo coool to have more than just me leading! Here are Miika and I leading worship at the "Celebration Service" we held on Wednesday night...

Despite the heavy load of logistics and translating (I had to translate for the team wherever we went and then the church leadership had meetings with Sergej - who speaks no English - for which I translated, so it was hard work) it was all made worthwhile as it really helps Sergej know where he is in his relationship with them. They were also great people, so it was hard to see them go...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Slava...

A slava is a Saint's day celebration which is a custom only found in Serbian Orthodoxy. It is an excuse to eat a lot and (usually) drink even more, and mostly God and the specific saint aren't really remembered...but not always...

Anyway, Ljilja and I went to a Djurdjevdan (St George's day) Slava yesterday at our friend Aleksandra's Gran's house - in a village about 30km outside of Banja Luka. We ate and drank and sat for 5 hours, enjoying the conversation -other than when it was directed at the 3 of us and why we hadn't got married yet - even though God and Djurdje wasn't much mentioned...

And we will also go to Dragana's family's Slava tomorrow (it lasts for 3 days!) where hopefully God will get more of a mention...

If you are invited once to a Slava that means you are always invited - even if only to just pop in and say "hi" - although you will be forced to eat or drink SOMETHING! And it is really a privilege to be invited to a Slava, even though sitting for hours does get a bit tiring after a while!!

Krecenje finished...

We are now safely back in our rooms and here are some photos to show that my room is actually tidy (much to everyone's shock and horror I know...). Yellow and red walls are in Ljilja's room - the green and yellow are mine...







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