Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Registering the Church...

So, we started in October 2005 with the Church registration. We wanted to be registered as "Evangelical Church-Christian Fellowship" here in Banja Luka. One of the conditions for registration is that we have to have 300 signatures from people who support the registration. We took a long time to get those signatures - almost 11 months. Then it took a while to get all the paperwork in order (our lawyer was learning along with us what all was needed). We finally sent all the paperwork to the Ministry in Sarajevo only in April 2007.

This was when we found out that there was already a denomination called the "Evangelical Church" and we couldn't be registered as that without their approval. We took steps to get that approval from them, and to cut a long story short, in the end they were unable to give it to us in the time that we had available (the Ministry having given us a deadline). So, as suggested by the people (who are very nice) in the Ministry in Sarajevo, we decided instead to change the name on the application to "Protestant Church-Christian Fellowship" which is in essence the same thing, but "Protestant Church" hasn't been taken yet!!

Then we found out in December 2007 that as we had changed the name we had to get the 300 signatures AGAIN... and this time in TWO WEEKS!!! We eventually got an extension of two more weeks because of the holidays, but that still meant we only had ONE MONTH...

The deadline was today. After all of us frantically getting signatures all month, we thought we had it all together yesterday, but then we counted up the pages and somehow one had gone missing and we were one short (and each page has 15 signatures on it). This meant that we now had to find 15 more signatures from somewhere when we have already sucked most wells dry... Ljilja and I figured out some people, and managed to go and get 9 signatures from them, running around all of Banja Luka - but where to get the other 6? Ljilja remembered one more friend, and sent him a message. He phoned back and said "well, I am here with my girlfriend and her parents and we can also go over and take from my parents as well" - so there was our 6~ PTL!!!

So, we got all the papers into the lawyer and she will send it on to Sarajevo. Now it is just a matter of time (and prayer!) and we will be registered!!! Finally!

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