Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Church opening!!!

Things have been VERY busy around here, as we were doing all the things we normally do, and trying to finish up the building and getting ready for the official opening of our new Church sanctuary. We have been in the building since February, and using it for many other things, but the "church" part wasn't finished until now... We set the date already a month in advance as we knew people from outside of Bosnia wanted to come, and as they had booked tickets, there was no going back!! Sunday the 16th of November was the official opening of the church, whether we liked it or not!!

And I must admit, the sanctuary, which was once a garage, looks nothing like it did in the beginning... thanks to teams, and many volunteers and workers, we have a wonderful place in which to worship God in this city. We had over 70 people at the opening, from all over including Finland, England and Serbia, as well as guests from Banja Luka: 
And yes, that is me on the piano... I shocked even our congregation as it is the first time I played it (there was no one else, and it seemed silly not to use it...) and despite the extra work it is for me (as guitar is my instrument, but piano I can do if I practice hard) I may be playing more in the future... We practiced so hard, that I literally could play with my eyes closed, and as this is the only pic of me with my eyes open, I clearly was doing a lot of eyes-closed-playing :) It really was great to be able to worship with so many people at once!!
Sinisa did the main (short) sermon, and he did a great job as usual...
But we also had guests sharing and some even singing for us: - Sinisa is picture with them: from left to right: Andy Mayo (from OakHall, UK) and Neso and Dario from Novi Sad:
Rami, my former teammate, now back in Finland,  also shared and he reminded us that 4 years ago when we wrote out the vision we had for the church we had one big desire: to have a church building where we could have everything in one place... and now we see that the Lord has completely provided!!! It was so good to be reminded of that! He also gave the church a wonderful gift from Finland - a lovely new set to use for the Lord's Supper:
During the service, our little (and some not so little) guests were being entertained by a movie in the coffee bar:
Afterwards, it was time to relax and enjoy the wonderful food set out upstairs in the classroom... and celebrate the fact that we have this phenomenal building in Banja Luka!!
Come and visit and see it for yourself!

5 comments:

Suvi said...

This makes me so happy! Firstly, the church building looks just G R E A T! You guys did a wonderful job :) And so many people at the opening, wow... Also, it makes me happy to see you playing together with Rami :) And also it makes me miss "our band"... But well done with the piano, though!

Belinda Chaplin said...

Thanks Suvi! We missed you guys as well... but I am glad that someone played the piano:)

Maja can as well, but she really didn't want to do it... and I wouldn't have either, except that I as a joke played the piano during my practice with Vanja about two weeks ago, and to my surprise, it actually went quite well! He said to me "if I played the piano that well, I wouldn't play the guitar"... and so that encouraged me to give it a try! (and the trick was that we chose songs all in the same key, so that made it a lot easier!)

You can check out a video of the opening at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gygZ_13oyiE&feature=youtu.be&safe=active

Suvi said...

Oh and by the way, the Bible verses at the end of the video couldn't fit any better! :)

Victor said...

Super cool! I love that you made a video, too. I didn't realise the opening happened last weekend. I really would have liked to go and be there!!! I still need to visit at some point and redeem my visit-vouchers i WON AT A BOSNIA NIGHT IN SOUTH AFRICA!!!

Belinda Chaplin said...

Victor - It would have been great to have you here for that - but I wouldn't have been able to be a good host, as we were super busy getting everything ready!! So, come another time when things aren't sooo hectic! You know you want to, and you have to use up those vouchers!

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