It is 12.30 on Friday morning. We have had a fantastic morning, everyone has fully entered into the spirit of the challenge to get this camp site ready for all the children who will be coming here in three weeks time. Then it will be full on for the next 6 weeks or so.
Today we divided into groups to achieve as much as possible in one day. One team is responsible for spreading gravel on to the lane leading to the camp which gets very muddy in wet weather. We are expecting 10 trucks holding 150 tons of gravel during today. Already we have spread out 2 trucks and the 3rd has just arrived.
Another team are laying lino in 4 or more dormitories, this means that the bunk beds have to be moved. (They were only put together last night for our group to sleep on!)
A rotten tree has been felled and the branches moved away.
The kitchen and bathrooms are having a spring clean, we cleaned the girls dorms last night, disturbing spiders that have made their home there since last year’s summer camps.
Some of our group have been busy preparing vegetables for the big pot that hangs over the camp fire. Our numbers are increasing every hour, 4 young people have just arrived from Sth Carolina so the mammoth task of feeding us all continues!
We are having good sessions in the morning and evenings as Andy is taking us through 1 John. It is interesting to be reminded that John, who was a disciple of Jesus, was known in the beginning as one of the ‘sons of thunder’ and now he is coming across as a loving, caring father-figure… We have been seeing how important it is to not have double standards if we say we are followers of Jesus. We cannot claim to be in fellowship with God if we are unforgiving and unloving towards our fellow human beings…
Last night we arrived here at the Children’s camp ground.
We built beds that we would later sleep on…
We cooked our supper over a fire…
…then read the next part of 1John before sleeping…
This morning we are working in three teams to further prepare this camp ground…
We are building a road through the woods – this involves shifting around 150 tonnes of gravel:
We are also cutting trees, hedges and grass as well as installing flooring and deep cleaning different areas of the buildings here.
Please pray for :
– safety for us as we continue;
– the many children who will stay here through the summer time – that they will grow closer to Jesus through the teaching, refreshment and friendship here;
– God’s blessing on this team as He continues to wonderfully unite, challenge, use and inspire us through these experiences.
Darko and Lidija graduated from the Bible School and began to serve with Child Evangelism Fellowship. They now lead this excellent organisation in Serbia and, amongst many other valuable activities, run camps for children throughout the summer time.
Some of the children who come to these camps are from the refugee families who we used to bring aid for… It is amazing to see these children thriving in the company of the CEF team.
After hiring camp grounds for many years, the team have been able to buy a piece of land right in the centre of Serbia – in the beautiful “Sumadija” area known for its natural beauty and Serbian traditional folk culture.
This camp ground will bring great blessing to many children but there is a lot to do to prepare it for the summer. We will be working alongside the children’s workers team to help to get it ready. We will be involved in making a road and preparing some of the buildings.
The atmosphere in our two minibuses as we drive is excellent – already we have had so many experiences to talk about… We look forward to arriving and starting work in two hours’ time.
Tonight we are cooking for all at the camp – about forty of us. We will cook a traditional Serbian meal and share the recipe here!
I came to know of Oak Hall expeditions through a friend who is a keen ski instructor. I’d been browsing the brochure for ages, looking at many exciting opportunities! A mixture of the chance to see a part of Europe I’d not been to before, along with the desire to do something a bit ‘mission based’ led me to the Serbia trip. I wasn’t sure entirely what to expect, but booked in with faith for an adventure!
I have a passion for God’s name to be glorified through the building of his beautiful bride, the church. My prayer is that this trip ties into the glorious calling to “go and make disciples of every nation”, and that God works on me just as much!
My prayer for this journey is that as we spend time with people who don’t yet know Jesus, He will show his light through us.
It is an amazing opportunity to be allowed into people’s daily lives and (hopefully!) into their hearts as well, so it would be fantastic to translate those opportunities into opportunities to share the gospel.
I feel like we need to keep reminding ourselves that although meeting people’s physical needs is important, the greatest need we all have is to be in relationship with Jesus, so we do people a disservice if we neglect that by feeding only their bodies and not their souls.
I’m REALLY excited to see what God has up his sleeve this week for this amazing team he has put together, and pray that he, not us, will receive the glory 🙂
In the morning, the next Oak Hall “Taste of Mission” journey – the sixty-seventh – leaves for Serbia…
In 1991, as the wars in Yugoslavia were tearing the country apart, we used an Oak Hall coach to take supplies to a group of Christians in Serbia who wanted to serve the refugees flooding across the shifting lines of the fighting. That journey was just the first – “YU1”. As the wars continued and friendships with the refugees and local Christians deepened, we returned time after time. We experienced many instances of God’s intervention and protection and had opportunity after opportunity to explain publicly about Jesus Christ – the One who is “God here” – who came to die in our place so that we could know the God who loves us.
In 1996, I moved to Serbia with my wife Faye to help to establish a Bible College for future leaders – some of whom had come to know Jesus Christ through our speaking about Him as we distributed aid… The Oak Hall journeys continued, bringing supplies for refugees and friends who would go on to make a long-term commitment to pray for the students and team of the Bible School.
These “Taste of Mission” journeys have continued right up until today. Each journey is unique yet our prayer for these “expeditions” is that:
those coming with us will be changed and challenged through the example of the small yet growing Church in Serbia including the graduates and team of the Bible College with whom we will serve…
that the journey will serve the Church in the Balkans through encouragement and the commitment to prayer for the Balkans that many will make on the journey…
that there will be those who hear about and respond to Jesus Christ as we serve practically and speak of Christ clearly…
With a 3:30am breakfast, the next journey begins in a few hours time. Please pray with us – we will post news here as the journey unfolds.
We are so pleased by the good news we are able to share with you. We are engaged in founding a church in our home town Ruma.
We have been praying for a bigger space for our services. With great joy we report you that Lord did provide a new space for us. This place fully satisfies our current needs. House we rented has service room for 30 people, room for children class and even a room for mother with small babies. We are very grateful to Lord Jesus Christ for providing this place for our church. Thank you for your faithful prayers, that helped all this to come true.
Again this year, at the beginning of march we started Alpha course, and it is about to last for eleven weeks. This time four people applied for the whole course. We are also proud to say that one of the women who studied the course last time volunteered to help us with this year course as a team member.
In cooperation with Gideons camp from Sremska Mitrovica we managed to give away 1470 New Testaments since the beginning of this year…
Again, God is giving new opportunity to publicly speak about Him and His love. Near new place for our church there is
an office building for the local community. The local government allowed us to rent their hall there for the purpose of public services. We had two evangelistic meetings there. Our plan and desire is to have public services at this place, at least once a month so that wider circle of people can hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ that we are able to serve Him. Thank you for being faithful in your prayer support…