This weekend, after seventeen years of serving in the city, Sinisa and Olja led the opening of the new church building in Banja Luka.
Having heard about Jesus Christ during the wars that tore up Yugoslavia, Sinisa studied at the Bible School with Olja in 1996-1997 and then moved to the capital of Republika Srpska – the northern part of Bosnia – to plant this church.
There have been many challenges as well as great joys. The church is growing and their prayer is that this building will be a tool that will be used to reach many others with the Message of Jesus in this key city.
Over the last few days there has been massive flooding in Serbia and Bosnia.
Some have been killed and thousands have had to leave their homes. Graduates, students, former Bible School team, their friends and churches have also been heavily impacted by the floods.
Sinisa in northern Bosnia explained yesterday, “It is a catastrophe here. I am in a village near Banja Luka helping with the clean up.”
Sladjan, leading the Bible School said today, “This is a tragedy on the scale of the aftermath of a war – may our people seek after God at this terrible time…”
Kreso in central Serbia said today, “The ground floor of our home has been under 1.5m of water. The water is receding to leave everything caked in mud. Many of our neighbours are in great difficulty…”
Sasko and Ira explained, “We would like to… provide the families with the basic things that will help them go back to normal life again, but even more importantly, our hope is to continue visiting these families and share the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ with them.”
We are going to prepare a fund to send to those helping those caught up in the floods in Serbia and Bosnia. As is our usual practice, all of the gifts that we receive will go in their entirety out to the Balkans to be used by those on the front-lines.
We will divide any gifts received between the following groups to use in relief work:
BANJA LUKA (Northern Bosnia) – Sinisa and Olja – Banja Luka Christian Fellowship
SARAJEVO (Central Bosnia) – Slavko – Evangelical Churches of BiH
HUB (Belgrade – connected across the region) – Sladjan and Jaroslava and the Bible School team
BELGRADE (Serbia Capital) – Sasko and Ira – International Church, Belgrade
BELGRADE (with interest across the rest of the country) – Dane & Ondrej – Baptist Union of Serbia
NOVI SAD (Northern Serbia) – Danny and Vera – Novi Sad Christian Fellowship
Please pray on for those caught up in these floods and for all of those seeking to serve their neighbours and point to the Lord Jesus.
– Andy and Faye Mayo
Please use this link to reach details of how to give. Please reference your gift, “flooding”.
Sinisa and the team from Banja Luka, Bosnia write…
“VISITING KOSOVO In April a number of us visited Kosovo. It was an amazing experience, because that is the place where in 1389 the battle of Kosovo happened and where Christians were fighting against the Ottoman Empire (Turks).
“Nowadays Kosovo is still not safe as Serbs and Albanians (Muslim) fight over the country. The bombing of Serbia in 1999 was over Kosovo. Kosovo although claiming independence from Serbia, is not recognized by some countries and Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of them.
“It wasn’t a pleasant feeling to go there and we were feeling a little bit uncomfortable but when we got there God changed our feelings completely. The best thing was that our brothers from Albania who become Christians took us to the place where the battle of Kosovo happened and in that group there were Serbs, Muslim, Albanian’s, Croat and Finns, but as Christians we prayed for Kosovo, for Muslims, for Serbs and for reconciliation in this region.
“Only God could put us together and give us His love for each other. God is good.”