The Character of the Bible School Graduates


“In our time in Serbia so far, we have been privileged to meet a number of graduates of the Bible School, as well as their families. They are without exception fully devoted, highly amazing, inspiringly humble warriors of God.

“The work that is being done with children here is alive and growing, and appears to be making an impact in the lives of both the children and their families for the Gospel.

“We really got to see the servant hearts of the guys yesterday as ‘boss Jan’ and Dragan taught us how to build a road and sweated alongside us!

“As with everyone serving Jesus these families need our love and prayer to take on the immense task of reaching a lost world. I pray God will keep their eyes on him, give theme : strength and fill them with unbelievable joy.” 🙂


DAY 4: Finishing at the Camp, to Kragujevac and the Belgrade

Right now we are finishing our work at the camp…

Floors are being laid, a fire of branches cut from trees that overhung the road we laid yesterday burns, rooms are being cleaned for a final time…

All of this work is punctuated by interviews with Bible School graduates who are coming and going. Jovica and Kaca shared about sharing about Jesus following the earthquake that hit their city (see older blog posts for more about this including videos). Jan and Ruzenka spoke about their next challenge as they move to a new city to plant a church there…

In half an hour we leave from here to head to the university city of Kragujevac. Here we will eat and explore Serbia’s fourth largest city before continuing north to Belgrade to the Bible School.

Thank you for praying for our safety and success for this stage of our journey. Amongst other things, we’ve laid a road that is about a quarter of a mile long, made thirty beds and laid flooring in eight rooms…

Here’s a photo of us this morning as we finished our next study in 1 John:




The Serbian word that best describes this experience so far is “Strava” which means Awesome”

It’s awesome that so many people from vastly different backgrounds and experiences have come together to share this time and already after what seems like at least a week, but which is merely 3 long days, there is incredible bonding as we share this work, putting our hands to things we’ve never tried before (I’ve never laid lino, a gravel road or used a ride on mower, but hey! What fun.)

More than that we’ve shared our faith in our conversations as we’ve worked together preparing this place for the children & young people with whom the team here will have the privilege of sharing the good news of Jesus who can transform their lives as he has transformed ours.

Today we met an incredible guy called Jovitsa, a Serbian Christian who felt called by God to move to Kraljevo, a city 15 or so miles from here. I’d met him at the Bible School a few years back. As he was talking with us his phone went off. Was it a surprise to hear the tune: “Our God is an AWESOME God.”

Along with so many others on this trip I thank God for all he has done in my life and all He is doing here and still has planned.

Ending with one of my favourite verses (from Jeremiah 29:11) “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to give you a hope and a future.” What a promise for us and for Serbia!

– Mervyn Roberts

To cook Paprikas…

As promised in response to special requests here’s how we cooked dinner last night!



  • 3kg diced beef
  • 3kg diced pork
  • 6kg potatoes diced
  • 1.5kg onions sliced
  • 6kg tomatoes sliced
  • 40g ground sweet pepper
  • dried rosemary
  • salt
  • 3l tomato puree
  • 3 garlic bulbs finely chopped
  • pepper
  • vegetable stock


1) Light  fire and allow to burn down

2) Suspend “kettle” or “kotlic” from tripod… over fire

3) Heat oil in kettle

4) Fry onions in kettle

5) Add all remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for 3 hours, stirring regularly!

6) Serve with fresh bread and great company…

Marina’s morning reflections:


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…

DAY 3: Renovating the Children’s Camp Ground

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.

Greetings from all of us!

TIM & CHRISTINE: “The Countryside of Central Serbia”


From the back of our minibus, Tim and Christine write…

“Having just sung ‘How Great Thou Art’ it has been very fitting to travel through this serene Serbian countryside.

“Looking at the beautiful lakes of Sumadija you can’t help but get a sense of the wonder of God’s creation. The blue sky and vast fields reflect the gentile pace of Serbian life.”


DAY 2: Driving South towards the Children’s Camp

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!

Thank you for praying with us all!


ASH – “How I got here and my prayer for this journey…”

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!


LISA – “My prayer for this journey…”

Lisa explained this morning…

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 🙂