Dear Family and Friends,
Here is an e-mail update which was written in Bosnia!
Yes, that’s right, we were in Bosnia for a 2-1/2 week trip.? We
flew out on July 23rd and arrived back August 10th.? This update
will be dedicated to giving you a short report of how the trip went.
The main reason we made this trip to Bosnia was to take care of the last
few things we had stored there in our former landlord’s garage. When
we left Bosnia a little more than two years ago, we weren’t sure what
we would be doing next, so just to be safe, we decided to leave most
of our stuff here. When we finally decided we would not be coming back
to Bosnia, we knew we needed to come back and take care of it.
We are glad to report that we were able to give away most of the stuff
(we have been selling off the bigger appliances over the past two years).
What did we do with the rest? Well, a friend of ours who had been here
before and Jolanda’s father came with a mini-van to pick up the rest.
They drove down, stayed two days, loaded up the van and left Saturday
morning. We are very grateful that they came to pick up a few of the
things that we really wanted to keep, mementos, books, etc.
The other reason we came to Bosnia was to visit some of our friends again
and to meet the new team in Sarajevo sent out by one of our bases in
Denver. The team consists of about 10 people (one couple is in the
US having a baby) and their focus is fixing up parks which they hope
will eventually lead to their main goal which is to open up a children’s
museum/learning center. One of their goals is to help improve the quality
of life for children in Bosnia.
We stayed in the house of our friends, Art and Tammie Arreguin.
They have been good friends to us as well as gracious hosts. We we were
also able to see our old landlord and meet with some Bosnian friends
of ours. We were able to bless one of the Bosnian leaders in the church
with our dining-room table and chairs.
One of the first things we noticed in Bosnia were the new buildings,
stores and car dealerships that have popped up here and there. At first
glance, this would seem to be an indication that things are going better
with the local economy, and that must be true to a certain extent since
financial investment is a necessary thing, but upon talking to the
Bosnians and workers there, no one is under the illusion that things
are improving dramatically.
We hope that these external “face-lifts” will be the precursors
of more long-term economical changes for the better in Bosnia.
The Fruits of our Labor
One of the things we were interested to find out (and you are probably
interested in hearing, too) is how things our going now with the
various people and projects with which we worked while we were in
Bosnia.? Here are some short summaries of these:
The church with which we worked in Zenica is growing spiritually
(qualitatively), but has lost members.? Why these people no longer
attend the church is not known, but it is unfortunately not a mystery
for us.? The bible says that people’s love will grow cold and that they
will fall away.
The quilting group that Jolanda started with the help of some friends
from Holland and a couple of Bosnian ladies has become a full-fledged
business called “Peace Crafts”.? Under the able leadership and with the
hard work of Art and Tammie, they now employ some 28 Bosnian ladies
from different ethnic backgrounds.? Their motto is “sewing seeds of
reconcilitation”.? If you or someone you know in the U.S. would like to
place an order, are our intersted in being a reseller, please contact
email@example.com.? You can also check out their website at: www.peacecrafts.org
As we shared before, the internet cafe we started has closed, but some
good news is that some of the furniture, dishes, cappucino machine, etc
are being used in a ministry/education center in downtown Sarajevo run
by Tom and Kristie Trowbridge.? We are very happy that the stuff is
being put to use in God’s kingdom.
Thank you once again for reading our update and for your continued prayers and support.