Serbia: Day One

Well, I’m in Serbia world. What a blessing to be surrounded with like minded, God-obsessed people! We are here to build a church/community building for the Roma people near the city of Ruma. God has blessed us with a wonderful team of smart folks who will be able to tackle this construction with no issues. The prayer is that everything goes smoothly with that and that each of us will be able to develop relationship with one another and with the Roma people.

We were warned of the tendency that westerners have to come over with an “I’m better than you and I’m here to help you be like me”. So this is something that we’re all aware of and intentionally trying to guard against. Keeping an understanding fresh in our minds that “none are righteous” is necessary as we interact with the Roma people here who are the poorest of the poor. Our prayer has been that God will help each of us to work and to truly love the people and not merely love that we’re here doing this for them. And with God’s help and grace I’m sure that will happen.

We woke up this morning after some much needed jet lag sleep and had a wonderful breakfast then it was off to the job site to take the first look. Here are some pictures of the project I took this morning.

Tomorrow the plan is to get the floor finished while we wait for two more of our experts to show up tomorrow night (Aaron and Troy). God is blessing the time here already.

While we were in the village this morning we were given a walk through of the small village which consists of two rows of Roma homes surrounded by weeds and corn that’s taller than me on most sides. And on one side is the larger portion of the town that is more well off monetarily. As we were walking through the two streets of this village a gentleman was hosting some family and friends in between houses. They were at a picnic style table sitting around smoking, enjoying some watermelon and tomatoes. The man invited us over for some orange juice. It wasn’t juice from an orange but juice that was orange in color.

So, we went over and met him and those surrounding the table and made introductions. He was excited we were there and happy about what we were doing and invited us to dinner (which we will partake in on Tuesday evening).

Now, the God at work part of that whole thing is that when we showed up it was highly unlikely that we would be greeted by any adults and even more unlikely that we would be greeted by a man. So the fact that he invited us for juice and than dinner was very much God opening a door for relationship. God is good.

Also today, I’ve visited an old abandoned Orthodox church (pictures below), drank real European espresso (the moonshine of coffee), visited the streets of Ruma, Serbia, and gotten my first glimpse into the lives of the Roma people here. I will try to do this daily but am not sure I’ll be able to fit it in everyday.

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts throughout these two weeks (I’ll only be here for one of them) as the team works to share and show the gospel of Christ to this community.

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