“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
The first full day after we arrived we were taken to the village where we would spend our days working while we’re here in Serbia. As we strolled through the small village I saw many things. I saw people who were stricken with lack. There were children that seemed as though they weren’t missing anything really in their lives. While my own children would typically be at home half way around the planet in their soft beds in a clean home with more toys than they can put away, I walked by a home the size of my small sitting room with large dirty rugs as the outer walls. This home houses a woman and her 8 children. They have a dirt floor and a roof that would leak at the tiniest hint of rain. This is the picture of the village. This is how they live.
As we looked at the job site on that first day we were able to meet the woman who owns the small piece of land that we’re working on. She was an older woman, heavy set, and with more character on her face than i’ll probably ever have as an American. She made coffee for us with about 1/4 of an inch of powdery grounds in the bottom of it and as we sat around in old beaten up chairs and she on the floor she told Marijana (the missionary to this village) of her troubles recently with others in the village and from some in the town. She told us some were angry with her and ridiculing her for giving up this land to do this. “What are you trying to do?” “Why are you doing this?” They were mad at her. She was feeling the pressure from those closest to her; those in her village. And I will never forget her next statement. Just after she was telling Marijana of her troubles with the other Roma for doing what she was doing she looked down for a moment and then as if the other conversation hadn’t happened at all, she looked back up and suggested we use the remaining concrete outside the front door of the church/community center for the children. It was amazing. It was truly a “God thing” as we like to say among our local Hillsidians.
She was in the midst of mor pressure and persecution than the average American Christian will ever see and in the very next breath she said, “Now back to the project”. This is the beauty that comes about when God changes lives. The beauty and glory of God is indescribably bigger and better than we could possibly imagine. As we wait and hope, we hope in something that will far outweigh anything we’ll ever endure here on earth.
Thanks to this woman’s generosity and her heart for her neighbors we’ve now been at it for four days. Today we got the roof finished and tightened, we got most of the insulation in the walls. Oh yeah…and there are walls. We even got the first door mounted before we left for the day. And after we got back my Hungarian missionary friend and I enjoyed some good pizza together (which he’d been waiting on for 3 of the 4 days). God has blessed us beyond measure. I have two days of work left and the goal is to finish the windows, doors, and drywall mounting by the end of Friday.
Keep praying and thinking of us. Pray that God will use this project to make a large imprint of the gospel on this village. Pray that those who are skeptical of the Christians in the village; those who ridicule and malign would also someday be able to look toward the heavens and cry out to God as we all wait and hope together.