Monday, August 14, 2006

Croatia Update - their last week!

ROM is going really wonderfully here in Fuzine and in Vukovar. Last week was what can be said to be the hard week. We heard some very hard truths and I honestly feel like the team struggled a little. It is hard to be continuously gracious and I think that there is a renewal of the strong relationship that needs to happen here. I am seeing the first signs of this renewing already. People were challenged this very morning by Allen’s devotional about being loving to one another. I really am very glad that he is here and that God is working through him. Jessica and I were speaking together about how at moments we felt a distinct lack of unity here and grace here, and I think that Allen is encouraging us all. It seems that God really does answer prayers.Another thing that just seems to be answer to prayer is my strengthening relationship with a woman named Neda here. She is from Serbia and she and I seem instantly to have bonded and I am just really thankful for the relationship that I have been building with her specifically as well as others. Both Jessica and I have been developing deep relationships with people here and it is hard for us to realize that we will be leaving next week.Also this weekend, we went to Vukovar which is a city bitterly divided by the war because it is essentially on the Serbian, Croatian border. We saw a documentary of what happened there. The majority of the film used original footage with news clips from both sides. Both Jessica and I were struck by how normal the town looked and how it slowly transitioned into being a war zone. It tragically concluded with a mass killing of 200 Croats and we visited both the place where this happened as well as the graveyard where the bodies were moved. It was a hard visit, but the way that it was concluded was by allowing us to help with community work… we put mosaics on the wall of a shrapnel spattered school, and we started to fill some of the holes that have been present for years with cement. Our action was largely symbolic, but we had a ton of fun doing it and it made it so that all of this paincould be transformed into a positive action headed toward long-term change. Later we also got to hear about other positive changes that were occurring.So now to prayers: We still need prayers for unity among the leadership team here, we also ask for help with our relationships which are all soon going to become long distance, we pray for protection during travel for us and others, prayer for Jessica as she doesn’t go home but instead goes on to a new and probably lonely location… may God send her a new Christian community and group of friends so that she can once again feel at home, I would also like prayer for my return back because I think it will be a bit like leaving one home for another, I would also like prayer for my friend Neda… she is figuring out what she thinks about God and I would thank God for those that he has already placed around her and that it will be his will happening with her and not me or others, finally I want to pray for the international communities leaders and just that they can find a better solution than fighting and supporting a side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In Christ,

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