Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Visiting Serbia

At the women's home in Novi Sad
We had a great time in Slovenia!. We both had the opportunity to share a morning devotion with the guys in the rehabilitation center and to pray with each one of them; staff and students. It is at moments like these that we can truly sense what Traveling Light is all about: encouraging one another to keep the faith!

Beautiful women, free from drugs, restored by Jesus!
Thursday morning at six o'clock we quietly left and went on our way to Serbia. Saying goodbye is always difficult, especially after we all had such a good time and great fellowship together. Anyway, we took the freeway towards the border with Croatia where we had coffee and a sandwich, they even stamped our pass ports :) A few hours later we entered the country of Serbia, and without navigation or phone we easily found our way to the office of Raskrsce Teen Challenge Serbia, where the directors Sasa & Svetlana Ivanovic greeted us warmly. After lunch we visited the men's and women's rehabilitation homes and in the evening Jan shared his heart and God's Word at the men's center and so did I at the women's home. It is our goal to bring words of encouragement and joy, as we share truth from God's word.

Overlooking the Danube from the fortress
Friday we were able to spend the day with Sasa & Svetlana, we had time to talk, to pray with one another and to see part of Novi Sad, the city where they grew up and live now. Novi Sad is a beautiful city located on the Danube. An enormous restored fortress overlooks the city and the river, as well as the rebuilt bridges that were destroyed earlier, during the Kosovo war in 1999. We had a very interesting, sweet and useful time together. We quickly discovered that Sasa & Svetlana needed a lot of prayer, love and encouragement (personally and for their work). Our visit was only a minimal attempt to let them know that they are not alone, that people from all over Europe and the USA are praying for them and that light will shine again!

Broken lives healed and restored! Hallelujah!
Friday night Jan spoke in the church in Novi Sad, and oh, what a response from the people! It was incredible to see how many are sincerely longing to follow God's call for their life. We believe God is raising up men and women in Serbia who will spread the gospel of peace throughout the Balkans. We also realize this is not going to happen without a battle. Wars, communism, different religions and poverty have ruled over this area for a long time by oppressing and suppressing the people. It is of great (strategic) significance that with the help of huge support from the USA, Teen Challenge Serbia has been established and continues to do their work.

Received new life, new hope, new purpose!
As far as we know there is not much European support for our Christian brothers and sisters in Serbia, so we are delighted that through Traveling Light we can plant little seeds of hope! Thank you, everyone who has stepped up for Serbia. We still need 1,000 euro to reach our goal of 4,500 euro, which will go to the payment of utility bills in both centers. We have also received several pledges from people in the Netherlands and from Teen Challenge centers AND individual people from all over Europe for temporarily monthly sponsorship, we will give an update on that in an upcoming post.

Sunny day in Novi Sad with Sasa & Svetlana
We cannot even find words to describe how thankful we are that we were finally able to visit Serbia. Although we have met with Sasa & Svetlana before, we now have a better feel of the city, the centers and the church there! Please continue to pray and give as you are directed.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails!

(1 Corinthians 13:6-8)

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