Peter Balsdon is half way through his mission trip to Serbia. The following are some extracts from an update from James, the mission team leader.
On Monday, our first morning meeting started our journey through John’s gospel, with Jesus turning water into wine. The leader pulled no punches, but explained clearly that Jesus has the power to transform our lives, and invited people to accept him. There is a refreshing openness amongst the Serbians to ask questions about life and talk about God. Please do pray for as many opportunities as possible to go deeper in conversation as we continue to build relationships with the students here.
On Tuesday the morning meeting was about Jesus’ meeting with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well near Sychar. It explored our nature as ‘thirsty’ creatures, and encouraged people to consider where they are seeking to quench their thirst, contending that only Jesus can truly satisfy the thirst that drives us.
On Wednesday the morning meeting was about Jesus healing the man born blind. The students were challenged to step into Jesus’ light and reconsider their first impressions of him, whether for the first or the hundredth time. On Thursday it’s Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Friday it’s the Crucifixion and Saturday it’s the Resurrection.
Around 50% of the students attending the camp are Christians. The Serbian staff have informed us that the camp is often a significant time for the deepening of their faith. The other 50% of camp attendees are not yet Christians, so please pray for the Spirit to open the blinded eyes of our friends who don’t yet know Jesus as Lord.
The English lessons seem to have gone well, with good reports from the beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. Peter is teaching English alongside another team member.
The British culture night on Monday evening was a resounding success. It included a talk on the history of ‘afternoon tea’ and even included the Cornish/Devonian debate over whether jam or cream goes on the scone first! On Tuesday night we watched the ‘Lego Movie’, followed by a discussion about its themes interacting with the Christian worldview. Wednesday is Grill a staff worker night, although the Serbian name for this literally translates as ‘shoot a staff worker’!
The ‘free time’ in the afternoons enables the team to chat with the Serbian students, take them out for coffee and conversation, and do sports together. Please pray for us to have courage, strength and boldness in the Spirit to share God’s Good News through these opportunities.
The temperature is very hot. Please pray for the health of everyone here, a few of the students have upset stomachs or colds, and some of the team are quite tired. Some of the best ‘relational time’ is during late-night trips to town, but the necessity to rise at eight for our team meeting.
We’re so grateful for your prayers, through which God is sustaining us!
James, on behalf of the Serbia Team.