I’ve avoided a report on Sarajevo in part because it’s so stinking difficult to capture it in a few short paragraphs. My two week visit was prompted by a reunion of YWAM friends and co-workers who had spent time in former Yugoslavia. We told stories, worshiped, prayed and shared meals together as we sought God’s heart for this beautiful nation and her people. The time for me was a grab bag of sadness, joy, excitement and aggravation.
With it’s mix of Communism, nationalism, and sectarianism, Sarajevo is a troubled place searching for both peace and identity. Whereas Herrnhut, (see my June 20th entry), exported hope to the nations out of a community of love, Sarajevo gave us World War One and the more recent Bosnian War from it’s historic foundations of anger and betrayal.
My emotions bounced around like a gum ball as I moved from conversations with young grace-filled disciples on the one hand to others suffocating in lies as thick as the cigarette smoke that hangs over the cafes. My heart was encourage by one young friend who confided that he had begun “following Jesus, though I haven’t yet put my full trust in Him”, another who is actively sharing his faith, writing and producing music, and another who has started a family and a medical practice since I last saw him. Still, hopelessness and passivity stalk the streets like mafia strong men, while the young continue to flock after the pied-piper of materialism.
I have to believe that one day…. ONE DAY.. Sarajevo will receive the sweet news that her warfare is accomplished, her sins are forgiven, and the light of the Glory of God is rising upon her. Would you take a moment and pray for “my” city and my friends?