Now that I've been in Goražde for a few days, it feels like I know more about what's going on. That's such a "duh" statement, but it's the only way I can think to describe what's going on in my head. This trip is changing my traditional ideas of sharing the Gospel. The Reitz's have been here for eight years, and they've been able to share their faith with people, and witness to them, a little but they have yet to actually lead somebody to the Lord. The community here is 99% Muslim, and in talking to Jo a bit, I can sense a feeling of discouragement and bewilderment at times at the long process involved in sharing Jesus' love with the people of Bosnia. However, the perseverance of the people in ministry here is encouraging and challenging to me.
So far what we've been doing is extremely practical and relational. Last night Jo and I went to coffee at her neighbor Amila's house. Everything is so community oriented. We came home, Amila was in her garden and asked if we wanted to have a coffee later. After about an hour, she called up through the window, "Jo! Coffee! Come on!" So we walked over to her house. The roads here are like alleys in America. They are so small, it feels like you're crossing a little driveway to get to the house across the street. We sat outside and had coffee. Bosnian coffee is a lot like the coffee I had in Italy. They drink it out of small cups, and it's strong - they put sugar in it normally. It was absolutely delicious. I felt very welcome, even though I can't speak the language. Jo translated for me, but her Bosnian isn't fluent at all, so I think there were a few things lost in translation. Izmet (sp? Maybe it's Yzmet, not sure...), Amila's father in law, was separating dried beans from the chaff, so we helped him sift and blow the chaff away and put the beautifully colored beans in a big red bowl. It was neat to be able to help even though I couldn't communicate with him at all.
It is really cool to see the people in ministry here building relationships with this community. I can tell they are very well liked and accepted here. Please continue to pray for this ministry as I believe it is a slow, but effective process!