Loading...

Theology of World Missions - Lesson 11

Yugoslavia

Gain insight into the complex history and culture of Yugoslavia, especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, through Reverend Carmelo Chris Sonya's experiences. You learn about the challenges of ministry in a divided society, the mix of Eastern and Western influences, and the strategies for combining aid with the gospel. You understand the difficulties of evangelizing post-war, the significance of local cultural adaptation, and the efforts to promote reconciliation and community growth among diverse groups.

Peter Kuzmič
Theology of World Missions
Lesson 11
Watching Now
Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia

 

1. History

2. Three religious groups

3. After the end of the war in 1992

4. How Carmello started a church in Yugoslavia

5. Working with Muslims

6. Vision for Christian missions in Yugoslavia


Lessons
About
Resources
Transcript
  • Understand that missions are central to God's plan, not an appendage, and that the Church is a transformative, missionary community that integrates theology, culture, and society, emphasizing both personal evangelism and social engagement.
  • Explore the relationship between theology and missions, understanding missions as central to God's purposes, the church as God's transformative agent, and the need for a theologically grounded missiology and a missiologically focused theology.
  • Gain insight into the Old Testament God as a missionary deity, the role of prayer in missions, the universality of God's purpose from creation to the Abrahamic covenant, and the importance of integrating prayer into theological studies.
  • Understand how the Psalms emphasize God's universal redemptive plan and serve as significant missionary texts, highlighting God's concern for all nations and illustrating this through examples like Rahab and Jonah.
  • Learn about the unprecedented growth of Christianity in Asia, the three streams of the church in China, and the importance of partnerships, sending churches, and funding for missions, while emphasizing that maintaining a strong personal relationship with God is paramount.
  • You learn about the critical aspects of faith, dedication, need assessment, local leader involvement, trust building, strategic planning, and leadership transition in cross-cultural missions.
  • Learn to see people as Jesus does, exploring biblical foundations for missions and global citizenship, understanding India's diverse cultures and spiritual thirst, and emphasizing prayer, missionary support, and the transformative power of introducing Jesus' love and salvation.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the Great Commission's theological and historical significance, focusing on Jesus' authority, the mandate to make disciples, and the perpetual presence of Jesus, while comparing accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
  • Understand the AIDS crisis in Africa, the role of missionaries in addressing it, the cultural challenges of foreign aid, and the theological and personal motivations for missionary work, informed by firsthand experiences and biblical insights.
  • Learn about universalism, its historical and contemporary perspectives, types of universalism, key biblical texts supporting it, and evangelical counterarguments, emphasizing its implications for human sinfulness, morality, and evangelical mission.
  • Learn about the historical and cultural dynamics of Yugoslavia, the challenges of ministry in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the strategies for combining aid with the gospel to foster reconciliation and growth in a divided society.
  • Learn about the theology of missions in relation to world religions, exploring three approaches to studying religions—historical, phenomenological, and theological/philosophical—and analyzing Christian attitudes toward other religions.
  • Explore interfaith dialogues, learning about Hinduism's Saguna and Nirguna concepts, the blind men analogy, and Buddhism's Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path, emphasizing respectful engagement to bridge gaps.
  • Learn to pray for authorities, understand the political situation in Russia, its impact on democracy and investments, and reflect on theological questions about faith, culture, and politics, with references to historical theologians.
  • Discover Martin Luther's analogy of God's two hands, the left hand symbolizes governance over creation through common grace, including politics and economics, and the right represents salvation through the Gospel.
  • Explore the complexities of missionary work in Africa, from cultural diversity and unreached tribes to challenges like political unrest and HIV, emphasizing the call to obedience in spreading the gospel amidst adversity and danger.
  • Gain insight into the church's intricate relationship with the world, examining models of isolation, control, service, and tension, highlighting biblical mandates to engage while maintaining distinctiveness and impacting society with kingdom values.
  • Understand the biblical foundation and theological significance of missions, affirming its centrality to God's redemptive plan and the Church's identity as a global missionary community.
  • Understand of the balance between evangelism and social responsibility within the evangelical community, highlighting historical debates and key figures like Billy Graham and significant gatherings like the Lausanne Congress.

Dr. Kuzmič provides a framework for a theology of world missions based on a biblical worldview. We must live as citizens of two kingdoms. Our missiology needs to be theologically grounded, and our theology, missiologically focused. The documents that were written by delegates at the Lausanne Conference on World Missions have had a significant influence in defining and encouraging the practical application of a biblical view of world missions.

Theology of World Missions
Dr. Peter Kuzmič
wm602-11
Yugoslavia
Lesson Transcript

 

Now we are moving from the British Isles and Universalism to distinct geographical particularism within Balkans and. Particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And our speaker is Reverend Carmelo Chris Sonya. Now, I know that's a hard one to pronounce. Because there are so many of these hard. Consonants piled one up on each other. But Kamala, Sonia and his wife Ivana, wonderful people, warmhearted in a very effective ministry, in a very difficult place in a divided city. Divided country. During my presentation. If you have any question, be free to raise your hand up on the interrupt me, because I think the most important thing for you is to catch up on the things which are going on or the things which you are interested may be out of a certain time and I will be speaking about. Some things. And as you know, probably all of you know, I hope where is Yugoslavia? Situated on the south of Europe. I am not surprised that in many cases people do not know, especially in the United States, where that part of the world is. So as Dr. Peter introduced that, we came to Bosnia-Herzegovina in hard times. And so to be honest, it was not my will, it was God's will. I would never come to Bosnia-Herzegovina if he asked me, do I am I willing to go? I would say no, you know, But he didn't ask me. He told me to go. So that's the reason anyone followed me. As you know, it's an area, Yugoslavia consist of six different republics and more national groups in that area. According to my knowledge, maybe Dr. Peter will correct me. Serbs and Croats came into this area somewhere in the sixth or seventh century, being at that time as a true tribes, actually, which became later to national groups some 400 and something.

 

Years ago, the Turks came as the name. They had the empire in this region, especially covering Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they were present for 400 years and left a strong influence when it came to Bosnia Herzegovina from Croatia. It's very much different. I would say the Bosnia Herzegovina is somewhere between Eastern or Oriental culture and Western. Even that they would not like to admit that. But they live really different and behave in a different way, think in a different way, have a different kitchen, a different food. And so that was also for my wife and myself. Shock When you come to a missions, you are going through a certain shocks. It took me nearly two years to adjust to the lifestyle on the things, how they are going and how they operate in a way in their life. As you also know, probably that this Section three religious group touched together. And that's a reason through many, many generations back when we look there were going on wars. So coming from the west, there is a Roman Catholic church, then more from the Northeast. It's Orthodox and more from the Southeast. Is the Islam or the Muslims presence in that area for your better understanding? We have Muslims in Yugoslavia at that time as the national group, which Tito gave them as a recognition to them and to the gypsies. Otherwise, before they could be identified as Yugoslavs, Serbs or Croats, and because of some tensions during the seventies, he gave them nationality so they could be identified as the Muslims, even that they could be atheists. Or today we have in all churches in the early in Bosnia-Herzegovina, present Muslims as a nationality. But by the way, they are faith. They are Christians. So which is a very strange thing probably for you and unique in the world.

 

Are there any questions? No. So actually, I'm not going to speak so much about what was happening before the war or through the war looking on a political situation. But in a year 92, at the end, the pastor from Croatia, Nicolas Grenier, felt a calling from God to come into this part of the country south of Sarajevo, some 2 hours drive. There is a town, Mostar. He started slowly the war. There were some people before him starting gun, but the priority in their work was more aid and feeding the people then the gospel. And we should also following up later some Trump people try to do in that way focusing more on feeding gun care and good deeds to the people then sharing priority the gospel. And we saw that the work was existing only by the time they were feeding the people. By the time they stopped feeding the people, the people were not open to the gospel. So actually everything falling apart. So we tried to combine these two things together. I would say it's compassion and love for the missions you view, compassion, you feed the people and the love that you share the gospel with them because you want that. They will see the hope and have the hope in their lives. As for the future times which are coming and actually we saw through these last ten years where we had to bring people from the position of receiving into the mode or position where they will be able to give outside and to see the multiplication. It was not easy. You know, most of us have in their heart. We like to receive the things, but the Kingdom of God is actually giving out the things God gave us from His heavenly resources, things and we can give with the whole time, as much as more we give to bless, receive more.

 

So this is the transition which we are in now in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as Brother Nicola came from Croatia and started slowly the work in Mostar. We followed up. A year later I overtook a church it a year in 95 when Nicholas went to the another part of the town, which was East Mostar. So in one side it was controlled by the Croatian government or the we would say the Catholic. And another side was the controlled by the Muslims or those who are involved in Islam to understand the. Each national group is very much involved. Actually doesn't always understand the difference between nationality and religion. So they put it together. So understanding if you want to be a really good Croatian person, you must be Roman Catholic. Another thing besides that same it is with the Serbs. They should be orthodox and also for the Muslims who are by nationality. Islam is for they are understanding only option that they can be. So sometimes you would have funny debates like in Banja Luka, they had a debate about the religion and nationality. And some people, even with college training or the education for them, it's very hard to understand those things or actually accept them. So on the one debate at the college in Banja Luka University, actually one man expressed that he's Orthodox atheist, which was very funny, you know. So there was more and more deeper, deeper discussion. Another person came, we were saying, Well, he's Orthodox Buddhist, you know. So finally I had to close down because the debate debate became very strong and high, but gives you just the understanding how people feel in that area. Yes. Maybe it was existing somewhere deep inside the people, but it was not expressed outside. Especially it started existing after this war.

 

It became part of the tool for the politicians to rule. I can say in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So that is. Or Muslim Yugoslav. Yeah, but that brought the problems. If you know, the president is is a bad guy. He raised his voice for the rights of the Muslims and just to protect the consequences in a future. Tito So the option of giving them their nationality, their identity, so that he put down the tensions which were coming up from one side, Croats wanted their independence. You slowly the Muslims were raising up their voice. There was a conflict, seeing the costs of UN tensions there. So they wanted to calm down all of that. So to make it sure. The long story, you know, as you know, Tito was pretty. Clever, I would say, or a wise politician. So that was his solution for the Muslims in this area. Does that answer your question? Yeah. So when you look through the today and speak with the people and many people ask, do I believe that there will be peace if the U.N. troops leave or a European Union, international police and or some other monitors in that region? I believe the war would happen very easily and fast. It's just a question of the time. Why? Because people still didn't solve in their mind all these things which were raised up through the war, this last war, which was also expressed in the Second World War, you know, the identity and fighting for the their existence. So, for example, in Croatian Party, which is based in Mostar, word for elections always come. If you don't vote for us, Croatians will be put down. You will never be again in a position of having any human rights. So actually you will not exist anymore.

 

So in this way they rule over the people, and especially from another angle where we see, we see the combination or alliance between the politicians and certain religious group. So main Croatian party would be very close to the Roman Catholic Church. From one side they gave to Roman Catholic Church much power. And the Roman Catholic Church provides the voices for the elections. So that's a good alliance. Same is true of the Orthodox Church and the party of Serbia being based in Banja Luka. Or it's same with Islamic community and the politicians which are Muslims. So there is a very strong alliance and together they hold on. What is also funny when we come to the questions of education in the schools or kindergartens or all of that, all these three main groups will come to agreement that they are doing very well and that there is a reconciliation going on when in reality is not happening. You know, actually everybody holds on on their territory and they do not allow anyone else to come in. And that's the reason we they are strong opposition to any new they call religion or New Testament churches which are coming into this area because we are breaking all their rules when they come to dividing the towns of the regions in sections of their dominion. So then I ask, okay, what solution do we have for my church? Because each of my churches is combined of Serbs, Croats and Muslims who are by their faith followers of Jesus Christ, or let's say we are Protestant church. So there is a big silence. The only who start asking the questions are the previous communists, because they see part of their previous life in the past. So they start asking, you know, about the church and how do we do it and what do we feel? So we say the church must be relevant for the today's society, which Roman Catholic Church do not give the answer.

 

Neither Islamic community and neither the Orthodox Church, because we do not see the solutions coming out for the future of the country. So we don't see the progress. We see some so much corruption, you know, paying bribe in every part of the social life wherever you go. You know, I spoke with some Americans who would try to build the apartment buildings, and one of them is a Christian banker. And I finally I had once lunch with him and asked, So how do you feel here? He said, I never saw such a corruption. He said, I would understand something is that you need to pay a bribe to or some high politician or the minister. But he said from the smallest person in the office he expects the bribe to deliver. Hush. He says you are destined to fail in a business here. So that's the reason we do not have the progress. Like McDonald's wanted to come in Bosnia-Herzegovina sign wanting to sign to open magnolias at once on 43 locations. Big McDonald's is not some big business or something like that, but maybe that it would open the doors and the trust for the people from the West. Well, when they saw how everything operates in Bosnia-Herzegovina, they gave up immediately and pulled back. So you see the controlling things which are in the country and opposition to everything which they want to hold on, stand by, which will not last for a long time, up to my understanding. Any questions? So looking from this perspective, the religious groups, neither of the also one very interesting thing that neither of these three main religious groups is registered as existing one except us in the town books because they say they don't want to be registered because they they are existing longer than the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 

So we have conflict from one side. They don't want to recognize us, the state, and they recognize the religious group we that officially do not exist in the country, which is a funny thing. So when we come and say we want to have religious education in the schools, they always put us somehow on the stand by waiting, which never brings the answer to us, you know? So you go over and over to the minister of the for the schools and all of that. And he's so funny once I ask, So what's the answer? He said, Well, the answer is not yet. Neither. Yes, neither. No. So I said, It's like in Tito's time he was neutral. Always said, it seems you were saying also neutral towards us. And he just laughed because they cannot express, because of a fear what can happen to them. I don't know What would be interesting for you to continue. I can speak, but maybe you have questions or something. Which. But Carmela, why don't you? Now this class, what is the best, most effective way of starting a church? How it happened actually, in Bosnia-Herzegovina is that we were just guided up to the need of the people who are in a certain regions, you know? So in the beginning, after. The war or through the war. Better to say for many people it meant clothing, food. For some people it meant protection. So we were facing many occasions the miracles which happened to the people, how they were protected, or just when the ethnic cleansing would happen without any reason, they would just pass by their apartment or neighbor knocked on the door. Even those people who were taken to the prison, they were never raped. They were never abused.

 

And any single way that we know. So we see the God's hand above their lives. So all of them came back finally to their homes, even if they were invaded from their homes. So how they actually started it? Like in Mostar, it started with the aid. It started with helping the people to come back to their life. Sometimes we would even sleep in the homes of the people, of the Muslims or the Serbs just to protect them. I would put my color shirt, which I usually don't. I use it only in the special occasions when it's needed to be recognized going to hospital or over the border. And people felt really that we are living with them and that we love them, that we cared for them. Especially in those days. I would say the biggest conversions were those who were previously communist or socialist people, because they were somehow over there were lost and they saw the emptiness of their previous life that actually everything what they believed and what was declared by Communist Party and Tito once. I think it was in 1974, he declared that from this moment on, that war will never happen ever on the territory of Yugoslavia. Well, he needed to leave only 11 years more to see another war, which probably he would not also be able to stop. So these people lost all what they believed before, and that was the open door to come with the gospel into their lives and share the living God. And many, many of them just experienced the peace God's provision because many of those who were previous communist or socialist or were in Yugoslav people's army were facing persecution, facing isolation from other people, being neglected, opposed, put down, you know, mocked or many other things which you can just think and peace of God just changed them.

 

And they start opening towards those people who were persecuting them. And those lives start being changed because they saw the change in their lives, you know, because they were not anymore trying to defend themselves. But they saw all of these situations as the opportunity to share the gospel. So we saw in this way multiplication just of the gospel spread around between the people. So sometimes we would think that it's very hard to work with the Muslims. One of the fundamental towns would be towns. Then it's set by the Mujahideen, for which you heard alQaeda was there. So one brother who came to the Lord, he was by Moslem background. He did not practice it before the war. He was athletes through the war. His son, who was a believer, died of a cancer. He son was calling you on sharing the gospel with him, but he didn't accept it by that time. Through the war, he started coming and being more involved in Islam. He got the teacher who would teach him every day, and so his name is Enver. But finally he saw also the emptiness. He was not fully satisfied. So once he came to the church in Sarajevo, it was a small group of couple of people which are an equal. And I came and brother Anton and Dr. Peter make Mitch from mosque for on several occasions, and we encouraged them and gave them the vision of the future as it is possible. Even looking, going, all demolition and destroying meant of Sarajevo that God has a hope for Sarajevo. So slowly they started growing and this brother Bird came to the Lord in those days. Well, one day it was a couple of years later he decided to go to town.

 

ZENIT. It's the base of Islam, I would say. Well, I would I would say that even from my side, that was slightly Thomas deal. I don't touch I don't believe, you know. But he went there and he started going around and praying. They rented the space next door to the biggest mosque in that town, which from my perspective, wouldn't be the wisest thing to do. But slowly, people started coming. And if you know about Islam, it's not the problem. All is with the Orthodox people who are in Islam, but those who are in the fall or are national Islam, those who are involved in witchcraft and all of these things, putting the curses, they are difficult once, you know. So there's long as these people who were seeking God start coming and asking the questions ever because he's from Amazon background. So he had the credibility to speak in their lives. And slowly this community started growing. And in some year and a half they grow to some 70 or 80 people and they have very successful work in that town, which many of us were doubting how it will go on. So in the opening of the churches we hear now about in Federation of part about 13 churches and about another 9 to 10 mission points, we are waiting for raising up for the leaders to send them. Our vision is to reach 40 to 43 cities in a first phase in the country, which is still much a head of us. But we are trusting the Lord that he's bringing us the people, raising them up, and we see it as the actually green houses, our churches, where every church is focusing on the closest by town to reach it and send their the best people into that area just to share the gospel and grow the churches.

 

Does that explain apparently how it's going on? And so any questions? Yes. Doctor, I want to ask you about the problem of racism. Mm hmm. Something that is clearly there in the region. Yeah. It's not only with the Serbs. It is the strongest there. But I would also point to the Croats who are ready to expel from their home. Like also Muslims. Sometimes they are sons or daughters or the very close relatives, you know, and stop any kind of support towards them because of receiving new fate. You know, in many occasions you have to come in a deeper conversation with those people. Usually, if you I would say the easiest evangelizing people is the one on one or personal relationship with those people when they see your life. Then it you have power to speak into their lives. For example, we with the Orthodox Church, it's really hard area, which is north part and east part. We have believers in those areas, but we are doing the slowest work in that region. That's not the secret, you know. So actually, deeper conversation and seeing your life. We bring the people to the position. How much do they really believe of existence of God? When you become their friends and when they will start trusting you, they will admit that actually they are driven by fear because of being expelled or put aside from the family and actually their friends, they will lose everything. In that town. So the question is, are they ready to pay the price or not? You know? Are they ready to still stay the friends with all those people and be the testimony to that, you know? Many times it's the fear that drives the people away, actually not accepting Jesus as their savior.

 

You know, so actually it is the friendship and living with those people everyday life. It's not just the pulpit. Very share the gospel and say, okay, now you go and be saved and be well. You have to live with them. You're facing everyday problems, you know, being pastor there and being pastor in Zagreb. I was pastoring a church there. It's a big difference. Big difference. I could cancel so easily. People in Zagreb. You come and you, as in America, come to the point. Right. Straight. Well, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it doesn't work that way because they are offended. They think that you don't have time for them. But it's spending the time with them, living with them, walking with them every day, side by side, you know, and actually helping them in their lives. To see the power of God, that it is possible. Did that partly, at least? Oh, yes. Going back said that. I know another man who started the church, Nicola. I came in 94. 13 churches with the leader. Should we count only those who have leadership? That to me, is just. Mm hmm. Yes, completely. There are three churches that we see that are strong in raising up leaders. That's most that we try to pastor of Sarajevo, number one church. Church. And then it's the brother that is I just mentioned. He's from Muslim background. Actually, what we do, we don't take up a specific person, but we see those people who are ready to live for Christ in everyday and really have passion for for God that they are ready even to die. So we take them everyday with us. They walk with us. I would always take my coworker or my associate, even if I go to the mayor's office, even that maybe he will sometimes mess up with some question of the mayor's office set up.

 

But in that way, they learn. How to lead and how to communicate. Because I know that so many people in Yugoslavia had a fear of the authorities. For example, when police stopped you, so many people trembled. I think the worst thing will happen now to me, you know, I'm going to get in a jail if I offend the policeman. Well, I always say, you know, it's not the end of the world. You know, you have the communication. You have to communicate with the people. You know, you have to live with them, you know, express with them, and don't be in a fear. For example, the police will stop you when they see that you are evangelical, immediately say, are you a sick cult? Well, you have to turn like the judo style. You know, in judo, the your fighter is trying to attack you with his way. Well, he you have to use his weight to put him down. So, for example, Croatians are very strong in that. I had many trouble many times the trouble with the Croatian policemen in Bosnia Herzegovina. Once that was driving the brothers from England and I came at the border and there was a specific policeman who liked to annoy me. So I immediately start speaking, Oh, you are the one. Where is your color shirt now? You know? And then he said, and there were two or three policemen next to him, and they said, What kind of a cult is that? Oh, he said, they don't have even Jesus on the cross. And, you know, he starts paying you so many bad things. But as more as he was speaking bad, these two men were more attracted to me. So I started sharing gospel and made him really mad, you know? So there were many occasions like that.

 

Or another one comes and says, Well, you are a sect. Well, you always do want to be friendly. And you ask him, Why do you think I'm a sect? Well, he says, because you are small. I said, okay, so the number determines which you are sect or not? Well, he says, yes. So I said, okay. In Scandinavia, we as the evangelicals are big and you Catholics are very small. You are so small that you cannot even rent the space. So you have a mass in our churches. So that means you are sick. So I said, Well, next time I go to Sweden, I'll say to the priest there that he's sick. So I'm saying that in a nice way. And then he's a shocked he says, I never thought that way. So I said, So what's the point? I said, Well, I believe in Jesus Christ. We can be brothers and sisters. We love the Lord. So I find the way to them. It's the same with Muslims. It's very hard. Many occasions, if you go directly to share to the Gospels that watch. Why? Because through the war, most Croatian soldiers had rosary around their neck with Jesus on the cross and their understanding, or they were supportive very much for the people who came from the Middle East. And they said, Look, this is another crusade. They came in the name of Jesus to kill you. So when you start sharing immediately, not knowing, especially people from the West when they come and they want to make a good impact and immediately convert to Muslims immediately or oppose them because they say, I don't want that Jesus, my son was killed in the name of Jesus, my daughter, my father, or whosoever. So you have to make a bridge.

 

And to explain to them that those people are not the Christians, because on many occasions, to be honest, soldiers Croatians and serves were supported publicly on a TV from their priests to go and clean those Turks from the land of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was publicly said. It's recorded on the tapes. You know, so I have a proof of that. So you have to bridge over to that and share the gospel to those people. It takes time. When they see your love towards them, unconditional love, you know, even when they refuse, you love them. That's the point. Any questions? Yes, I've had a very strong presence and they are. I'll be. On the meetings in most Iraqis say Mosul is a specific town. Not because I live there, but you have fights between the Catholics inside the church, between two streams, Franciscans and those who are becoming the bishops because the bishop wants to take out of the town. The Franciscans and Franciscans live for 400, 500 years, 600 years with the people. So they take them as they are. They call them the uncles or the ones who love them and stay through the hard times with them. So you have conflict there, you know. So when you come and speak, I would say that the Orthodox Church on the South where I live. Is still enough a fear and to come in some dialog. Whenever we had a common a meeting together of couple of the religious groups, they would send only some marginal people, not somebody of the power to share something. So always when they come, they have it written little paper, they read it as a statement and they don't enjoy or they don't. They are not part of our dialog, which we have around the table.

 

I feel always as they are excluded. So we try to help them, but they don't do anything. You know, in some other parts like in town, poorly. That's a place where probably where the war criminal Karadzic is. There is a priest who is opens to the evangelicals and the Catholics, but he doesn't want to have anything with the Muslims. He is not hiding that, you know. So there is one priest in sorry. Well, probably Dr. Peter Goodman. She knows him. Abel Markovich, he's a theologian, Franciscan, and he's trying to put this religious groups together, not just always as something ecumenical, but that we will understand better each other where we come from. Well, it's very hard. You know, he will maybe do the best job in Syria, but this or those priest from Paola, which is very close to Saudi Arabia, doesn't want to have anything with the Muslims. So he in theory, he is the biggest obstacle, you know, Well, in Mostar, the most open person is the Islamic, the mullah, you know, the Muslim priests from all of, I would say, big religious groups, you know, except the Jewish, you know. So he is very open. So we are planning to maybe bring previously of President Carter and do some meeting and reconciliation and just make it the environment where the climate will be open for the future life. You know, so we are trying to do that. It's not easy. In every area where you come, three or four people are open. The one is not, you know, so it's not easy to do any special fellowship in most occasions. That's a sad thing. Is that part of the answer to you? Okay. And the other question. Yes, please. People in here, what would you say are things that I would say maybe simplicity.

 

And, you know, that would be one of the thing, because there are people, many of them believe they by they their life, you know, and they're thankful to God, especially through the war time, that they are living one more day. You know, on the many people when they came, they saw the simplicity of the gospel. And it's and I think that's the power point for the church in Bosnia-Herzegovina, being very simple and just go on work as God leads you on. So, you know, I would say that I think. Yvonne, would you like to add something, be free to correct me or fight me? And I think. Thank you. Yeah. Maybe Sakho then went for my opinion in the best time. You know if I would look. But it's never the best time. You know, I'm traveling much around the country encouraging other pastors because most of them are young. But if we don't sacrifice the best, we cannot expect the best on the field. I was speaking once in one Central European country on the church planting and all of that. So finally, after all of I said the other to some of us, there is one pastor and he stood up and he said, Well, my church, I think, was church of some 400 people. He said, we have a vision in next 17 years to start my own church. So I was thinking that I spoke to the deaf people or he's not really listening. He's ignoring what I am saying. You know, if you are not ready to sacrifice your best, you know, when it comes to the time you know, you will never be able you will never be ready to sacrifice ever, because you can have a church of 5000.

 

I never start one single more church, you know. And I believe there is always need of a multiplication, you know, to see. And that where you saw the sea, you know, into other areas that will help you to grow and be blessed, you know, if we don't you know, if we are always going in a save so on, you know, in our comfortable chairs, you know we will never experience the miracle of God of the missions. Missions is actually sacrifice you know when you gave your best. Looking. I would never as I said in the beginning, I would never come to Bosnia-Herzegovina, you know. I was more looking on a. Secular perspective. You know, I was it was easier job for me to pastor the church in Zagreb than in Bosnia Herzegovina. But looking on my spiritual side, I'm ten times more satisfied now than I was ever in the back of my life. We are still fighting on that. You know, it's not easy. What's the hardest for the church to really grasp on a new way of doing reaching the people? Through the war time, we were able to reach also highly educated people with the because it was equal less of the need as the time was passing. Those people who are more trade or educated, there were, I would say, also were more smart and capable of finding the jobs or finding the ways of escape from the country. So slowly we didn't reach any more. Always the blue color or the white color. But some. We are coming down to the homeless people, you know, which we love them. But it takes much more energy to train them and to bring them into the position of the leadership paid up.

 

Also, what actually happened in the church in Bosnia-Herzegovina that many, many of our good people who were in the leadership left the country and went to United States, Sweden, Canada. Our very anointed worship leader, and Dr. Peter Cushing, which was warning me, don't send them to states, they will stay. And I said, they will not say they will come back. And both of them, our youth leader and the worship leaders, they do not in United States. You know, so we lost many, many good people from Bosnia-Herzegovina in that way that we didn't we're not willing, but we were sending them as missionaries to your country and Australia, Canada, Germany and so on. They are. They are living somewhere on the west. There was another question. Yes. We founded the Alliance, I think summer in the spring this year. Still, he didn't fully came to the life with the help of the Evangelical Alliance from the Germany because they were closest to us. You know, I think the strongest alliance comes from Britain and Germany, and we have very good fellowship. We are finding the common interests. In many occasions, it's a children work. It's a Bible society. It's. Presenting ourselves to the society as the ones who really want to see the changes in the country, in the perspective of the prosperity, in the way of tearing down the corruption, fighting against the abortion and all of these things. And so so we have a common things in ours, which brings us together. And also we meet from time to time together as we can. We don't face the issues as probably have it in states, Western Europe and those you know, no, we don't. But the churches are very young. How long are you here? Governmentally speaking, is the principal speaker at the First Congregational Commissioner's conference.

 

You're here the whole week? Yes. The oldest Sunday afternoon. There may be students here. About five years ago, I had in one of my or two of my classes, a former Air Force pilot was shot down and a great burden for Muslims. I shared with him about Bosnia. He went over and worked with you for a summer and went back a couple of times, got a little inheritance, even invested in a church in Bosnia. And you may you just may want to meet with Carmela and his wife. Who knows how the Lord may or may lead you. I know that David and his wife have been in in Banja Luka for the summer, and they want to go back. We've talked about that. This is wonderful. This is a brave man and a visionary and his wife. We are very grateful. I am tempted to tell you a brief story that illustrates much of this. You know, wherever the lid was lifted and the lid here was the communist ideology, whatever was suppressed, exploded. And so here you had a parallel explosion of nationalism and religion. The old religion that gave them identity culturally, ethnically. And so that led, unfortunately, here also to the conflicts. Very briefly, because up here in the north west, in Bosnia, a muslim town for three and a half years, totally cut off. Nobody could get there. And we tried. We worked with Elizabeth Dole, who was president of the American Red Cross at that time. UNHCR, nobody. Could come in. Hospital was operating without anesthesia. There are 150 plus kids who lost one or both parents due to indiscriminate shelling. Total darkness and tragedy. Through really a miraculous, brave intervention of some young people who did bring some assistance in our gospel that both of us work with.

 

Our relief work was welcomed. The mayor gave us a central place for distribution of food and clothing. We were, by being 500 German marks about 250 USD a month. Two, two and a half months later, he invites some of us in. They honor those interviews with me. There was a German missionary who married the Bosnian girl. We were about two and a half hours into conversation as we had supper together, and they honored these evangelicals who came to his town. And at one point, Mr. Allen signs the document, said, You don't have to pay anything anymore. And then he said, I walked through the facilities this morning knowing that you were coming. And he said, I went in the back room and I saw some boxes there. And on one of them it was written Novy Soviet meaning New Testament. Another one was Billy Graham. That's how they pronounce Myers Bogen. He said, You obviously have some books or literature or something. He said, Feel free to distribute it. This is a muslim mayor talking to evangelical minister. He even want. And I'm cutting a long story short. He even went to encourage us to start a church, which we registered next the week after that. Today. We have still, I guess, through Operation Mobilization Workers, one from Britain, one from South Africa. They're six mobilization workers. Any of you where I am. Well, join them or just talk to Carmel and come directly and some other people. Very difficult work. Very difficult. But just as an illustration of what Carmela was saying that evening, when the mayor was saying that, I turned to him and I said, Mayoral luggage. You're a muslim and I'm a Christian. How is it that we get along this well? And he had a smile on his face and he says, that's because you are not the kind of Christians that we Muslims think when we hear the word Christian.

 

He said you did not come with a political aim or territorial claim. Your people did not come to rape our women and our girls. You came with love. That literature we didn't distribute because I gave strict instructions at that time. The evangelical Church of Bosnia-Herzegovina was not even instituted. They were. These were missionaries who came in sacrificing really from Croatia. And now they are because they are, of course, an internationally recognized state. And for the sake of legal registration and so on, as Carmilla told us, they are now in national church. I told the workers, Don't start with literature. Start with tangible expression of Christian love. Time will come. And we didn't even use the word Christian very often. We talk about Jesus. But of course, Christianity has this horrible burden. So here he says, Well, you are not the kind of Christians that we think when we hear the word Christian, you did not come. And he named them like Serbs in a medieval crusader fashion, cross in one hand and a sword in another. And he goes on and then he says, And I am not the kind of Muslim. It Christians, especially in the West, when they hear the word Muslim, says, I'm not a fundamentalist, I am not militant, I have a muslim name Muslim culture. This is more a culture nominal thing as it is with most of the Orthodox. The question was about orthodoxy, the question of national identification. And then he leaned over. He was, but he said, I don't I don't have a deep commitment to Allah and Islamic faith. But he says, I'm interested, increasingly interested in your Jesus because of who you people are and what you do. In this order. He bought it. You metallurgist.

 

Brilliant. Yeah. No, no, no. The engineer was the mayor at that time during the shelling. I know he's not the mayor now because last year I was visiting him and some other parties in parliament, but brilliant men. So when he said we could distribute research and do the work, I said he saw the shock on my face. He said, Oh, you can do it. We trust you. And I said, Marriage. Why do you trust us? And he made a very profound statement. He said, You are credible with us because you became vulnerable with us. I would like to develop that into a theological essay. Our credibility is commensurate to our availability when it costs something. Vulnerability gave me a wonderful opening there because we didn't talk to him about the faith before, about Jesus, to tell him about the most credible person that ever walked the planet that. Who is most credible because he became most vulnerable from incarnation to the death on the cross. And so that's why. Back to Philippians two. The father gave him a name above all other names and every initial bar and every confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This is not universalism, not necessarily acknowledging that He is Lord. Okay. Work on your missionary corridor. That is a kind of a document you will not be able to write in the last under pressure the last day. I'll work on that. In terms of. David Bosch, I. We'd like you to read pages. 349 to 388. And then on the next three eight to 9 to 438, I will not give you the subjects. Now we are moving on to the emergence of postmodern paradigm in mythology and then the elements of an emerging ecumenical missionary paradigm. I am talking here the discussion of postmodernity and then mission up to the quest for mission as a quest for justice.

 

You'll notice that more of a European than American here. I, I will never ask you how many pages you have read. I think that's ridiculous. The question is how many pages and how much of the material you have digested. Started working on your missionary credo. My missionary? Clear that it has to be your own, mythologically focused theological credo.