“STRAVA!”

AS A MASSIVE THUNDERSTORM APPROACHES TONIGHT, MERVYN WRITES:

The Serbian word that best describes this experience so far is “Strava” which means Awesome”

It’s awesome that so many people from vastly different backgrounds and experiences have come together to share this time and already after what seems like at least a week, but which is merely 3 long days, there is incredible bonding as we share this work, putting our hands to things we’ve never tried before (I’ve never laid lino, a gravel road or used a ride on mower, but hey! What fun.)

More than that we’ve shared our faith in our conversations as we’ve worked together preparing this place for the children & young people with whom the team here will have the privilege of sharing the good news of Jesus who can transform their lives as he has transformed ours.

Today we met an incredible guy called Jovitsa, a Serbian Christian who felt called by God to move to Kraljevo, a city 15 or so miles from here. I’d met him at the Bible School a few years back. As he was talking with us his phone went off. Was it a surprise to hear the tune: “Our God is an AWESOME God.”

Along with so many others on this trip I thank God for all he has done in my life and all He is doing here and still has planned.

Ending with one of my favourite verses (from Jeremiah 29:11) “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to give you a hope and a future.” What a promise for us and for Serbia!

– Mervyn Roberts

To cook Paprikas…

As promised in response to special requests here’s how we cooked dinner last night!

RECIPE FOR PAPRIKAS FOR FORTY PEOPLE:

Ingredients:

  • 3kg diced beef
  • 3kg diced pork
  • 6kg potatoes diced
  • 1.5kg onions sliced
  • 6kg tomatoes sliced
  • 40g ground sweet pepper
  • dried rosemary
  • salt
  • 3l tomato puree
  • 3 garlic bulbs finely chopped
  • pepper
  • vegetable stock

Method:

1) Light  fire and allow to burn down

2) Suspend “kettle” or “kotlic” from tripod… over fire

3) Heat oil in kettle

4) Fry onions in kettle

5) Add all remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for 3 hours, stirring regularly!

6) Serve with fresh bread and great company…

Marina’s morning reflections:

MARINA DODD WRITES:

It is 12.30 on Friday morning. We have had a fantastic morning, everyone has fully entered into the spirit of the challenge to get this camp site ready for all the children who will be coming here in three weeks time. Then it will be full on for the next 6 weeks or so.

Today we divided into groups to achieve as much as possible in one day. One team is responsible for spreading gravel on to the lane leading to the camp which gets very muddy in wet weather.  We are expecting 10 trucks holding 150 tons of gravel during today. Already we have spread out 2 trucks and the 3rd has just arrived.

Another  team are laying lino in 4 or more dormitories, this means that the bunk beds have to be moved. (They were only put together last night for our group to sleep on!)

A rotten tree has been felled and the branches moved away.

The kitchen and bathrooms are having a spring clean, we cleaned the girls dorms last night, disturbing spiders that have made their home there since last year’s summer camps.

Some of our group have been busy preparing vegetables for the big pot that hangs over the camp fire. Our numbers are increasing every hour, 4 young people have just arrived from Sth Carolina so the mammoth task of feeding us all continues!

We are having good sessions in the morning and evenings as Andy is taking us through 1 John. It is interesting to be reminded that John, who was a disciple of Jesus, was known in the beginning as one of the ‘sons of thunder’ and now he is coming across as a loving, caring father-figure…  We have been seeing how important it is to not have double standards if we say we are followers of Jesus. We cannot claim to be in fellowship with God if we are unforgiving and unloving towards our fellow human beings…

DAY 3: Renovating the Children’s Camp Ground

Last night we arrived here at the Children’s camp ground.

We built beds that we would later sleep on…

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We cooked our supper over a fire…

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…then read the next part of 1John before sleeping…

This morning we are working in three teams to further prepare this camp ground…

We are building a road through the woods – this involves shifting around 150 tonnes of gravel:

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We are also cutting trees, hedges and grass as well as installing flooring and deep cleaning different areas of the buildings here.

Please pray for :
– safety for us as we continue;
– the many children who will stay here through the summer time – that they will grow closer to Jesus through the teaching, refreshment and friendship here;
– God’s blessing on this team as He continues to wonderfully unite, challenge, use and inspire us through these experiences.

Greetings from all of us!