My name is Karolina and in 1998 I came in Serbia as a missionary from Czech Republic. As a former student of the Oak Hall Bible school I serve with my family in South of Serbia, in the town by the name of Nis. Here are some specific stories of the work we do here as a church.
Four years ago we made our first contact with ladies from the local safe house, a refuge for woman and children who are victims of domestic violence. God led us and we were able to make contact with a few women, and there began a long journey together with them.
We have been actively involved in helping these and other ladies, particularly with their re-integration into normal life after leaving the safe house. Some of their greatest needs are friendship, understanding and acceptance. Sometimes the help they need is to drink coffee with them, to encourage them or just to talk about their children, life and work. Often they need practical help, for example someone to drive their sick child to the doctor’s,help with moving house, painting their flat or repairing the washing machine; also, many of them lack the resources to pay for those services. Sometimes they need someone to look after their children while they complete important paperwork, other times they need a child picked up from school.
One of those ladies, Milena, became a Christian after a few months, and she is now an active member of our church. She is a hero in her very hard life. She has now finally found a permanent job, and her daughter, Ksenija, is starting school in September. We have other ladies and their children from a similar background coming to our church or some of our activities. One lady comes regularly with her 4-year-old son, she is Russian and we are the only family she has here. We have also been able to help her with the necessary papers to get permanent residence in Serbia.
Parallel to this ministry is our work with children and teenagers. For more than four years we have organise regular workshops for children, with weekly craft sessions and monthly activity days, which are great fun and include a Bible activity, craft and games. Over the last two years we have also had regular meetings and activities with teenagers. About half of the children and teenagers we work with are from unchurched families and one of our main aims is to show them God’s love and compassion and to create opportunities to talk with them and their parents about the gospel.
We are so encouraged by our church’s first children’s summer camp in August 2013. We had 20 children, six of whom were from unchurched families and spent seven days in the countryside. We had daily Bible lessons, English classes, games, sports activities and so on and are delighted with the response from those who went.We now plan to continue this exciting work in the school year 2013/14.
We are so grateful for your prayers and support of the work in our town, Nis. Thank you so much for being a part of the mission here!