Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Friday, July 27, 2012

When Serbia Calls Your Name

A package came in the mail yesterday. It held the exciting promise of travel to Serbia. My passport! I've been itching to post an update but it hasn't been time, until now.

I'm excited to say that God is continuing to unfold his plans to show compassion to his dear ones in Veternik, Serbia's mental institution. I want to invite you to partner with me. Won't you lean in close and see Jesus in the midst of the broken?

I'm thrilled to tell you that I'm at the make it happen stage of this trip and it's time for action. As I said before, I have my passport. I also have my travel companion.  I haven't gotten permission from her to share her name publicly yet, so I'll have to tell you that later. But I can say that I see God's finger prints all over this partnership. We've been friends for many years and I'm thrilled to share this experience with her. I believe we complement each other well and her gifts will be excellent for this trip. Her experience working with disabled children weekly in her job will be invaluable.

We will travel sometime in October and stay for up to two weeks. During our time at Dom Veternik we will meet with the staff to discuss their needs and how we can help. We anticipate touring their facility and spending time with the disabled children and adults residing there. I'm also praying for good opportunities to make contact with other Christians in the area who would be willing to partner with us long term.

When we arrive at the institution my desire is for us to not show up empty handed. Ultimately this trip, and any future ministry, is about showing Jesus' great love for them personally. I believe the best way to do this is to represent him well by showing joy, affection, humility, hope, kindness, and generosity. One of the ways to do this is by helping them with the needs they are facing. Serbia is a country still recovering from war not too many years past. The lack of resources affects the vulnerable of their society most.

Material Needs:

I asked a staff member for a list of things they are in need of. Here are some of the items they listed:

Hygiene products; toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo, diapers, etc.
Linens; sheets and towels
Clothes and shoes of various sizes
Non-English Educational materials; educational toys such as puzzles or blocks, paper, pencils, craft supplies

If your church or family is interested in putting together a box of some of these items to send to the institution please let me know and I can provide further details for you.

What you can do:

If God has laid it on your heart to respond to these needs there are a few ways you can do that.

* You can pray. 
Pray that God would prepare hearts to hear his message of grace and receive his love, both the staff and residents.
Pray that he would empower us as we go to show that love.
Pray that he will provide for every detail as we travel and for our families still at home.

* Send a box. As mentioned above you can help provide material resources for this institution, a tangible expression of love to the staff and residents alike.

* You can give. If you feel God leading you to contribute financially to this trip you can give through the chip in box on the side bar of this blog or if you prefer you can contact me and send a check personally. Expenses include airfare, accommodation and food, an interpreter, and travel in country.

* Spread the word. You can share this post with others that you feel would be blessed by hearing what God is doing in Serbia or would like to join in by praying and supporting.

Thank you friends for your encouragement and prayers as we prepare to walk by faith and respond to God's call to care for the helpless!

It excites me that God invites us to participate in the reconciling of the world to himself. You may not be heading to Serbia any time soon but you can certainly display the mercy of Jesus to those hungry for his love in your community. I pray that he will give us all eyes to see and hearts to respond.

{We are no longer planning on sending boxes of supplies to Serbia. Due to the high cost of shipping and customs it is more cost effective to buy supplies in the country. If you are interested in contributing to the purchase of supplies for the residents of Dom Veternik you can contribute through the Chip In account, or contact me about sending a check. Make sure to note the purpose of your contribution.}

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