Happy Saturday everyone! It’s been a nice, relaxed morning on my side of the world so I thought I’d sit down and write a much overdue update. In case you were wondering where in the world I am right now, we are in Banja Luka, Bosnia right now. We spent the last two weeks in Kaštela Novi, Croatia and now we’re back in Bosnia for the rest of our time on outreach! Croatia was AWESOME – it’s so beautiful there and we had a ton of fun – but I’m excited to be back in Bosnia. This country completely stole my heart during our first 6 weeks here. So it’s great to be back.
In Croatia, we were working with a bunch of YWAMers there. They’re trying to start a sailing DTS so we got to go sailing while we were there. Which… Well, we didn’t hate it.
It was well worth the sunburn.
While we were out on the sea, we got to pray with some of the Croatia Team and just encourage them in their dreaming and planning. So that was awesome, both for us and I know Jared and Dustin enjoyed taking us out.
One of our first nights, we went in to Split, one of the cities close to where we were staying, and did some street ministry with a local pastor. He brought a guitar and balloons for balloon animals, so we just made a scene on the sidewalk trying to attract as much attention as we could. I now know how to make a dog out of a balloon! Putting that one on the resume when I get home….;) The highlight of the night for me was when I gave away one of the balloon puppies to a little boy. He had cerebral palsy and his mom pushed him in his wheelchair up to our little stand. She was talking to one of the other ladies with (who spoke Croatian) and her little dude was just chilling in his chair, observing people on the street. As soon as I looked over and saw him, I knew he needed a balloon animal. So I grabbed one of the last two that we had and went and placed it in his hands. Then I watched as he took the balloon animal into his hands, ever so gently, staring at it in wonder and amazement. A little grin crept across his face as he stared at his new treasure. I walked away, back to where Aleah was cleaning up our balloon mess, just thinking about how pure this child’s joy was. I glanced back at him one more time just as he started lifting his balloon animal above his head, true lion king style, and… I can’t even begin to explain what I saw on his face. I have never seen so much genuine wonder, awe, joy, and just pure love and adoration before. It was beyond beautiful. (At this point, I had to walk away and attempt to stop the tears running down my face.) As I think back to that moment, it still blows me away. That little boy loved his new toy SO much. As I watched, I could feel the Holy Spirit telling me that that’s how the Father feels about us. And it blew me away. It overwhelmed me. It still overwhelms me. And I hope I never forget that moment.
Other fun things we did in Croatia, volunteered at a center for kids with Down’s syndrome, cleaned some beaches, put on a youth event with a local youth group, went to a high school English class, and spent a day doing yard work and house cleaning for a couple of families. We also got up at 5 one morning to have a sunrise worship session down by the sea. To be honest, the sunrise was a little anticlimactic, but the worship was not.
Here’s just a few pictures of where we were staying, just so you can be at least a little bit jealous. 😉
Croatia is a beautiful place. If you’re looking for a vacation spot, this wouldn’t be a bad idea. ☺️
Now we’re in Banja Luca and still having a blast! Thanks to everyone for your prayers! If you could pray for health for the team, that would be so appreciated! The boys have been fighting colds all week and we’re hoping they’ll be back up and runnin at 100% soon (and Aleah and I are hoping we don’t catch whatever they have). Pray for relationships, as well. We’ll be here in Banja Luka long enough to really be able to connect with some local people, so pray for those opportunities. I think it’s safe to say that as a team, that’s what we enjoy the most, just getting to know people and share life with them for a bit of time if we can.
As we say in our team, peace out homies! 👍🏼😉