Tara Canyon, Bosnia-Herzegovina
This trip with Operation Capitals of Europe (OCE) to Podgorica and Sarajevo has been an extraordinary one. Like I said in yesterday’s post, Sarajevo is the halfway point—25th of approximately 50 European capitals. And Sarajevo calls itself The Heart of Europe. It’s also the place where East and West meet in Europe.
Plus there has been a heavenly shift on this trip. Prayer has gotten easier, the burdens lighter, and the work more fun. We functioned more effectively as a team, despite past glitches with the issue of unity. Our love and respect for one another has grown as we’ve come to recognize each other’s giftings—which brings us back to teamwork. We’ve learned how to rely on each other’s strengths. In Podgorica we were seven—four OCE regulars and three who joined us. Here in Sarajevo we were 25 – 40, some only attended the meetings in the church, but several also came along to prayer walk with us.
Even with new people (and the locals, who are always new), this time we worked so well as a team. Frankly, it’s a relief to know that I don’t have to carry the full burden of this ministry myself. I know that I couldn’t do it alone. So I work in my gifts and let the others work in theirs, and that way the burden is light for each of us. But this is a remarkable group of people who don’t try either to self-promote or leave the whole burden on others. Over the years and several trips together, we’ve learned when to come forward and when to step back and let another teammate do the work, and usually the locals blend in nicely, adding their prayers and prophecies in their own language.
So today was the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, here in Sarajevo. We went down to the bridge where the shots were fired, arriving at 10:00. There was a place in the street that was open for the team to enter, and once in, the crowd closed around us and many people walked through little gaps in our group of about 25. One woman had made a flag of a lion roaring, and shared a vision of a roaring lion. I had a vision of a lion stepping on the head of a dragon. Different people took turns holding the flag, and almost as soon as we were in place, people started asking about the flag, and it became a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus. Even news reporters from different countries came up to us, asking about the flag. I spoke with a reporter from Italy and another from Hungary. A couple of reporters recorded us singing and dancing. For the first time, I was completely uninhibited in public worship. It was wonderful. Then someone from the City of Sarajevo Museum drove up with the Archduke’s car, parked it in the middle of the crowd, and cordoned it off.
Then we walked to the fountain in the middle of the Old Town Square, prayed some more, and walked to the East-West divider, and prayed some more. From there we walked, worshiping all along the way, to Parliament Square. We said some final prayers there, and then said goodbye because almost everyone was leaving town immediately afterwards. Many people from previous trips to the Balkans had joined us here, so it had been wonderful to see them, but sad to make our goodbyes.
Two of my OCE teammates and I remain in town for another day, so we went to lunch together. Tomorrow I will take an early bus to Belgrade and fly back to Milan from there. It will be a long day of travel after more than two weeks away from home. Although I will be glad to get back home, it’s hard to leave my friends—co-workers in God’s Grand Plan to save Europe. Our next trip will be in September, and the adventure will continue. God is good!