So much about Sarajevo has amazed me. First was Corrie’s personal story of war (The War—History Becomes Real), then we learned some surprising things.
Sarajevo is Operation Capitals of Europe’s 25th capital out of an estimated 50—this marks the halfway point*. And the interesting thing about that is that the tide is turning, so prayer has started to become much easier. Places that you would expect to be hard places to pray (like Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has a Muslim majority) have become easier to pray in. And sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ has never been easier. Evangelism is not the focus of OCE, but when an opportunity to share the love of Jesus presents itself, we are faithful to do so.
In fact, we had a surprise this morning when a Muslim man from Bosnia’s most radical sect knocked on the door of the church and asked for someone to tell him about Jesus. This was during our morning prayer and strategy session before prayer walking in the city. The pastor of this church had answered the knock, and told the man about Jesus—which he received eagerly.
For me, the Muslim coming to church was a personal confirmation because just this morning, I was, oh well not really praying, but sort of musing in God’s presence about the seriously religious Muslims (which seem to be a minority here). And God showed me that some of them are sincerely seeking Him—and of course, the Bible says that when we seek God, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
What we do is prophetic prayer, so it’s often accompanied by prophetic acts. We pray as the Holy Spirit directs us. So when we went out to prayer walk in the city, a young couple heard us praying by the river where it flows into the city. One of our local believers noticed their interest, so he greeted them. They asked about our prayers, and he explained about praying for the city. They asked what we had thrown into the river. And he explained that it was salt to purify the river, and how only the blood of Jesus can purify us and save us from our sin. They were so happy that they started laughing. The woman was fanning herself with her hand (Pentecostal-style!) and laughing. So he made an appointment to see them tomorrow and promised to give them Bibles and a copy of the Jesus film.
In this land where death has reigned for so long, the Author of Life has come to bring life and hope. Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife—which happened here in Sarajevo. I feel that Sarajevo has passed through a door, and today starts the true history of Sarajevo—a history of life and love and hope in Jesus Christ. God is good!
* Nobody can say for certain exactly how many countries are in Europe because there are countries that are not universally recognized, like the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (which is recognized only by itself and Turkey), Transnistria (which is recognized only by itself), Kosovo (recognized by all the world except Serbia), Wales, Scotland, and the Channel Islands (which are self-governing regions of the UK), the Faroe Islands (a self-governing region of Denmark), and all the countries that sort of straddle Europe and Asia: Turkey, Russia, and Georgia.