International Ministries

Denominational Mission Penetrating Hidden Places

February 8, 2004 Journal

Right after the recent wars in Yugoslavia, Bosnia was soaked in help through many aid and mission organizations. But when the last TV cameras left, the help, and the missions (depending on it for fund raising) left. In the late 90's, the faithful local Christians were virtually left alone, facing the huge task restoring their damaged society, without the help prompted by the world press.

I was in a refugee camp near Sarajevo, a few years ago: Roma families barefoot in the snow covered dirt, living in wooden barrack rooms of 9 to 9 feet per family with no means, no value, no hope: Gypsies are technically neither Bosnians nor Yugoslavians, nobody wants them. They are out of the picture of the world, the parachurch missions, and the individual churches (even the mission minded churches).

For 6 years now their situation is unchanged (worsening) no help for them no mission or individual church (able to) picking up on that. We as ABC International Ministries were, and are present there through the Bosnian Baptists. The local Baptist Union has formal access (assigned by the government), to those camps for ministry. We had a construction team nearby that visited them, and a few months ago we had a volunteer there working full time in mercy ministry, simultaneously teaching local Baptists this ministry.

I met with Carol, this ABC volunteer in Sarajevo, while visiting the Baptist Unions in the Balkan. She shared, that she missed the usual volunteer team cheer with challenging devotions, a good team leader, and guided spiritual formation. What was the visible impact of her service, her readiness to serve in a rather lonely setting?

The impact of her service is immeasurable, just because she was there, where simply no one else was. She did not have a fun exiting volunteer kick, but she made a profound impact for Gods Kingdom, where it says: I was naked, I was hungry where were you? (With the media driven come & go mission efforts). Those, created in the image of God, were fed, clothed, and nurtured with Gods word and prayer. So you did this, to one of the least, you did this to Me, said Jesus; American Baptist Churches were there through their volunteer Carol, virtually only because of being a denominational mission, with International Ministries vast network of long term profound relationships with the European Baptists!

In Christ,

Pieter Kalkman