The Kalkman Family
Nora and Pieter are
based in Prague, Czech Republic where they serve
through International Ministries as liaison and volunteer coordinators with the
European Baptist Federation (EBF). They match the skills and interests of short
term mission volunteers from the United States
and Puerto Rico with the needs of more than 50
Baptist unions that are part of the EBF. There are only 2.4% Bible
believing Christians in Europe, making this is
a priority mission field.
They write: ‘Record-ever’
snowfall cut many homes off, in Bosnia
last week. The elderly struggle for survival, with over 50% unemployment. Winters
are especially difficult to make ends meet. I just returned yesterday after a
1500 miles trip driving almost continuously through fairly severe snowy
conditions and extreme colds (-8 F/ -22 C), action compelled by love for
Mostly, we visited
single elderly women, who had no one to provide for them. It is particularly
hard for them to make ends meet this winter. They face shortages of wood for
the furnace and food on the table. International Ministries was able to help
this year with an initiative of the Baptist Union in Sarajevo, enabling them to reach out to those
in need. We pray for them for ways out of poverty and are thankful for one of
the ladies who started selling products she had sewed herself. Now she was
putting ‘love in action’ as she was training other ladies to sew to help
support themselves. With joy I learned a local factory had been started up
again after more than a decade, providing a full time job to a person who
traveled with us. It would give her the common salary of 300 Km/ monthly
($200), great in helping to survive the winter, but insufficient to move out of
poverty. However, my initial joy turned into mixed feelings when I learned that
it was a grenade- factory (a reminding of the double layers of trouble we face
in this world).
I was deeply
impressed and encouraged by Bob, one of our volunteers in Sarajevo, to whom God has given a heart for
the Balkans. Since the recent Balkan wars he has made several trips to this
priority mission field and needy part of the world. This time he showed ‘love
in action’ by giving seminars on how to get out of the unemployment cycle, how
to start a small business. I was encouraged by his dedication and pray that the
seeds he planted in the hearts of the participants will bear fruit in their
lives and for the region. Haris, one of the participants, considers a
bi-vocational future in which self employment may help him realize his dream to
become a missionary out of Bosnia.
I also pray that Bob may return to the Balkan area soon for a longer time and
offer the workshops in more towns, at a more accessible season of the year.
‘Love in action’ is helping people to build their future.
- Pay for Nora and Pieter as they strive to bring the resources of caring people and material help to minister in the name of Jesus to the people of Europe, the Middle East and West Asia.
- Pray that God would raise up more servants like “Bob” and that the seeds he has planted will bear fruit.