In a world that applauds selfish ambition and materialistic indulgence, you will learn to live selflessly as a missionary for ten days and experience how God can use you to bless others. You will be invited to live as a radical disciple of Jesus Christ and return home with a renewed faith, greater confidence, and a lifestyle of service.
What comes to mind when you hear the name “Serbia”? The Communist Bloc? Bitter civil war? Ethnic cleansing?
The Republic of Serbia – formerly part of Yugoslavia – is situated on the Balkan peninsula at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe. Fueled by ethnic tensions, Serbia was drawn into the notorious Yugoslav Wars between 1991 and 2001. 140,000 people died in the conflict, with the deadliest confrontations taking place in Bosnia and Croatia.
Today Serbia is a peaceful country with an emerging market economy in the upper-middle income range. It is a secular state with guaranteed religious freedom, where Orthodox Christians comprise 84.5% of the population. Sadly, the majority of whom is Christian by name only and have no understanding of the gospel or personal relationship with Christ.
You will get a taste of missionary life as you share God’s love in Serbia. You will be part of a team attempting to reach the residents of a Roma village with the gospel through prayer walks, visitation, evangelism, church ministry, sports ministry and a 3-day children’s programme. Ministry will be conducted in English, translated into Serbian by local Christians.
You will fly into the capital city of Belgrade and be transported to 10 miles short of the Romanian border, to the picturesque town of Vršac (pronounced VUR-SHATS). Your hosts are long-term missionaries from America serving with the International Mission Board.
Accommodations will be provided in a small hotel with flush toilets and private showers. The neighborhood is quite safe and the leaders will make every effort to ensure your well-being. You and your teammates will cook some of the meals and, at other times, sample local cuisines in restaurants. Drinking water will be of the bottled variety.
There will also be time to sightsee and experience the local culture.
The Roma (or Romani, but not to be confused with Romans or Romanians!) are of North Indian descent and known in English-speaking countries as “gypsies”. There is an estimated 10 million Roma living in Europe.
Historically, the Roma have often been mistreated and marginalised. They were forced into slavery in medieval Europe, and up to half a million Roma were exterminated by the Nazis during WWII. Poor health, joblessness, poor living standards, lack of education and discrimination are endemic among the Roma.
Vršac has a population of around 52,000 people, nearly 1,300 of whom are Roma. Though often poverty-stricken, you will discover the Roma to be a warm and generous people, and spiritually receptive.
The Team Fee of £335 covers your training, room & board during the trip, ground transportation, and ministry materials. The airfare will be approximately £250. We require your home church to cover your Team Fee and airfare up front. Subsequent financial support you receive (from supporters’ and your own contribution) should be made payable to your home church.
As part of the training and missionary experience, you will be required to raise prayer and financial support from Christian friends and relatives, even if you could pay for yourself. This is not to be confused with “begging” but an invitation to other believers to join in the endeavor. You will be surprised how many people would be thankful for the opportunity.
The missionary team will fly from London Heathrow Airport into Belgrade, Serbia. Once there the team will travel to and from Vršac by rental van. The return flight will be from Belgrade to London Heathrow.
You are responsible for your own transport to and from London Heathrow Airport.
If you are at least 16 years of age, a serious Christian, teachable, have some ministry or missions experience, willing to serve alongside others and to step outside your comfort zone, you are welcome to apply.
Once accepted onto the team, you will be required to attend training sessions at the COCM centre in Milton Keynes. Training dates are to be determined. Most of the training will be held on the week prior to the trip (8th-14th August).
Dates: 15th- 24th August, 2015
Intensity: Level 2
Language: English, Serbian
Team Size: Maximum of 9
Cost: £335 + approx. £250 airfare