Sharing the Good News in a Rich Culture

bosniaBy an international worker, serving in Bosnia

An interesting, confusing, frustrating, and beautiful thing about living in Bosnia-Hercegovina is the way the culture has developed here.

Bosnia lies at the geographic intersection of historic North-South and East-West travel and trade routes. From Venetian caravans going to trade goods in Constantinople to European Crusaders traveling to Jerusalem, multitudes of wayfarers have passed through, over-nighted, pillaged and/or spent money here. Some stayed, took a wife, and contributed to local society. Most took what they wanted and left.

Four Months of Celebration

Although it makes for a violent, incredibly complex history, the interaction of cultures has given Bosnia a richness that is reflected in its architecture, music, and cuisine. We experience this most during the holiday celebrations that stretch from October through January. 

From Muslim feasts, the Jewish Festival of Lights, Western Christmas, New Year’s (celebrated by everyone) to Orthodox Christmas—cakes, cookies, and traditional foods abound as people set aside differences and celebrate their diversity. It is a time when Bosnians make an effort to honor each other’s backgrounds, remembering to send greetings on the appropriate holidays.

Christmas Shoeboxes

Gift-giving is a part of many of the holidays I’ve mentioned. So, it is natural for us to get in the act, giving Samaritan’s Purse shoebox packages from Operation Christmas Child.

Depending on the local community, evangelical churches may also plan children’s programs at any time during December and January. Most of the programs are not like Christmas pageants in the United States. However, they all have a biblical message, using puppets, clowns, or actors that entertain families and get their message across. After the program, each child receives a lovingly prepared shoebox full of goodies.

Please pray for the Bosnian families who attend these programs. For many, this will be their first contact with a local evangelical church.

What You Can Do

Pray that the message of God’s love will settle deep into the hearts of the all of the families who attend Christmas programs in Bosnia during December and January.

Help keep Alliance workers on the field doing cutting-edge ministry. Donate to Alliance Great Commission Ministries.

Learn More

Read “A Second Chance,” an article detailing God’s work among ex-addicts in Bosnia.


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