Bosnia Update: Floods and Landslides

village debris piles upBy Kathy Eikost, an Alliance worker partnering with local churches in relief efforts

The waters have receded in Bosnia. Recovery and rebuilding will take several months. A positive outcome in many locations is that people are laying aside ethnic prejudices and seeing one another as human beings in need. Pray that as they help each other, they will form a new and lasting opinion of their neighbors.

A Renewed Vision

Several of the existing evangelical churches in Bosnia-Herzegovina started as humanitarian aid outposts after the civil war in the 1990s and have earned a strong reputation for integrity and fairness. They are experienced relief organizers and have jumped right in to help those in need. Church members are collecting goods and funds to help. Community people who know of the churches’ good reputations also are contributing with confidence, knowing that the aid will reach those who need it.

children play among rubbleWe see God renewing the churches’ vision for the neighborhoods around them. In years past, many of the congregations have focused on their own condition and growth. The Bosnian floods have been a wake-up call to the churches of how many communities still lack a gospel witness.

Stealing Sand

During the rains, an important levee on a river broke in four places. Manmade walls had been built to protect low-lying areas from possible flooding, but over the years, people had been stealing sand from the barriers for their private use. Home construction projects seemed more important than a high river bank; after all, the river hadn’t risen to flood levels in 120 years. This year those walls were tested as never before—and failed. The raging water flooded vulnerable towns and farmland.

As I prayed for Bosnia recently, a picture came to my mind. I started to ask the Lord to flood Bosnia with His love and blessing in the same way this river had flooded farms and towns. But the Lord interrupted me mid-prayer! He said, “The flood happened because people stole the sand away and weakened the wall. I want you to steal sand away from the barriers Bosnians have put up around their hearts. Every time you show My love, you ‘steal sand.’ The flood will come when the walls have been weakened to the point of breaking.”

Thank you, Lord, for this powerful picture of how our work and Yours go hand in hand.

Is there someone you know with a barrier around his or her heart?  Start stealing sand!


Please continue to pray for safety and emotional and physical health for all involved. Pray for significant contacts in Bosnian cities and for opportunities to share the gospel.

Pray that as residents cross ethnic boundaries to help each other, they will form and retain a positive opinion of their neighbors.


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