A Walk Through Bosnia
Day in, Day out, it's the same old thing. Taking the flock to a field of green --- sitting, watching, and waiting. The life of the shepherd is not glamorous, but it is important. The sheep must eat, if the shepherd wants to eat. Their lives revolve around the sheep. I wonder if they've ever heard of the great King David, who was once a shepherd like them? I wonder if they've ever heard of the Good Shepherd? Will they ever heed his voice as he calls?
(Overlay) PRAY for the SHEPHERDS
John 10:14 “I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me –.”
Good Shepherd, you said your sheep know your voice. We ask that the shepherds of Bosnia would hear your call, in the midst of the sheep they watch. May they, by faith, follow you to your eternal sheep fold.
The airport is her neighbor. Her grandson is her helper. The scythe and the hoe are the tools. With her gnarled hands, this grandmother, takes up her hoe and slowly and carefully cares for her large garden. Her weathered skin and stooped back tell the story of the days, … the years, … of feeding her family from the bountiful harvest of her labor.
(Overlay) PRAY for the GARDENERS
Luke 12:22 … “ … Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”
Father, many people in Bosnia depend on their gardens as a source of food and income but only you can bring the harvest. When the Bosniaks worry, teach them that all things are in your hands.
(Overlay) The Masses
The streets of Bosnia’s cities are alive with people. People are moving on foot, in cars, by tram, and on bicycles. Everyone is going somewhere in a hurry. Jesus looked upon the masses and longed to gather them to himself as a hen gathers her chicks, but they were not willing.
(Overlay) PRAY for the MASSES
Matthew 9:36 …“When He saw crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Lord, please draw the people who live in the urban places of Bosnia to yourself. Break their hearts and open their eyes that they may be willing to come to you. Draw them to you in large number.
(Overlay) The Coffee Bars
The coffee bar is the meeting place in the cities of Bosnia. You could sit in a coffee bar and witness meetings of all kinds in a day. Perhaps friends might meet one another. They greet with a kiss on each cheek. Across the room, two businessmen make a deal and seal it with coffee. Young lovers meet there, oblivious to the rest of the world around them. Meetings and relationships are crucial to the Bosnian Muslim … known as Bosniaks.
(Overlay) PRAY for those at the COFFEE BARS
John 12:21 … “They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. ‘Sir, they said, we would like to see Jesus.”
Father, one meeting the Bosniak needs more than any other, is a personal meeting and relationship with Jesus Christ, the Messiah. We ask that they learn to openly meet with you, as well as they meet together daily for coffee.
(Overlay) The Open Markets
The Piazza or open market is the place where many Bosnians go to find their daily food. People are busy buying and selling there. Fruits and vegetables, as well as many other things, can be bought at a good price. In order to purchase the daily needs of the family, they make the walk to the Piazza.
(Overlay) PRAY for those at the OPEN MARKETS
Matthew 4:4 … “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Lord, give us this day our daily bread. Yet, we remember that you said, “Man does not live on bread alone.” There is a need that is greater than food or clothing. The Bosniak desperately need the spiritual food of the Word of God. May they go daily to their Bosnian Bibles and feed upon the Word of God.
(Overlay) The Workers
An army of workers keeps the city clean and operating smoothly. Visible to all, … they wash the streets, they maintain the water system and the electrical power lines, … and they pick up trash. … They seem to be everywhere in trucks, along the street, and just standing around.
(Overlay) PRAY for the WORKERS
Matthew 5:16 … “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Lord, you tell us that as Christians we are to be salt and light in the world. Let my light shine so that people like these workers can see Jesus.
(Overlay) The Hopeless
If one word can sum up the urban dwellers of Bosnia as a whole, it would be the word hopeless. They are a people who are downtrodden. Not a day goes by without remembering the horrors of war. They look to the past and a communist regime, as the “best” years of Bosnia. Their government is corrupt, and they do not trust the elected officials. Once they saw government as their only hope. Now their government is like a three-headed monster, taking their hope away.
(Overlay) PRAY for the HOPELESS
John 10:9-10 … “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance.”
May the Bosniak learn the true source of hope found only in the promises of God and the love of Christ. You are our rock! We can rest in you! Governments of the world will come and go but yours will last forever!
(Overlay) The Youth
Look into the eyes of the young people of Bosnia’s cities and you see a different Bosnia. They haven't forgotten how to smile or laugh. They don't live every day remembering war. They want to learn new things, grow up, have a career, and get married. They are much like young people everywhere. They look toward the future.
(Overlay) PRAY for the YOUTH
Hebrew 12:2 … “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith . . . .”
Dear God, you told us not to look behind us, but to look forward. More importantly, we need to look to you. You are the only hope for a bright future. We ask the Author and Finisher of our faith to bring bright hope and a bright future to the Bosniak youth.
(Overlay) The Blind
Often, when walking the streets of these cities, someone will come up and ask directions. Bosniaks almost always give you directions, even if they don’t know the way. It’s a matter of pride. Nobody wants to admit they don’t know. This is similar to their approach about heavenly things. They follow Islam because their parents did. They cannot explain their beliefs to you, but they are proud to be Muslim.
(Overlay) PRAY for the BLIND
John 14:6 … “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Oh Lord, we know there is only one true direction. There is only one real way to get to heaven. You said that you were that way and that nobody would come to the Father unless they come through you. Please do not allow pride, or heritage, or even lack of understanding keep the Bosniak from knowing you. Show the Muslims of Bosnia who you are in power and truth that they might believe and find the straight and narrow path to you.
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