hatred and hopeBy
A few days ago I returned from almost two weeks of travel in the beautiful and often rugged Balkan peninsula where I was privileged to meet with many nationals and expats. It was a time for encouragement and challenge as well as being encouraged and challenged. Thank you to each of you who were a blessing to me along the way!
Through my time, explorations and many conversations there, the vast Balkan history that is at times sublime and at other times horrifying, became both clearer and more complex. While a number of things about the area merit discussion, two things stood out to me.
First, there seems to be a pervasive hatred that runs throughout the land and countries that comprise the area. I think it may be possible to find out what country a person is in or what ethnic group one may be communicating with by asking the question, “Who do you hate?” Surprising enough, the question may not even have to be asked. Upon leaving Greece I shared with the national TSA equivalent that I had traveled in Macedonia which seemingly played a part in me being questioned repeatedly by two different agents as well as dual pat downs and triple examination of my baggage.
Second, the need for the hope of Christ is as pervasive as the hatred. While I had the privilege of meeting with many national and expat church planters as well as purposed NGOs, there were so many cities and towns where the Good News is not being proclaimed. At a time when economic, political and ethnic unrest are challenging the stability of the area, there is enormous need for the Kingdom of God to be proclaimed in the land of the Balkans. I am thankful for those who are about this task now and am praying for you!
May God bless these wonderfully diverse peoples. (BTW – I’ll be posting a few pics from some highlights there soon on my FB account.)