Logan Courtney – Mississippi College
July 3, 2018
Dobar Dan! That means “Good Day” in Serbski! I am very excited to tell you all that the Lord has been doing here in Serbia, so read on!
Team works! Introducing the most amazing people ever! This is a picture of my teammates who all came from all over America to serve God and the people of Serbia this summer. This team includes two Mississippians, three Texans, and nine North Carolinians (plus two Journeymen/women and a cool Serb roommate). Coming into the summer, I was really worried about having so many people on one team, but it has been amazing getting to work with these wonderful people. God truly hand-picked every single person for this trip!
The past year has been hard for me due to a lack of true community, but the Lord has given me what I was seeking. It has been a truly joyful summer, because I have been surrounded by such a strong community of believers who encourage and support me continuously. We also have small group Bible study four times a week, one big group Bible study, and discipleship meetings all on top of personal quiet time. This seems like a lot, but it is so refreshing to have people constantly pouring into you when you are on the field constantly pouring out. Needless to say, the Lord is truly working in all of our hearts this summer.
Serbian Culture - Serbia has been fought over and fought through its entire existence, so it has a lot of shared culture with many other nations. Serbia has a very warm culture where people value family, friendships, and quality time with people very highly. Serbs are very proud of their country and often wonder why we as Americans would choose to come to Serbia and really want to help us experience their culture. These are some of my favorite questions because it makes Serbs so happy when I tell them how much I adore Serbia and its people!
Serbian Cuisine – Do you love meat and bread? Come to Serbia! That’s about all they eat here! This is a typical Serbian meal which consists of Ćevapi (a sausage-like meat consisting of beef, lamb, pork, or mixed meats), chicken, sour cream, kaimak (a creamy dairy product, sort of like a mix between butter and cream cheese), onions, peppers, feta cheese, and flatbread. You just gotta try it!
Religion – Eastern Orthodoxy is the prominent religion in Serbia, with less than 1% being evangelical Christians. Religion is more of a nationality here. To be Serb is to be Orthodox. People will often claim to be Orthodox and unreligious in the same sentence. Each family has a patron saint that is over them and that they pray to in order for that saint to pray to God for them. A Serb I met said that they only pray to God for large things, but other than that, they pray to a specific saint to specific needs. There is no real relationship with God here. Most people go to churches like this one called Saint Sava, where they listen to a priest recite scriptures in ancient Serbski (a language they don’t understand)!
People believe in their works and not the gift of grace God has given us through Jesus Christ. “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.” – Romans 11:6. So we are here to show people that God is chasing after their hearts, seeking a relationship with them through Christ’s sacrifice/obedience. For if a relationship with God was gained by our own strength and deeds, we would simply never get there. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23.
Prayer Requests –
- That my team and I would be intentional.
- That God would open their hearts to be open to the Gospel.
- That we would stay on fire for the Lord.
- That people we meet will have a desire to meet with us again.