Many people in Serbia are faced with difficulties, which are not easy to manage. The United Methodist Church is not excluded from this reality. But over and over, men and women provide oases of hope, where people of different generations can take encouragement and strength for the next steps from being part of a sustainable community and from encounters with God.
In August 2014 a children’s camp and a women’s retreat with participants from different congregations were organized in the Christian Retreat Center «Betel» in Fruška Gora (near Novi Sad). «We as a church need to offer children and young adults something of interest, which is relevant to their lives and which gains their attention. We want them to meet and experience God in a variety of creative ways – and we want to offer them opportunities to spiritually grow and find God’s love and peace.» What the leaders of the ministry with children and youth define as their aim, has once again been implemented in the children’s camp. However, this does not mean that it would not be important to have fun, as well – as you can see in a short video of approximately three minutes duration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yge9QsUIzj4
The women’s retreat, to which Barbara Bünger from Switzerland (coordinator of the women’s ministry in the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe) provided an important international contribution, was a truly blessed event – and there is a short video, as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiebjNkMeLo
Both events could not take place without financial assistance from the worldwide Methodist family – or a number of young and older people would simply be excluded from participation for financial reasons. The videos give an impression of the importance of this ministry and the leadership of committed men and women – and they prove how much it’s worth faithfully supporting it. People in Serbia shall have the opportunity to be blessed by such oases of hope in the future, as well.
Source: Office of Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich/Switzerland
Date: September 3, 2014