Winter 2002 Rapport: Missions Outlook:
Bringing Gods love to a war-stricken land of hate
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Over the last decade, the former Yugoslavia, now known as the Balkans, has been in constant
conflict, battle, and turmoil due to territorial fighting, ethnic cleansing, and religious
hostilities between the Croats (Catholics), Serbs (Orthodox), and Bosnians (Muslims).
In the midst of all the mayhem, Christianity is growing as new churches are rapidly being
planted in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
AGTS students Brandon Gardner, Valerie Arguello, and Cara Tracy
build relationships with the young and the old in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
On June 10 the General Council of the Assemblies of God sent 45 students from Evangel
University, Central Bible College, and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary to the
Balkans for a two-month Pentecostal Practicum. After the first week of staying at the
Osijek Evangelical Theological Seminary the group split into 10 teams that were sent to
different cities throughout Croatia and Bosnia to work in various ministries.
According to Dayton Kingswriter, the dean of the Balkans 2001 Pentecostal Practicum and
the director of the AG Commission on Christian Higher Education, Students and leaders
developed close relationships with the pastors and supported them and the churches with
much prayer and hard work. Students participated in a variety of ministries including
children, youth, and street ministry; ministry to Gypsies; church construction; Royal
Rangers camp; English lessons; computer classes; guitar, voice, and piano lessons; preaching;
leading worship; ministry in orphanages and refugee camps; one-on-one witnessing; library
work in two Christian colleges; vacation Bible school; coffeehouse ministry and home visitation.
Prayer and fasting became an important tool for effective ministry while fighting
spiritual darkness and strongholds, said AGTS student Valerie Arguello. Our
eyes were opened to the spiritual warfare when a roomful of Muslim children started to
manifest demons as our team prayed over them.
AGTS student Melissa Hartin ministers to a little Gypsy girl.
Realities of poverty and prejudice pierced into the hearts of some teams who visited
Gypsy villages that had no running water or electricity. Many villagers lack sufficient
medical care, have no means of transportation, and are uneducated. They are outcast by
the surrounding people groups. Although the Croatians, Serbians, and Muslims wage war
among one another, they all unite in their feelings of contempt toward the Gypsies.
God placed 26-year-old computer programmer Melissa Hartin, from Alabama, to work side
by side with 44-year-old former NASA employee Ebby Anayamba, Ph.D., who is a single mom
from Kenya, Africa. Both missions-minded AGTS students related to the Gypsies in different
ways. Hartin understood the Gypsies way of life because her great-grandmother used to
be a Gypsy before coming to Jesus. Anayamba could relate to the discrimination factors
because she, too, is a minority. Together, they shared their testimonies and presented
It was a great summer practicum, and I thank God for the opportunity to have been
able to participate in it, Hartin said. I realized to a fuller extent the
devastation of the war. To me it is sheer madness and insanity to see what people can
do to each other. God desires for people to be reconciled. The only hope to stop the cycle
of hate and killing from one generation to the next is for people to give their lives
over to Him.
Students were impacted by relationships they built. AGTS student Cheryl Adcock said, One
man told me, As a father, Im going to ask you not to come back because its
really hard here. But as a Christian, recognizing the need, I beg you to come back.
Thursday, August 7, 2003 3:27 PM