Monthly Archives: July 2010

Srebrenica – 15 years ago today

Today was the 15th memorial for the Srebrenica Massacre… it included the burial of a Roman Catholic, click here

Secretary Clinton released this statement:

Today we remember the tragic events in Srebrenica 15 years ago. I join President Obama and the people of the United States in offering our deepest condolences on this most solemn occasion. We honor the memories of the victims and mourn with their families.

The United States stands with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all countries in the region who wish to foster peace and reconciliation. We remain committed to ensuring that those responsible for these crimes face justice. We recognize that there can be no lasting peace without justice. It is only by bringing all responsible parties to account for their crimes that we will truly honor Srebrenica’s victims.

We are duty-bound – to the victims, to their surviving family members, and to future generations – to prevent such atrocities from happening again. Our common faith in the value of freedom and peace unifies us and drives us to act. That is why we are committed to working with all the communities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina to move forward and build a pluralistic, democratic state that can take its rightful place in the Euro-Atlantic community. A prosperous, free, and unified Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most worthy monument to those who lost their lives at Srebrenica and the best guarantee against such a tragedy ever repeating itself.

I was there last year and posted HERE

Never forget 7-11-95

News link

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another castle

second castle in a week! Some friends from Ukraine stopped by for a couple of days. It was great to hang out with Ruslan and Anna and the boys.  We went to Visegrad Castle…

I cooked burgers and hot dogs for lunch, I’m keeping the grill going Mark!

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CEO and camps

Earlier this week I was visiting Orahovica, Croatia and CEO partners, the Bohalls. In the summertime, Jeremy and Petra are involved in a camp ministry. At this camp there were about 80 first through third graders having a great time. They were sleeping in bunks, having snacks, making crafts, coloring, going to the lake to swim the afternoon away, and three times a day they got to participate in awesome big-group time in which they saw funny skits, sang fun camp songs and participated in age appropriate teaching about Jesus. Why, John the Baptist made a guest appearance Tuesday when i was there! And he ate a grasshopper dipped in honey! (Don’t worry, no animals were harmed in this production, the grasshopper was made of marzipan and, I think that the sugar content almost made him choke!) Afterward, I was making some notes to write this post and a couple of things occurred to me.

The first thing was that i was reminded how instrumental camps have been to the work and development of CEO. Indeed the mission of CEO: education, development and missional leadership really meet in camp ministry. When Arden Campbell took the first Covenant School group to Szeged, Hungary to lead an English Camp, who would guess that three years later in the summer of ’99 that God would begin speaking to her about returning to serve in Szeged full time. The following spring, to facilitate that move, CEO was born.

Since 2000, CEO and Covenant School have maintained that partnership where teens, teachers and alum return to serve among CEO’s parters in various camp settings in Vinnytsya and Kyiv, Szeged, Vac and Budapest, Hungary, Vukovar and Slatina, Croatia and Temerin, Serbia. In 2001, CEO became involved in the Stream of Love camp in Ukraine and God, in his faithfulness, provided funding which saved the camp from being moved from their facilities.

Faithfulness and fruitfulness. We seek God, connect to Him and follow His leading. God, in turn, uses us to be his vehicles of blessing. If we are faithful, He brings fruit. It is amazing how He works, which leads me to my second thought as I processed all that I saw at the camp I was visiting.

After I was thinking back to how God had used CEO to work with and bless thousands of kids over the years in various camp settings, I began to understand that He wanted CEO to take a small step of faith and make a donation to this camp for kids who couldn’t pay. I knew that, at this camp, kids were never turned away because they could not pay. I had also learned that this camp was bringing together kids from numerous ethnicities and there were some special needs kids present too, some of them could not pay. But the camp allowed them to come to be blessed anyway.

So, I left that camp to go for a walk and prayed, through an hour or so of conversation with the Lord, it became clear that I was to give them 3200 kunas (that works out to something under $700). I had peace about this decision, so I let the leader know what the Lord had put on my heart. I then went on my way about the rest of my day. That night, the phone rang and we were informed that the camp was short 3000 to cover all expenses. It was pretty amazing. God, in His wisdom and provision had met their needs in a completely unexpected way. It was an amazing encouragement for me to get to see that happen.

So, I guess CEO and camps remain linked as God is working, and that is a blessing.

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thoughts from A Hole in Our Gospel

On my way back to Budapest yesterday, I finished, reviewed and decided which thoughts I thought to post… here you go…

A Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

“And yet only about 4 percent of all U.S. charitable giving goes to international causes of any kind. We have become detached and indifferent toward the constant and repeated images of poverty and adversity that bombard us. In fact, our apathy has even earned its own term: compassion fatigue. But we cannot claim that we don’t know our distant neighbor is in need – not anymore, not today.” (p. 102)

“Bob Pierce once said, ‘Don’t fail to do something just because you can’t do everything.’” (p. 152)

“How many loaves do you have? Bring them here to Me.” (-Jesus )(p. 256)

“But if you truly want to follow Christ and carry the good news in tangible ways throughout our world, neither of these approaches is very useful. The pessimist here sees only obstacles. The optimist sees only opportunities. But the realist sees the possibilities between the two. And that’s who we must be. We must be people of the possible.” (p. 274-5)

“In the end, God calls you to be faithful to the things he has given you to do. He doesn’t require you to be a superstar, just faithful and obedient, by praying, loving, serving, giving, forgiving, healing, and caring – doing small things with great love.” (p. 277)

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reward

On the left is the ice cream, just to the right of center, on the shorter of the distant mountains is a castle ruin (more below), after lunch I walked to (2km) and up the mountain. I explored the castle and then came back. The ice cream was my reward.

Here’s the old chaplain in the older chapel… he may be older than dirt (birthday soon) but he’s younger than Doc.)

Ruzica Grad, the castle ruin atop the hill just south or Orahovica, Croatia

On the way down… I was thinking…

I was thinking about how kings build kingdoms and like to put their castle on a hill to look out over their domain. But, as Scripture says humans are like grass with withers… the lord of this castle and the memory of him (except in some footnote somewhere) is loooong gone. The ruins of his and his heir’s castle are just that, a ruin. Look at this crack in the eastern wall of the chapel…

Man fades away, but God’s Kingdom, which is in our hearts, lasts forever and that’s a better reward even than Orahovica ice cream.

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back north to…

Orahovica, Croatia to spend more time

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amazing views from the mountains

These were views from the camp I was at this weekend. An amazing time.

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