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Network Youth Church members back from Bosnian mission

Members of Windermere Network Youth Church and young people from Brough, have just returned from a trip to Bosnia as part of a Youth With A Mission project. Here they've written about the experience:

Seven young people, three adults and a toddler spent the two weeks of the Easter holidays on an adventure of a lifetime.

They linked up with YWAM an international Christian Mission organisation to take part in their ‘Missions Adventure’ Programme where they had 4 days of training followed by 10 action packed days in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Libby Cuthbertson a Youth Worker in Grange Over Sands and Chris Mason ‘Network Youth Church’ organised the trip.

The young people from the Grange Over Sands and Brough spent their time working with a church in the Dobrinja area of Sarajevo which was one of the worst affected area in the civil war that took place in the 1990s.

Much of the city still bears the scars of wars with holes from rockets and bullets visible in many of the buildings.

Chris Mason, Windermere Network Touth Church Leader, said: "Every person we met still remembered the war and had lost a close friend or family member, and because of this there was a certain depression that still hung over the people.

"However once immersed in the Bosnian culture we discovered delicious food and wonderful, friendly people who loved to talk in English and were delighted with our limited Bosnian language.

"A highlight of the trip was being able to bring joy to over a hundred school children as we gave them sculptured balloons made in to flowers, swords, dogs and other creations. We also offered face painting and played football and basketball with locals in the public parks."

Two of our group - Toby and Samuel - dressed up as Iron Man and Spider man respectively and young people were delighted to have their photographs taken with them. On the Sunday the young people led a church service from beginning to end, and although there were not that many local people there, those that came where really blessed and it was great to see the young people’s confidence grow.

Another highlight was praying for the city from the top of the ‘Yellow Fort’, after passing through a cemetery full of those who had died in the war. They stood on top of a wall, prayed and sang ‘My Lighthouse’.

The encouragement from the trip and for Cumbria is that the seven young people who didn’t really know each other, really gelled and came away with a passion to share the love of Jesus, both at home and abroad.

There are thoughts about a summer 2020 mission trip which will be open to anyone who is aged over 13.

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