Faith on the Front Lines | Sojourners

Faith on the Front Lines

A new aspect of this war is its immediacy to people around the globe. Many people receive news about events in Yugoslavia not via CNN, but through thousands of e-mail messages from friends and colleagues on the front lines. Here, a sampler of notes from people of faith immersed in the Balkans war.

What Pain Must God Feel

From an American missionary in Nis, Serbia.

Friday, March 26, 8:41 a.m. From the time the sun goes down there is nothing but fear and terror, sirens and the horrible anticipation of the bombs. I know what’s happened in Kosovo, I know it’s wrong, but to bomb the villages, towns, homes, of people who have in many cases been the ones protesting these very problems—this is not the answer.

Friday, March 26, 7:45 p.m. The landlady where I live said, "Come quickly—the neighbors want to burn your car!" I ran outside and faced about 10 angry young men who live just a few houses down. I know them. I said, "Vlada, why?" He said, "Because your government is killing our people—I hate Americans!"

The whole church has dispersed—everyone is with their families in their basements. I realized that for me to stay was actually endangering the lives of the very people I was there for. So I packed the van with a few belongings and as the sirens were signaling another attack, I fled. I hugged and kissed my landlords goodbye; there were tears all around. As I drove through the city, huge convoys of military personnel were preparing for the night’s activities. What pain must God feel over this; for the Albanians, for the Serbs, for his world that refuses to turn to him but pursues violence because of enslavement to unresolved anger and hate. Where were the missionaries? Where was the church 10 years ago when we still had time?

A Media War

From a Serbian husband and wife pastoral team.

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 1999
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