The Spiritual Need in the Balkans
The Balkans is a geographic region in Southeastern Europe generally comprised of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia, and can also include Greece and Turkey.
Representing the convergence of Greek and Latin parts of the Roman Empire, along with Islam and Christianity, the Balkans is a significant crossroads of culture and religion. It has a long history of political upheaval, ethnic conflict, and even ethnic cleansing, which greatly impacted the territorial distribution of the population. Their unique multi-ethnic culture is the result of years of civil wars and a general disunity among people groups.
Most of the population is Muslim, but there are also Catholic and Orthodox populations. Due to the tensions between the three primary religious groups, it is important that a cross-cultural worker’s lifestyle exemplifies a contrast between religiosity and a personal relationship with Christ.
Doors in the Balkans are open to cross-cultural workers. People are willing to listen and engage in activities. Many different skills and types of outreach can be used as a ministry to bring people to Christ and make an eternal difference.
Baptist Missions To The Balkans
Jesus often met the physical needs of people first before engaging with their spiritual needs. In a similar way, ABWE uses sport camps and education in the Balkans to help meet very real physical needs for both adults and children. We also provide a platform to guide people to the one God who can provide everlasting salvation.
In 2001, a widowed mother and her daughter developed an after-school tutoring program to bring much needed education to children whose lives were torn apart by the horrors of a recent ethnic war. This after-school program has now developed into a full-fledged school focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, as well as on showing children the love of Jesus and promoting strong character development. The school is also becoming a hub for business development, community outreach, and relationship building.
Additionally, ABWE’s sports foundation began in 2002 by using hockey to reach out to children on the streets. It has helped children deal with the pain of broken families and provided educational support as they go through school.
The Balkans needs workers and teammates who are willing to invest in deeply in relationships and participate in the growth of Christ’s church. Will you join us in these vital baptist missions to the Balkans?