In November 2017, the little church plant in Bar, Montenegro, staged a ‘Bless Bar” day. The OM team and local believers were to go around the city doing acts of kindness, to show and share God’s love. Team members Robbie* and Angela* loaded their car with food and headed to a large family which they had met more than a year ago but had not visited in a long time. The couple drove the long narrow road up a mountain, only to find the house empty, and abandoned.
“So now here we were with a car full of food and no one to give it to”, shares Angela.” So we quickly thought and God brought to our minds a family in the Old Town.” The couple have seen the kids about the town, and the family home had benefitted from a much needed renovation project performed last summer by a team visiting from Robbie and Angela’s home church.
“The family situation is very difficult, confusing, and sometimes hard to believe, “ comments Angela. In short, there are 4 kids from 11 to 18 years old living with their grandmother, who is an alcoholic. The kids are from the grandmother's two sons, one of whom is dead, and the other is in prison; both of the mothers are in prison as well.
When Angela and Robbie pulled into the driveway, heads popped out the window and door and on recognising the couple, big smiles filled the youngsters' faces. "There really wasn’t so much special about the actual visit that day, but what has happened since has really been a God Story, " says Angela.
During the visit the oldest girl, Jasmina*, told Angela that she wanted to learn English, so Angela invited her to the English class they run. In fact, all four children showed up for the class and have been coming regularly now to classes and games! And Jasmina comes two extra days each week to just hang out and practise her English.
Jasmina is so motivated to learn...though Angela didn’t grasp the real reason until after a few visits, Jasmina shared some of her story. She said her family situation is so difficult, she has no proper examples of how to live a “good” life; she does not want the kind of life she has experienced so far. “If I can learn English then maybe I can get a job this summer selling icecream to tourists, and start making changes in all our futures “ said Jasmina. She has a Muslim heritage, and Jasmina told Angela that even though she doesn’t understand or know much about God, she does believe He exists. “This is a great place to start!” smiles Angela. “ I think and pray that the future for Jasmina is bigger and brighter than she can imagine! God's plans are better than ours….”
Angela and Robbie feel so blessed to be hands and feet for what God wants to do in Bar’s Old Town, such as giving Jasmina’s tragic family a literal door to keep their home warm, dry, and safe. But even greater is how that earlier act has opened a spiritual door to share not just human love, but the best love of all...Jesus!
* Name changed