The Language We Speak – A Serbia Mission Trip Reflection

The quaint villages that dot the countryside of Serbia with their women heading to market on bicycles and men rumbling by on tractors have a timeless simplicity. As we pulled into the village we would call home for the week, I wondered if the cultural differences and language barrier would be too much for our team of eight. Would we really be able to connect with the people of this beautiful country? The children arrived at camp the first morning with grins on their faces and eyes eager to see what the day held, and we quickly realized that the Lord had gone before us and prepared the way. Many of the children were returning for a second or third year of camp and had been anticipating this week since last summer. An immediate bond was created between the teens on our team and the Serbian children through playing American baseball and singing silly songs, because laughter speaks all languages.

Our Serbian leader, Darko, has a relentless passion for evangelism. His greatest desire is to see the next generation come to know Christ; but this year he wanted to reach out to their parents as well. We invited the parents one evening to hear what their children had been learning throughout the week. Darko had asked me to speak since my daughter and I were there together. The Lord pushed past my inadequacies and cultural differences because motherhood speaks all languages, too. We laughed over how some things are the same, such a crying babies and biting mosquitos, regardless of where we live. I shared that just because I grew up in a Christian home didn’t make me a Christian; just as moving to their village wouldn’t make me a Serbian. God desires to have a personal relationship with us. His language of grace is a gift available to all, regardless of our address.

Throughout the week we loved on, laughed with, and prayed over the children. Darko captured their attention with energetic stories from Scripture. Sports and English were fun, but the Gospel was our mission. On the last day of camp, twenty souls made a commitment to Christ. We were in awe. God’s glory left us … speechless!