I just wanted to send all of you a final and brief report of my experience as a volunteer mission teacher for Global Ministries in the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
I taught the spring semester, 2019, at Dzemal Bijedic University, in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. I taught English Language Proficiency and English Literature. I also led two creative writing workshops at the International Primary School in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Both experiences at both schools were fulfilling and, I believe, helpful to each institution.
There are continuing stress points in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including in Mostar where the division between Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims) and the Croatians (Catholic) is very clear and, in some ways, growing in various ways. The presence of peace and reconciliation-oriented individuals and organizations continues to be a necessity. I further believe that, at this time, the same sort of presence is needed throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe. I plan to return to BiH in February 2020, at the request of the university and the primary school. I will be working as a volunteer. I am happy to be considered as a returning mission volunteer teacher with Global Ministries. At the K-O Annual Meeting, I met Ms. Fiyori Kidane, a Global Ministries worker in Greece. We agreed that it would be good to work together and to visit each other’s work location if that is deemed acceptable to Global Ministries.
I have worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina on eight different visits since 2000 including volunteering with Church World Service. I look forward to my ninth visit and the important and fulfilling work ahead. I will close with a quote from one of my students at Dzemal Bijedic University:
“Hi! I just wanted to say it was a beautiful afternoon/evening (after a public reading and workshop in Mostar) and I appreciate everything you’ve done, you’re doing and are planning to do for us. And when I say us, I’m not only referring your students but as well to us as the youth of Mostar and us as a whole in Mostar and Bosnia-Herzegovina. And as one of my favorite quotes says: “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee you that I will spark the brain that will change the world. And that’s our job, it’s to spark somebody else watching us.” (Tupac, one of my favorite artists), so I guarantee you, you’re one of those people, sir! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
And many thanks to Global Ministries for this opportunity.
Peace to you
Michael service with the Dzemal Bijedic University of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.