Feature

“All of Heaven Is Celebrating!”

By Anonymous

I was talking to my good friend, Emira,* who leads the women’s handicraft group here. Part of the Bosnian Handicraft Project, its larger vision is to introduce group members to the God who can provide for all of their needs and give them everlasting life.

In January, a city in southern Bosnia was hit with snow and ice. This is unusual, and most residents chose to stay indoors rather than brave the elements. Emira had all but decided to cancel the Monday night meeting, since most of the 30 members are seniors and the slick sidewalks would be treacherous.

Although it is a knitting group, two hours are spent in conversation, prayer, singing and a Bible lesson. That night’s lesson was to be a clear message on how Jesus made a way for salvation and the forgiveness of sins.

As the time for the meeting approached, Emira felt the Lord telling her not to cancel. Six ladies arrived, including a newer member, “J.S.” She is a quiet woman from an atheistic family and had never volunteered to read from the Bible or pray aloud. On this night, with only six women present, she seemed more comfortable and offered to read almost every Bible passage for the lesson.

At the end of the lesson, Emira asked if anyone would like to ask Jesus to forgive their sins and give them eternal life. J.S. said, “Oh, that would be wonderful! I would love to do that!”

After she prayed, the other women hugged her and welcomed her into the family of God as their new sister. J.S. was surprised at their enthusiastic response. “Well, my dear, all of heaven is celebrating! Why shouldn’t we?” Emira told her. This new sister couldn’t wait to tell her husband what happened. Though a professed atheist, he is very curious about the meetings. A couple of weeks after J.S. began attending, he asked her if it was boring to sit around knitting with a bunch of old women. She explained that they don’t really knit but have Bible lessons. He insisted that she report to him each week. Now, hungry to hear the lesson, he waits at the door of their home for her to return from the group. They have begun to study the Bible together.

*Name has been changed.

—an Alliance international worker in Bosnia

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