Peace Comes to Mira

By Kathy Eikost, serving in Bosnia

Mira grew up in a small Bosnian village in the 1950s—when horses were used for farm work and a fourth-grade, country school education was considered plenty for girls, especially for one like Mira, whose name is derived from the word “mir,” which means peace. But there was no peace for Mira.

After learning to read and write on a slate, she was put to work.  A girl from a poor background, she had no claim to family property but was shuffled from uncle to cousin as a farm hand, suffering every imaginable kind of abuse by the time she was in her early teens.  As soon as she was old enough, she married a man who was several years her senior—on his way to the city to work in a factory. 

Mira calls him “Raka,” a shortened version of his last name. She says that Raka was never abusive physically; he was passive. But he did drink away most of his wages and left her with little to live on-much less to feed their four daughters. 

The Hard Road

Mira functioned more as a working single mother, doing what she knew best-physical labor. She helped make ends meet by cutting wood and hauling water, living all the while as a tenant laborer. For a woman, being a tenant as opposed to a homeowner is one of the worst fates one can have in Bosnia—there is nothing to inherit from her or her husband’s family. 

Mira dreamed of the day that Raka’s last name-not the landlord’s-would be next to the door. For years she slept on straw mattresses covered with discarded bedding, always telling herself that someday she would have a better life. When Raka finally got a “real” job that included a three-bedroom apartment for his large family, Mira could hardly believe it. She would go in and out the front door to look at the nameplate and try her key, making sure the place was really theirs. Now, maybe Mira would have peace.  

By the late 1980s life was pretty good. Raka and Mira owned their home; the girls were all in school, and the oldest was getting married soon. Then the war came in the early 1990s. Because he was a member of a minority group, Raka was sent to serve on the front lines and was killed in action. Their wonderful, spacious apartment was in disputed territory and hit by many artillery shells. Windows, furniture, and one wall were destroyed. It seemed like everything Mira had worked for was slipping away. 

New Life

But then the gospel came to Mira’s home. Her daughter’s best friend had recently trusted Jesus as her Savior and was telling all her girlfriends about it. Mira’s two middle daughters wanted to get baptized. She went to the service, gave her life to Christ, and a new world opened up for Mira. Amid war and the grief of losing her husband, Mira found peace—the ultimate peace found only in Jesus.

Today, Mira is a faithful member of a local Body of believers and frequently hosts our home group. She is still praying for the salvation of her other two girls. In spite of her rudimentary education, Mira loves to read God’s Word and share its truths with her neighbors. She also has a tender heart for the poor, and has worked as a cook in the church’s soup kitchen for years.

I am so thankful for a dear sister like Mira. Coming from a rural area myself, I can relate to many of her farm stories, which sound like ones my dad used to tell. I may not have been the one to initially share the gospel with her, but I am very glad to walk beside Mira and help her grow. 

Would you join us in praying for the salvation of her two daughters, “D” and “L”?  “D” lives at home and is frequently in contact with people of faith, but there is some “wall” that still needs to come down. “L” is now married and living in Belgium, where she has met several vibrant believers. Pray that Mira’s daughters will receive the gift of true peace [this Easter] in Jesus. 

Learn More

Read more stories about Alliance work in Bosnia. What You Can Do

Pray for the salvation of Mira’s daughters.

Give to Alliance Great Commission Ministries and partner with Alliance workers, like Kathy, who shine the light of Jesus into the lives of people like Mira.


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