Todd and Karen Dinius
Prayer Letter/Ministry Update
Dinius Family Update, Serving in Bosnia Herzegovina
An update from the Dinius family on their work in Bosnia. December 2012
Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!
We pray that each of you would know the joy and significance of Christ's birth in a deeper way and that His loving presence would encourage and strengthen your hearts this coming year.
As the current director of our team's cultural center "The Source", Todd has been busy this fall running our established programs while also initiating some new ways of engaging and building relationship with the people of Sarajevo.
In October we held our second annual film seminar for area high school students. Six schools sent teams of three students each to our four day seminar taught by a local expert in the film industry. Following the seminar each team then wrote their own screenplay and had one full day of filming and one day of editing with a professional cameraman. The quality of the completed 4-6 minute short films was very impressive. It was a great learning experience for the students and enabled The Source to build stronger connection with the area high schools and goodwill in the community.
In November we again hosted an open house to share the traditions, food, and festivities of our American holiday Thanksgiving with our Bosnian contacts. The open house also served as the opening night for an art exhibition for high school students from the local art academy who we invited to create artwork connected to the theme of 'Harvest'. The students were thrilled to have their own art exhibit and the open house attracted many new people from the community who stayed for a long time after the formal program enjoying our traditional Thanksgiving foods and visiting together.
We continued with our regular adult English courses and children's classes, which remain our main avenues for establishing deeper relationships. Karen again led a Story Time class for children ages 3-5. The focus of the class was to encourage preliteracy skills in preschool-aged children. The class was held in Bosnian, however the children also learned basic English words through songs and stories. We ended the year with a Winter Fest celebration for all the children and parents from our Story Time and Kids Corner classes. The event included workshops for cookie decorating, card and ornament-making, along with holiday songs, games, and food.
Reaching out to women we held a 4-week discussion group about Jane Austen films. Karen and a few of her Bosnian friends joined other women for these times of fellowship, watching and discussing themes connected with each film.
In order to engage more men Todd organized a father/son fun night featuring slot car racing. The boys had a great time with the slot cars, games, food, and prizes. And the men enjoyed tinkering with the slot car track and talking together.
Overall we are encouraged by the increased contacts we are making through The Source center. Please pray that these relationships will continue to deepen through our times of interaction with these families.
One of our English clients, Lily*, and her daughter (one of Bethany's friends) have begun attending church with us! At Bethany's birthday party this summer, she overheard the pastor of our church talking with Todd about his health and how the church had prayed for his healing. Lily was intrigued by the conversation because she was surprised to hear that people were praying for one another. She was raised in an athiestic home, yet has some traditional faith roots. After speaking with our pastor for over an hour, she asked if she could come to church with us. She started coming with us this fall and is very eager to learn about God and the Bible. She has watched the Jesus film, is starting to read the Bible some on her own, and has many questions. Her daughter, Lucy*, is participating in Karen's Sunday School class for children. Please pray for their understanding of God's truth and His desire for them to know and accept His love, salvation, and healing.
Todd has begun exercising regularly with the older brother, Nathan*, of our center's administrative assistant, Victoria*. Both have an Orthodox background where Nathan still attends church regularly. Nathan's entire family was killed during the war when Muslims raided his village near Sarajevo. Nathan, then a boy, survived only by hiding under his bed. After that tragedy Victoria's mother took him in as part of their family. The memories of the war continue to haunt him as he lives in this predominently Muslim city. While Victoria has been attending the Evangelical church regularly now, Nathan came for the first time this past Sunday for a special Christmas service. Todd greatly values this growing friendship with Nathan, and prays for opportunity to speak hope and peace into his life. (*names changed for privacy)
On a personal note, health problems have continued to plague our family, especially Joshua. He has had a number of ear infections over the past year and currently has inner ear fluid. An ENT specialist here has suggested that we consider having his adenoids removed and possibly ear tubes put in. Please pray for us to have wisdom as we make this decision over the next few months, and ultimately for the fluid to drain on its own. We did some more allergy testing for him again and found that he is also allergic to hazelnuts along with his peanut allergy. Please join us in praying for his healing from these allergies!
Todd has resumed formal classroom language study two nights a week in order to encourage continued improvement in his speaking ability. Bethany and Joshua are both enjoying preschool. At first Joshua was very reluctant to speak Bosnian there, but now has become comfortable doing so. Bethany has become quite the artist and frequently spends afternoons drawing, cutting, and glueing new works of art. Kaitlyn remains petite for her age, yet makes up for it with her energy, talkativeness, and warm spirit. She can now say all of our names, and has a special delight in her brother "Josh".
If you would like to partner with us financially, please consider either of these two opportunities:
Dinius Support Fund: This fund covers the bulk of our living and ministry expenses, including apartment rent, utilities, salary, and regular ministry expenses. Your gifts here are part of the larger Great Commission Fund which supports C&MA international workers all around the world. You can give on-line at this website.
Bosnia Center Ministry Fund: Funds going to this account will cover the rent and on-going expenses to operate the team's cultural center. You can give on-line at this website.
During this Christmas season we are especially grateful for all of you, our friends and family around the world. Many blessings to you as we rejoice together in Jesus Christ, God Immanuel!
Thank you so much for your prayers and support!
Todd, Karen, Bethany, Joshua & Kaitlyn Dinius
Contact: Todd Dinius, pp 391, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina / email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org / find us on skype and facebook
Please do not post this newsletter publicly.
Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer
Please continue to pray for the following:
* Guidance as we plan for a 4-week winter session of new classes at our center to plan creative ways to bring in new clients and engage people in deeper spiritual discussions
* Spiritual interest and the salvation of our Bosnian friends and others who participate in classes at the center. Pray specifically for Lily, Lucy, Nathan, and Victoria
* Spiritual and physical protection over our C&MA team as we have experienced fatigue, sickness, and other spiritual attacks from the enemy
* Physical healing for Joshua's allergies and ear problems
* Increased proficiency in the Bosnian language for Todd
* Provision of interns for The Source for the summer and next year, particularly for those who desire to work with children
* Wisdom for us to know how to best use our time this spring as we prepare to come back to the US at the end of May for our furlough year
This past year we have sent more frequent prayer requests to a team of people committed to praying for us purposefully and regularly (at least weekly). If you feel led to join this team, then please let us know.
Updated: December 26, 2012
- Children's Names
- Field Assignment
- Country of Service
- PP 391 , 71000 Sarajevo, BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA
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