There are times when I like things to go according to plan. Yesterday was one of those days. We left Heathrow on time with JAT airlines flying direct to Belgrade. On landing the captain must have thought he was a formula 1 driver. I believe we were doing over 100 mph taxiing to the airport. I have never been so fast in a plane that was not about to take off! So we arrived on time, straight through immigration, bags duly arrived, changed a small amount of money, and then caught a bus with no fuss straight to the city centre. I chose the hotel we stayed in because it is right opposite the main railway station where the airport bus stops. 100 yards to the hotel and they were expecting us! All according to plan! And joy on joy. It was warm! I have not felt warmth like this since last summer!
Lee and I enjoyed our breakfast this morning. There was a choice of 3 types of breakfast , or you could have your pick from all three!! Southern European, fruit juices, fruit, yoghurt, cheese, meat, breads and wonderful pastries; Slav style, black bread, more meat, sausages, pickles, or English with bacon, scrambled eggs, sausages, fried eggs sunny side up, and toast and marmalade tea and coffee. Guess what we had?
Then we went for a short stroll taking in the train station before Vlada arrived. He then walked us up, up, up to a high point in Belgrade to Kalemegdan Park which overlooks where the river Sava joins the river Danube on its long journey to the Black Sea. It is a favourite place for the locals to walk especially in the warm summer evenings. Vlada got very passionate about Serbia when I asked him how it felt to be Serbian after the breakup of Yugoslavia and see this once proud nation held together by Tito, crumble into its many parts.
Back to the car through the pedestrian shopping areas and then on our way south to Niš, a two and a half hour journey. As I mentioned before, this road is a main route south to Greece or east to Turkey and so the toll road was full of trucks. Now we are installed in the church building where we sleep and stay for the next few days until a Czech group arrive this weekend.
Come 5 pm, Miloš the worship leader took us to a restaurant to eat real Serbian food. Lee and Miloš tucked into pork with cheese while I sampled the local, very long, very spicy sausages. Very good. We will definitely go back there! Over the meal Miloš picked our brains and experience on forming and leading teams, with loads of questions. Do you have ground rules, how do you build team, how and when do you delegate responsibilities, what if you make mistakes, how do you correct people and so on. Time flew by. Now we are back in our room and writing and emailing.
It is exciting to be here and we are looking forward to the days ahead. Do keep praying for us as we look forward to seeing God move in this pioneering situation.
Lee and Ken
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