My last blog just a couple of months ago, was when Simon, the leader of our Kerith Church, and I were here in Macedonia. The flag in the photo is the Macedonian flag. The colours representing Macedonia have always been red and yellow, and it was adopted as their flag on 5th October 1995.
This time Ann and I are here for a Newfrontiers Conference in Skopje. Every couple of years the churches in the Balkans affiliated to Newfrontiers and the guys from the UK who support them get together. So a group photo of us all looks like this.
Here are church leaders from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania with folks from the UK. As is true for many conferences, the key times often are not the spoken sessions, (though they were good) but the coffee breaks, meal times and free times when friendships are renewed and new friendships made. Key too are the times when we pray for each other and the nations they represent. We also catch up with people from the UK who we only meet in the Balkans!
We hear how hard it is for many of them in their home setting. Often the towns and cities where they live are very strongly Roman Catholic or Orthodox or Muslim. And therein lies one of the causes for the terrible history in this part of the world.
One couple Ann and I met are Tony and Geri from Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. We got on well, and are looking at inviting Geri to our Ladies Conference REAL, in June. Blagoevgrad is a university city about the size of Bracknell.