We have so, so much. It can blind us to people who have so, so little in places that are very different from here. That can be true of money, clothing, food, online shopping, two-day shipping, and on we could go. With such a vast array of resources at our fingertips, we might easily forget that it's not like this everywhere.
This is also true of spiritual resources like solid churches with faithful preaching, good Christian literature, and sound theological education. There are many countries in the world where such things are almost non-existent. Countries like Serbia. You can get McDonalds and KFC there, and there's a Starbucks coming soon, but the spiritual condition of this nation is dire. Genuine evangelical Christians make up a minuscule percentage of the population. Evangelical churches are for the most part weak and led by poorly trained or untrained pastors. Spiritual discernment is lacking. But over here, even if we know Serbia is a country and can find it on a map (which...can we?), we might not know or care about such realities. We have what we need, and so the spiritual plight of a little Balkan country thousands of miles away caries little concern for us.
So it was for me before my friend (and my high school Sunday school church history teacher), Dwayne Baldwin, and his family went to Serbia to begin slowly, bit by bit, changing the spiritual landscape of a barren country. Dwayne, in partnership with Training Leaders International (TLI: Sending teachers. Training leaders. Strengthening the church.), is doing the slow, painstaking work of revitalizing the Baptist Theological School in Novi Sad, Serbia. The goal of the school: A new generation of Christ-focused leaders in the Balkans.
I got to see all of this first hand earlier in the month on a trip with TLI to teach at BTS in Novi Sad. While we may be oblivious, surrounded by piles of excellent theological books and sound churches, thankfully others are more in tune to the deep needs in other places around the world and are doing good work to meet those needs.
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