ministry in Bosnia

Providence follows and supports the ministry of Lela and Zeljko Puja in Tuzla, Bosnia. On this page you will find weekly updates, letters sent from Lela Puja regarding their work in Tuzla and along the refugee corridor. Church plants, educational programs, theological training, shelter, food service, and medical assistance are just some of the ways the Pujas and other volunteers do the work of Christ's disciples. 

Tuesday, March 10

Dear brothers and sisters,

 

When I send my news on Tuesday, it means everything is so busy there was no chance to do it on Monday.


This weekend we had the first baptism service for our Farsi -speaking church in Tuzla. The number of people who are visiting the Farsi church service is growing and we are thankful to God.


A large number of volunteers from our refugee corridor team started coming regularly to church services (our regular Bosnian-speaking church services). Please pray for all of them. Especially pray they will continue to grow spiritually and give their lives to Jesus.


On Friday, we took a day to organize a special program for female church members and volunteers. Our church and our male volunteers organize a big dinner with a special program every year. I think all of us had a great time and a lot of fun.


We struggle with growing numbers of refugees. On Saturday, the line for food distribution was the longest it has ever been. We have more medical interventions and more distributions of all kinds of aid than ever before. I do not understand how, but we are still managing to continue serving. One major issue is that large numbers of people also mean a lot of technical problems and a lot of things that have to be fixed. 


Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.


God bless you!

Lots of love and greetings from

Lela

Monday, February 24, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters,

 

In some ways, the situation in Tuzla is encouraging and positive. In others, things are depressing, and it looks like things will get even worse. So, please keep us in your prayers and pray especially for new projects that we are starting in Tuzla.

 

It is great to see new people coming to church services. Please pray especially for Ana, a woman from Serbia, who is writing her Ph.D. thesis in the field of church history. Ana came to our church less than a month ago, and she is already witnessing to others about Jesus. Please pray especially for her husband and family. Also, please pray for new people coming to church services, that they will take steps to grow spiritually.

 

Yesterday we had a church service youth, and we had a great time. We also had a number of migrants attending the church service, and I think it was a great blessing for all of them.

 

After our regular Bosnian church service, we had a Farsi church service. Our main problem is the translation from English to Farsi. Among the people who attended the service in Farsi, we had Christians who do not speak English well and non-Christians who speak English better than our brothers in Christ. The sermon has to be very simple and easy to translate. One of our brothers was a worship leader in a church in Iran. Worship in the Farsi language is a big blessing for all. Yesterday we had more Farsi speakers who are not Christian than those who are Christian. It is a wonderful chance to share the Gospel and to encourage young Christians to grow.

 

The part of ministry in Tuzla that looks most depressing is our ministry to refugees. Most of the help to refugees in Tuzla is coming through our ministry. We are starting to struggle and running low on things that we need. We decided not to slow down, and we are taking steps in faith. We pray that God will help us continue with all aspects of our service. The number of migrants is growing, and it is especially important that the number of kids, families, pregnant women and teenagers without adults in their group, is growing. We are providing more food, sleeping places, and places for a shower than ever before. Unfortunately, the number of medical interventions is growing so fast that it is becoming our main struggle. This ministry is so important for all of us, and we pray that God will give us the strength to continue to serve those who are in need and to show them the light of God.

 

God bless you!

Lots of love and greetings from

Lela

Note from zeljko puja

february 19, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

The number of refugees at the bus station in Tuzla is growing. There are a lot of teenagers. Many of them are confused and completely uninformed and vulnerable in their situation. Our church building and houses we are renting are full. At the last food distribution, we barely managed to give some food to every person in need.

 

We knew the number of migrants would grow and that this year would be much harder than the last. Please pray for our volunteers to be able to show love and care to all the people who are passing through our town. Also, please pray for their strength. The situation is very hard, and it is getting worse.

 

God bless you!

 

Lots of love and greetings from Zeljko

MOnday, February 17, 2020

Dear sisters and brothers,

 

I am thankful to God that we can see fruits of the education program we finished a week ago. Two of our participants already started coming to church services regularly, and we have a lot of new contacts. Also, we have new volunteers, mostly in our educational programs. We are planning a lot of activities through the end of spring. For each of those activities,  our main goal is to continue to work with our new contacts and to continue to build relationships with them. 

 

Our ministry to migrants is very complicated and is getting harder. On Saturday, we distributed more than 370 meals. The number of people at the bus station is growing, and the number of organizations that are helping is getting smaller. We will continue to give our best and we ask you to pray for strength for all volunteers who are serving refugees and migrants.

 

Yesterday, after our regular church service, we organized the first church service in Farsi. The sermon was in English and translated into Farsi. Worship and prayers were in Farsi, and it was very emotional. We pray for all our Iranian brothers who are in Tuzla, that they will continue to be a blessing in spreading the good news to other migrants and refugees.

 

There are so many things happening in Tuzla and so many projects that we will organize in the next several months that I will not even try to write about it. Still, I would like to ask you to continue to pray for our work and ministry.

 

God bless you!

A lot of love and greetings from

Lela

Monday, february 10, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters,

 

We just finished a big project, and we can already see its fruits. We have new volunteers and new people started coming to church services. We had two big projects taking place at the same time, and it was a miracle that everything went so well. We are thankful to God and hope we will see many more fruits during the next several weeks.


Our missionaries from Poland are doing great. They already started learning the Bosnian language, and they already have a lot of ideas about ministries in which they will be active. We are thankful to God for them.


At our last church service, four Iranian Christians joined us. Two of them live in our church building. We realized we have an urgent need to organize church services in Farsi. Our worship team already knows a number of songs in the Farsi language, and one of our brothers will translate sermons from English. Farsi church services will be a good chance for our brothers from Iran to invite migrants from other countries who speak Farsi. Please pray this project will go well. Two of our brothers from Iran are open to stay in Bosnia and plan to ask for Asylum. Maybe God is opening doors for a Farsi-speaking congregation in our church building!


As every year after our programs, we have a large number of people who have new ideas for serving projects. It is a time of big excitement in Tuzla.


At this moment, we have 3 families (11 persons) who sleep in our church building. We already have more than 30 people in different houses we are renting and in the houses of our volunteers. It means that last night we had more than 40 persons in our care. The number of people at the bus station is growing, and the situation is getting much worse every day. Please pray for strength, energy and wisdom for all volunteers.


God bless you!

Lot of love and greetings from

Lela