This May, a team of Counseling and Social Work students, under the leadership of Counseling faculty Lisa Kuzma and Chuck Arnold, traveled to Bosnia to partner with the vocational workers at Hope Center in Gorazde, a ministry students and faculty from PBU have served with in previous years.
The team’s ministry has included a variety of activities in which they are able to see the ways that Counseling and Social Work can be used cross-culturally to serve those who need Christ. Through translators, they are able to interact with the Bosniak people they come in contact with, listen to their stories, and encourage them.
The team visited an elderly home where they played games and talked with the residents. Many of the residents seemed to enjoy having visitors to brighten their day. Another day, the team worked with 5 and 6-year-olds at a local Kindergarten, doing art therapy. The team will return to the Kindergarten later in the trip.
In past trips to Bosnia, PBU teams have served at a Men’s Mental Health Center. This team was able to sit with the leaders of the Center and ask questions to learn more about mental health in Bosnia. Following the Bosnian War and the ethnic cleaning of the 1990s, as well as ethnic strife that continues in the region, there are many mental health issues that the people face, but there are great success stories, too. Over the weekend, the PBU team hosted a picnic for the men involved at the Center and their families.
John Sherk (Junior, Social Work and Bible Major), a student team member who has served at Hope Center previously, wrote the following as the team prepared for church on Sunday, “As we look forward to the message of hope today that will be preached in church, and as we enjoy life together with our friends and host families, please pray that the blessings which our Lord bestows upon us would be shared with the families that we live with. Pray that the blessing that was given to Abraham to be a blessing to all nations, that Christ would embody that blessing through us. Pray that the atrocities of yesterday would be undone today, and that the Kingdom of God would be firm here tomorrow. Thank you for all of your support.”
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