Refugees Experiencing Abuse, But Encountering Jesus, in Europe

Refugee abuse

We live in a fallen world. And everyone needs Jesus to save them from their sin and shame.

Live Global received some sad news from Zijah and Lorena in Bosnia. They lead the Caring for Refugees project and these updates on the refugee situation in their neighbor country hit close to home for them and their church.

Refugees Abused in Serbia

Zijah and Lorena got word that in some areas of Serbia, a country that neighbors Bosnia, refugees are experiencing abuse at the hand of criminals. Local criminals are forcing refugees to work for them, beating and abusing them in many ways.

A church in Serbia is working to expose the mistreatment to the authorities and push them to act on it.

Teenagers Without Water

Zijah and Lorena recently visited a different area of Serbia with members from their church in Bosnia.

Most of the refugees there are teenagers—practically still kids—blocked by the government and other factors with nowhere to go. In these places, the teenagers are sharing only a few mobile toilets and they are often going without water. People are sick and desperate.

Ministry Opportunities Available

Both the church Zijah and Lorena attend and a different church in Serbia will be ministering to the hurting souls in this situation with outreaches and relief trips. Praise the Lord that He sovereignly places believers in the places and relationships where He desires to work.

Teenage refugee

Hope in Christ

As John Piper says, “Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering.” There is hope in Christ for these refugees. Let’s pray that Zijah, Lorena, their church, and the church in Serbia are able to share the gospel with the refugees and that their eyes may be opened to the truth of God’s Word and their need for a Savior. Let’s pray these Serbian refugees find hope physically, but most of all, eternally.


Bosnia is the least evangelized country in Europe. Zijah and Lorena started planting a house group church plant in Bosnia in 2002.

This church is center for national and international mission projects. Its church planting and evangelization strategies have heavily influenced other countries in Southeast Europe.

Muslims are a majority population in their area, and it's exciting to see that most of the members of their church come from a Muslim background. But, many of them face attacks and persecution from their family members and neighbors. Please pray for protection and strength for all Bosnian Christians.

The church focuses heavily on evangelization through education. Today, their projects and strategies are active in many countries including Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary, and Bulgaria, and it has taken on other forms including an orphanage, senior home, special needs school, and refugee outreach.

Since the refugee crisis continues to flare throughout Europe, their caring for refugees ministry has had a powerful impact and testimony. Volunteers were washing refugees' legs and giving them medicine. Volunteers were sharing their email addresses and Facebook profiles with refugees, and today, the church is blessed with many contacts with refugees from Syria, other Arabic countries, and Afghanistan. Many of those refugees are already connected with churches in Germany and many of them became Christians.

Meet the Leaders: Zijah and Lorena