Taking Teenage Refugees to McDonald’s


Zijah and Lorena (the leaders of the Caring for Refugees project) are persistent in their care and ministry for refugees in the refugee corridor in Bosnia. And they have come up with some creative and exciting ways (like McDonald’s) to best reach these precious people.

To Supplement the Humanitarian Aid with McDonald’s

On one of Zijah’s recent trips to the refugee corridor, he encountered 1,500 people sleeping in a storage building. Thankfully, two humanitarian organizations are able to step in and provide some meals for the people. But they are small meals, and hungry teenagers would never turn down an opportunity for more food!

So Zijah and Lorena took a group of teenage Christian volunteers from their church who would be able to easily relate with the teenage refugees. Then the group took the teenage refugees out to lunch at McDonald’s where they all had a chance to share a meal together. This was definitely an eye-opening experience for the teens from Zijah and Lorena’s church! They learned some hard things about what is going on in the refugee corridor.

Giving Everything They Had

The missions team learned about sicknesses the refugees are facing and more about their current living conditions. It so impacted the team that later they all gave away most of their clothes and shoes to the refugees. They decided they would stay in touch with the group in the future with the hope of continuing to give them aid and share the gospel with them.

Zijah and Lorena also hope that they are able to create a partnership with an apple orchard to organize a transport of apples to the corridor. Let’s pray God would move in this way!

Getting More Churches on Board

Zijah and Lorena’s church is one of the only solid churches in the city where it’s located. But, in the cities closer to the refugee corridor, there are many evangelical churches. One prayer request for the Caring for Refugees project is that God would move in the hearts of people in other churches to help and share the gospel with the refugees in their area.

We know the efforts of Zijah and Lorena’s church are helping. One of the refugees said to one of the team members as he was leaving, “Thank you for your gift, but especially thank you for your smile and hug.”

About Caring for Refugees

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

Zijah and Lorena are on the front lines of refugee ministry in Bosnia. Being apart of one of the few solid churches in their area, Zijah and Lorena have led the initiative to reach out to the hurting souls that come through their country.

Together with members from their church, they provide food, clothing, supplies, and most importantly, the gospel, with love to the many refugees they interact with at refugee camps and in their city.

Zijah and Lorena also play a huge role in leadership at their church and are helping with efforts to plant a sister church in another city in Bosnia.