Providing for Special Needs
Zijah and Lorena, leaders of the Wave project in Bosnia, are dedicated to reaching people in their country through humanitarian and Gospel work. They focus majorly on reaching Middle Eastern refugees who are traveling through the refugee corridor in Bosnia. But that's not all they—and their small but mighty church—do.
Years ago, Zijah and Lorena began a ministry at a school for students with special needs. The school is 300 strong and 50 of the students even live on campus in a dorm. Zijah and Lorena were dismayed to discover that many of the students experienced unmet physical needs at times, and so they decided to step in the gap. Alongside their church and even some unbelieving volunteers (they never waste an opportunity to minister even to those they're serving with), Zijah and Lorena began providing for the physical needs of the special needs students with the hopes that one day the door would be open for them to build relationships with the students and their families, which would one day lead to Gospel conversations.
And open those doors became!
Lorena said, "The school staff and professors very soon realized that we are effective and serving with full hearts. They opened "all doors" for us and we were accepted as part of the school. We tried to find effective projects where we will be able to help with small investments. For example, we planted fruit trees in the yard that was not used by the kids. We also started to visit kids at homes. The most of our kids are coming from very poor families and we realized that we have to do everything that we can to provide medicals and food. Through the last eight years, our ministry was growing and now we are having a big team that is visiting kids at their homes and in the school (before corona restrictions)
One student at the special needs school is named Berin, and he has been a constant encouragement to the special needs ministry team for several years. Berin is a teenager with no parents, and the "system" did not have a solution for him in this situation, so he was sent to a hospital for psychiatric needs. But, Zijah and Lorena offered to take care of Berin and he has been living at their church building for five years! He's actively involved in many ministries, shows few to no symptoms of mental illness, and we all hope that one day Berin will be a leader in Bosnia reaching others for Christ. You can read more about Berin and his story, and a poem he wrote!
Pray alongside Zijah and Lorena that as they are witnessing to parents and kids with special needs that Gospel fruit would take root!