CBA Ministry in Porin
By proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed we want to give praise to the Lord and serve as a testimony and a blessing to the community. Our work has a twofold purpose - to proclaime the Gospel for salvation to those who need the Savior on the one hand, and on the other to help those who are powerless and marginalized in their everyday needs. We are thankful to the Lord for the partners who have been helping us these last months in our service in different ways. We managed to achieve a visible progress in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece where we are actively working in helping the needy.
CBA started its work in the Center for international protection seekers in Porin, Zagreb, right after the Center was set up in May 2016. Part of the work is being done in the dislocated Center in Kutina, that was primarily intended for accommodating migrant families. There are many different activities being done by the CBA in hotel Porin which is being used as accommodation for the asylum seekers.
Work is a gift - serving is a calling
In agreement with the authorities leading the Center and coordinating the work in the Center, it was decided that CBA will be responsible for the complete dental care for the migrants. That meant that each person in need of dental care will contact the CBA coordinator in Porin who will then get their information, assess the situation and take specific steps in working out the problem like contact a doctor, set a date, and drive the patient to the clinic. There were 15 to 20 interventions on a weekly basis. Sadly, for the bigger problems like surgical operations there is no suitable help provided by the State at this moment.
CBA is organizing a regular class of Croatian language. Currently, our teachers are teaching two groups of students - beginner and intermediate Croatian language classes in which there are 20 people.
After finishing the beginner's course, students will enroll into the intermediate course. The classes are being held twice a week in Porin. The results are exceptional which can be seen in the ability of the asylum seekers to communicate during their interviews. The director of Porin gave a special thanks to the CBA as the most efficient organization in language teaching. There were other organizations in the beginning, offering the same course, but at this point CBA is the only one and giving two different language level courses. We are also considering starting English and German language courses. Besides the courses, volunteers are organized for helping the students with their homework and exercises.
Each Saturday afternoon a worship service for the Christian asylum seekers is being held in Porin, with a fellowship after each service.
A seminar “Introduction to Bible” was being held in the Baptist Church Zagreb - Malešnica, but the same seminar will now be held on Thrusdays in Porin in the room CBA fixed and is now using it the most.
Baptist Church Zagreb –Malešnica has been, for months now, welcoming the asylum seekers who speak Farsi language (Iranians and Afghans) by having them join the Sunday service and share their testimonies and songs. After every service there is a special lunch organized for the believers from Porin.
That service resulted in 7 Farsi speaking persons to be baptized in September 2016 at the lake Jarun in Zagreb. That helped start the Persian Christian Community in Croatia, a church of believers from Iran who now have the ability to organize meetings for their needs.
We are happy that we had a chance to work with Christian Political Foundation for Europe that wants to be the voice for the migrants, and we are working on publishing a book “Tell me your story”.
That is one way in which people that have been persecuted from their land and homes can talk about their burdens. The book will be used to promote the work with the asylum seekers and build bridges of trust between the community and asylum seekers. The official spokeswoman for Christian Political Foundation for Europe visited Zagreb and interviewed a certain number of people in Porin to gather the material for the book. We are expecting another visit, and the publishing date will be in the first half of year 2017.
CBA in cooperation with the Red Cross is currently working on fixing up more space in Porin. One will be a fully equipped gym, and another will serve as a small workshop for minor fix ups on the building but also as a place to organize some practical workshops.
On the first and third floor kitchens are being renovated so that the asylum seekers will be able to use them which will improve the quality of life for them. CBA is helping in renovations and furnishing, and also securing the electricity, water and drainage for the kitchens.
During the last few months we organized a certain number of visits of the migrants to different places, seminars and events to actively work on their integration into Croatian society. We organized trips to Sljeme, ROM seminar in Fužine, “Kestenijada” (chestnut event) in Zelena Dolina near Petrinja. The new project that is just starting is a series of visits of the asylum seekers believers to Baptist Churches so they can get to know each other better.
At the core of CBA values is the proclaiming of the Gospel so we believe that we have to take seriously the great commission in Matthew to: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” To accept the other and the different, to tell him the good news of the Gospel, and to continue together as a testimony and blessing to the local community and the society, but most of all to Europe and the world.
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.“