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Sidebar: Profile of Southern Baptist personnel in Bosnia

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (BP)–Southern Baptist work in Bosnia is about three-and-a-half years old. While there are currently six career missionary families serving in Bosnia, half of them have been serving six months or less. A large bulk of the work is done by a team of 11 Journeymen and International Service Corps volunteers.
The career missionaries and their locations are Bill and Debbie Steele (Georgia), Sarajevo; Bob (New Mexico) and Jerry (Texas) Worley, Sarajevo; and Troy and Mary Donahoe (Mississippi), Tuzla. The other career missionaries — James and Jennifer Early (Texas); Todd (Kentucky) and Kimberly (Georgia) Golden; Pat (Virginia) and Dee (Arkansas) Attix and Trey (Texas) and Elise (Louisiana) Atkins — are all based in Sarajevo while going through language school.
Bill Steele serves as the team leader for the missionary personnel in Bosnia. He also works as the humanitarian aide coordinator for south Eastern (sic) Europe, including Kosovo. In recent months, he has spent a large portion of his time traveling in and out of Kosovo coordinating volunteers and ministry efforts there. Several members of the Bosnia team have worked with him in relief efforts in Kosovo and Albania.
“We are thrilled to be in partnership with Woman’s Missionary Union,” Steele told the team of nurses who spent Aug. 17-31 in Sarajevo under the auspices of WMU’s Volunteer Connection. “The war in Yugoslavia and Kosovo had a negative impact on the partnership this past summer, but we hope to see 300 or more volunteers come to Bosnia next year.
“I know that when people hear ‘Bosnia’ they think of danger,” Steele commented. “The truth is, someone is in the same danger here as she or he would be in Atlanta. Bosnia is a safe country with great spiritual and physical needs. We need help responding to the open door we have to share the gospel.”
The primary goal of WMU’s partnership with Bosnia is to send in volunteers to help with construction, medical ministries, and ministries with women and children. The partnership goes through 2000.
In addition to volunteers, WMU also has invested in the reconstruction of a home that was severely damaged during the war in Bosnia between 1992-95. The house, known as the WMU House, is a three-story home with each floor dedicated to a different purpose. First floor is a ministry/worship center; second floor is an apartment for personnel; and the third floor is a dormitory that is used to house up to 20 volunteers. Diane and Norman Crisp from Marshall, Texas, currently live in the apartment and serve as the coordinators for the WMU partnership. They are members of First Baptist Church, Marshall.
Three other ministry centers are used for Southern Baptists’ work in Sarajevo. The centers are listed below and include a description of the ministries offered there and current personnel assigned to the center.
Stup Center: ministries: food distribution, children’s and women’s Bible club; personnel: Darcie Sarnoski, center director, ISC volunteer from Northboro, Mass., and member of Rice Memorial Baptist Church, and Debbie Harrison, ISC volunteer from Bristol, Tenn., and a member of First Baptist Church, Blountville, Tenn.
WMU has also identified this center as a WorldCrafts ministry site. WorldCrafts is a ministry in which WMU serves as a vendor for handicraft goods. WorldCrafts currently sells crocheted crosses and fish bookmarks/Christmas tree ornaments made by a group of Bosnian women.
Ilidza Center: ministries: English-as-a-Second-Language and computer classes; personnel: Carol Maecumber, center director, Journeyman from Indianapolis, Ind., and member of Crossroads Baptist Church, Terre Haute; Shawn Mooneyham, Journeyman from Huntsville, Texas, and member of Fielder Road Baptist Church, Arlington, Texas; Stephen Deese, Journeyman from Enterprise, Ala., and a member of First Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.; Jayme Reaves, Journeyman from Grenada, Miss., and member of Friendship Baptist Church; Robin Heltsley, Journeyman from Greenville, Ky., and member of Hillvue Heights Baptist Church, Bowling Green, Ky.; Dana Whitfield, ISC volunteer from Fort Worth, Texas, and member of Travis Avenue Baptist Church.
Sokolovic Center: refugee ministry, children’s and women’s Bible clubs; personnel: Donna Robinson, director, ISC volunteer from Bakersfield, Calif., and member of Valley Baptist Church. Staff from the Ilidza Center also help her in the ministry there since the centers are only a few miles apart.