NLM Kosovo tour is complete, our next show will be in Poland. With the later notice that I was coming on the tour, they were not able to get me a flight from Kosovo to Germany where the mission school is located. Hence I am road tripping across Europe in the equipment van!
At first I was a little bummed to be away from the rest of the team, but as the ride began, I found it very exciting as we traveled through some amazing landscapes!
Our first direction was to cross into Serbia from Kosovo…this is where we
met our first problem. Lack of a better words, Kosovo and Serbia are not good friends, and Serbia is also not friends with anyone who are friends with Kosovo (America being one of them)…what is this middle school?! Kiss and make already!…
Anyway, this international feud is fairly recent as Kosovo recently established their declaration of independence only a few years ago, making it one of the youngest countries in the world. However, as it prior being apart of Serbia, Serbia denies recognizing it as a country. The problem lies as an American crossing from Albania to Kosovo earlier last week, they stamped my passport as me entering Kosovo, not Serbia. So essentially they saw me as illegal in their country and didn’t want me traveling further into it. Ug…
So the solution was we needed to drive back to Paja, Kosovo where we came from, and travel north west to the country of Montenegro and then enter Serbia. Essentially, entering Serbia from a country that Serbia recognizes as a country…
Here are a few pics of the border of Serbia and Kosovo.
So we turned around to cross back over our 3 hour drive that we came from…One thing that drives me crazy is turning around, I hate getting lost and having to cross back over tracts you already made. However, this is no hwy 94 to Fargo…soon enough we were ascending thousands of feet, traveling through rugged territory. Wow!! Here are a few pics of the beauty.
So finally we enter Serbia…whew! It was time to grab some food, which is definitely a difficult task being in a foreign country that doesn’t speak your language…so we were traveling through a small town and looked for anything that seemed of good quality. Not wanting to be to adventurous as food poisoning would be a doosy on a road trip, we saw something that said “pizza” so we stopped and parked!
The food was nothing to boast of, however, it was great to sit among the city and watch the surrounding commotion. As we ate, our curious waiter sat down with us to talk. He spoke very little English, but enough to have a decent conversation. I asked him about the town. I expected to hear history, but he told me how poor the town was and how hard it was to live there. He told me that there is little opportunities there, but people can’t afford to go to college or move elsewhere, so people are stuck. It was hard to hear and it prompted me to think about how much I take living in America for granted. We have so many opportunities to travel, education, and jobs. We have so much freedom, but I guess you see it as normal until your experience something contrary….
Something to ponder about for sure, I know I will be.
Now we are back on the road! By the way, the person I am traveling with is from Poland and only speaks very basic English, so that only adds to the entire experience ;) Anyways, we travel most of the night, sleep at a rest stop, continue in the morning and arrive at the Serbia Hungary border…again another problem with customs.
I still don’t understand the issue, but what I could understand from them was we were missing a necessary paper needed to cross…making things more difficult, was the custom officers didn’t speak English. So we essentially don’t know how to fix our problem, at know the problem itself, and we have no one to communicate with to find out…so who do you call? AMERICA! A quick glance at my passport and I had a number to transfer me to the US embassy in Budapest. After a few calls back and forth we got things moving at least. However, we still didn’t know the outcome and worry was setting over me…”Are we going to have to stay here for several days waiting? What if we have to travel around another country? What if we die a slow painful and lonely death in the Serbia customs office?!!!…” Just kidding, but I was a little overwhelmed with the situation, as I was essentially in charge of fixing it since I spoke the language the officers at least know a little of.
So I prayed…
I have been learning a lot about how God really just wants us to go to him and how He simply desires our presence just as we should desire his. Also God has been teaching me how if I have faith in the truth that He is big, all of life’s problems instantly become small. But when my view of God is small, problems instantly become big. So I wanted to trust God on this one…
After about a half hour of waiting, God not only provided a trucker who could translate for us, but also after communicating with the officers and having the US embassy on our side, the now expensive piece of paper we needed to cross the border, that would take days to obtain, suddenly wasn’t necessary and within minutes, we were back on our way to Germany!! Wow God is good!! I am so thankful to have a God who answers prayers and truly desires to help us. He is a good father and we are his children. So thankful and blessed!
What a crazy last 24 hours! But now we are back on our way. I ask for prayers that there won’t be any more delays and that the next 500 miles will go safely and smoothly!
Random, but this is what I just ate! YUM! :)
Love you all!
:: God provides ::