It is hard to put into words how the last 5 days have been. Surely a whirlwind travelling 5 nations in 5 days.

With 9 incredible and most wonderful humble and inspiring leaders from global, European or national youth ministries we travelled Serbia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Czech Republic.

We listened and learned from some amazing hard-working and totally committed youth ministry leaders in these nations.

Though each of them could opt out of staying in these countries, they follow God’s calling, often with a very high prize to pay. We shared a few tears together.

One of them, a missionary to North Macedonia shared about being challenged by God to even be willing to die in the Balkans. Wow!

Hearing their hearts for their nations, listening to some most heart warming testimonies of God rescuing them from drugs miraculously has been such an encouragement as well as being a deep challenge to follow Jesus no matter what. One Macedonian missionary to Serbia said: “A mega church in our country is between 30-50 people”.

How do you invest in young people if everyone wants to leave the nation to find employment somewhere else?

Serbia alone loses 30,000 to 50,000 people each year looking for work somewhere else.

I had seen most of our wonderful hosts in the summer on the Encouragement Tour so it served as a great reunion as well.

Travelling with leaders from OneHope, Christian Endeavour, Hope Together, Sports Ministries, Christ in Youth, Converge, Europe without Orphans or national networks has touched my soul. We have been such a fun and caring team being thrown together and while serving and praying got to know each other. I have met some real legends in youth ministry. So grateful for such leaders investing into and loving young people. Thank you, (new) friends!

And a huge thank you to our fantastic hosts Bojan Ruvarac , Artur Krasniqi , Alban A. Krasniqi and Pajtim Smolica , Ivan Minchev , Brooke Filipovski and Martin Penc . Thank you for such a warm welcome and great hospitality! We so loved the time with you!

Border crossings went smooth and fast in most cases. Very thankful for this.

Extra bonus: visiting a Christkindl market in Sofia and Prague. ????