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Living as Light in Konjica

Posted by Rudina Writes -- posts from Rudina Bakalli on

Life is quiet in Konjica, Bosnia, and developing friendships is quite a challenge. People are not open to befriending strangers. They keep their bars high due to the lack of trust in this culture because of the war. But God has blessed Fisnik and Manjola and their family with some good local friends. Fisnik and Manjola have been open since the beginning about their purpose for living in Konjica, and that has built trust and appreciation. Many people like their values and lifestyle, and so are attracted to Christianity. They do not have the courage to become followers of Jesus themselves, but they come to Fisnik and Manjola for advice when finding themselves in difficult situations.

The following two stories are examples of these growing friendships:

The family of a teacher friend of Manjola’s was dealing with a major conflict, which they did not know how to solve. The tendency of the culture and our flesh would call for revenge as the legitimate action. But this teacher went to Fisnik and Manjola: “I have come to you because I do not trust anyone else in the city like I trust you two. What would you advise our family to do in this situation?” Through Bible verses Fisnik and Manjola introduced her to a higher way: that of forgiveness. And to their surprise this teacher’s family chose forgiveness instead of revenge. This was a huge milestone in a culture where revenge is the ultimate and legitimate solution to conflict.

“I was driving with a local friend,” recalls Fisnik, “and as we were talking he told me of his disappointment with people, that they would not return his goodness with goodness.” Fisnik’s friend said that there was no purpose in being good to others - it does not change anything; they continue to be mean to you or ungrateful. As Fisnik talked with this friend, reminding him how our values should not be conditioned by others’ values, his friend started to open his heart, and through the conversation his eyes were opened somehow to realize the sinful nature of humankind, and how we all need a Savior.

These kinds of situations give Fisnik and Manjola hope that their work and ministry is bearing fruit in the hearts and lives of people – that, even though they have not yet accepted Christ, they are making room for God’s truth and principles in their lives. Islam is not the main barrier for them to come to Christ, but fear of man. The opinions of others keep many in bondage. But this is a barrier that can be pulled down as we pray, lifting Jesus up as our tower, refuge, and strong advocate.

Dreams and prayers:

  • We are trusting God to call more labourers to join our team. We would like to see at least one couple, with a heart to minister to young people, joining us here in Konjica.
  • Besides Konjica, we have a heart to start new churches in some other areas of Bosnia. We have even been visiting some of them, praying that we will see a movement of churches taking root here.

Please pray with us for the Good News to spread in Bosnia, transforming lives and bringing glory to our Father.


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