Journals
Posted on February 25, 2020 Alex’s Heart Surgery and More of Larry’s Updates
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Alex, the “Dangerous Man”

Larry first met 10 year-old Alex last year, delivering firewood. Alex and his mom live alone. His mom, Mónika, cares for disabled people, taking some of their daily food rations for pay. They have some pigs and chickens and try to make ends meet. Little Alex is quite clever, especially with English. As he chatted with Larry, his mother affectionately said he is a “dangerous man.” Cute and smart, a heart breaker.

But then this autumn, there was a change. Mónika asked Larry to pray for Alex, that he was getting surly and disrespectful, and for the first time was getting in trouble at school.

THEN, we got terrible news: Alex has a heart condition!

He fell on the playground and bloodied his nose. When the bleeding wouldn’t stop, they took him to the doctor. The doctor feared worse and recommended a specialist. At the hospital they found that Alex has a faulty aorta valve which must be replaced. He and his mother traveled to the capital city of Belgrade, five hours from their home.

We sent email prayer requests, and we were so encouraged by the response! So many of you prayed for Alex. The surgery was a success, and after a week in the hospital, Alex was able to return home.

Yesterday, Alex returned to school. Last week Larry got to visit with him and watch him dance around and play.

It’s so good to see him healthy and smiling!

 

Firewood

Larry met Alex and many others through his firewood distribution ministry.

He distributed firewood in February and encouraged the church members to follow up with the people, constantly combatting loneliness. As always, there are people in need.  We are so grateful for continued donations to our work account that allow Larry and the church to keep these vulnerable people warm and connected.

Julianna receives firewood. She showed Larry her wedding picture.

 

Wasn’t she a lovely bride?

 

Kitchen Project

The trip to Serbia last week included a ceremony and dinner to celebrate the kitchen project. The building is almost finished now. Zoltan was so happy for Larry’s help. We thank everyone who has contributed to this project. Please continue praying as we look forward into how the kitchen can serve the church and community. It will be used to host several Bible camps every summer, and there is still the hope that it could be a functioning soup kitchen through the winter.

Ribbon cutting on the kitchen

 

Refugees Return to Northern Serbia

As we know if we search the news, the refugee crisis is far from over. There are three times as many refugees stranded on the Greek island of Moria now than there were when Larry worked there four years ago. Serbia had cracked down on refugees, rounding them up and transporting them back south, but our partners have reported a few small clusters gathering again on the northern border. Larry met with a representative of our partner Eastern European Evangelicals, and with him purchased food and supplies. This emptied the One Great Hour of Sharing donation fund we had received. We thank you for your donations and prayers.

Supplies for refugees

 

Rest In Peace, Roland

Some of you may remember the story of Roland, a young man in the community who was paralyzed when he fell in a grain silo. Larry helped the church try to improve his quality of life by installing a door from his bedroom to the outside so his mother could more easily get him fresh air, and we sponsored care workers to relieve his mom from time to time. Sadly, Roland passed away on February 16. Please pray for his mom and teenage daughter who he leaves behind. And thank you for helping us help them through these tough years.

 

Easter Food Distribution

We are very thankful for a generous donation from First Baptist Church of Olathe, Kansas that will purchase Easter food packages for the needy in these Serbian communities. Packages will include cooking supplies for the traditional Easter meal and hygiene products. Larry encourages to church members who distribute them to share their testimony and make return visits to follow up and build relationships.