Coffee in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Pray for Reconciliation in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Coffee in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is not just a pick-me-up drink that you pour yourself to start your day. No, kafa in BiH is an event, not a casual whim.

Day or night, streets in BiH are lined with cafes, full of people talking quietly over tiny cups of traditional Bosnian coffee, which is thick and strong. Nothing much happens in BiH without coffee. Whether it is a business meeting, a hike up one of the Olympic mountains, moving day, a rafting trip, a birthday celebration or simply a summer afternoon with friends and neighbors. Coffee unites people in this divided land.

photo by WhereIsYourToothbrush | FlickrCC

A devastating civil war in the 1990’s served to segregate the three main people groups in Bosnia – Bosniaks (mostly Muslim), Croats (mostly Catholics), and Serbs (mostly Eastern Orthodox Christians). This segregation has awakened deeply rooted nationalism and made it increasingly difficult for Bosniaks to clearly hear and respond to the Gospel.

However, there are a few who have begun to follow Jesus and these believers are beginning to disciple others. In cafes and in homes, over coffee, Bosniaks are reading the Bible and discovering the hope and freedom offered through Jesus!

Ideas for Prayer

  • True reconciliation will be necessary to reunite the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pray that the Body of Christ will lead the way in making this happen. (See 1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
  • Pray that national believers and missionaries would have opportunities to make disciples while sharing coffee and that Bosniaks would be curious to know more about Jesus.
  • Pray that God’s love and forgiveness would break through the bitterness, suspicion, unforgiveness and prejudice that still lingers in Bosnia, over 20 years after the war.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this article. It brought back bittersweet memories.
    In the 90s I served in the Balkans following the civil war. I remember a Bosnian lady named Hannah that “cleaned” our half destroyed buildings we operated out of. She had lost every man in her life during the war.
    She noticed that I drank coffee all the time, and often told me she would make me Bosnian coffee sometime. When I told her I was leaving the next day, that morning she made me that Bosnian coffee. It was bitter, strong and thick. It wasn’t good but I drank all of it.
    I can’t think of Bosnia without my heart breaking over the suffering Hannah endured. I have prayed often for her salvation over the years.

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