Posted by Laura Nelson, 08 April 2019
As you may have heard, some of our team here at Biblica Europe had the pleasure of travelling to Serbia to film stories of those people who had recently received the new Biblica Serbian Bible. Prior to the publication of this Bible, Serbian Christians only had access to old Bible texts (more than 150 years old) or had to teach themselves other languages to be able to read the Bible for themselves.
One of our partners in Serbia, Ikonos Publishing House, were the first to receive and deliver the 10,000 copies to Christians across Serbia. Drasko Djenovic, CEO of Ikonos, meets many people through his work in Serbia.
He shared with us a story about a young boy called Boris. Boris never had a bible he could call his own for many years. Now with the new Serbian translation he can finally read and understand it for himself!
Boris has written his own testimony below to share with you all. Some of the text has been edited to ease readability– as you can imagine it is very difficult for any of us to write our testimony in another language.
My name is Boris, I am 13 years old and I live in Babusnica, in south Serbia, not far away from the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. As a baby I was found next to a rubbish bin. Due to my health and my family situation I was then taken to an orphanage. Afterwards, I was taken in by a single fostering family as nobody else wanted to adopt me due to health issues and because I was Romani. Usually it is very difficult for single people to adopt, but because of my circumstances my social worker agreed.
A few years later my Mum met some Christians from Pirot and she became a Christian. Since then we have travelled regularly to Pirot, which is about 30km each way, to go to Christian meetings and services. A few years after that, through “Uncle” Grozdan, she has started to listen to TWR programs in the Serbian language. That has influenced us to change our view on Bible understanding. We listen to mainly TTB (Thru the Bible) but also other Christian programs as well.
Then Mum has started to receive literature from Ikonos. Even though I regularly attended church, I wasn’t so interested in Christianity. Then, in the autumn of 2016 I received a Children’s and Teen Bible from Drasko. As it was Winter, there was no way for us to travel from village to other locations– so the radio had become our only church. Unfortunately, there wasn’t always a good connection and we weren’t able to afford a better internet.
So, Drasko sent my Mum DVDs with some sermons. However it was in Croatian so I wasn’t able to understand everything, but with Mum’s help I understood some of it. Later, he sent us sermons from the Karaburma Church of Christ where he and Zarko Djordjevic preach. I have started to read the Teen Bible and finally I was starting to understand some things that I didn’t understand before.
In February 2018 I received the New Serbian Bible translation. For the first time I am able to read and understand “the real Bible”. I have started to read the Bible often, but I have to read it with my glasses and a magnifying glass as the words are too small for me.
In the Summer months, I am helping my Mum on a field as her health is not good anymore and she cannot carry anything heavy. Sometimes I am working for wages in fields to help my Mum as she had to retire early because of back problems.
When I wake up each morning at 4.30 am I pray, have a snack and do morning work (in winter I go into the woods and cut the wood up) and then at 5.45am I walk to the bus stop so that I can catch my bus at 6.15am, to be at school for 8am. This gives me time to read Scripture on the bus. When I return home, I take care of the animals that we have, then I have to study for school. I’m now in 8th grade – which is final grade and I have mainly A and B+ grades. Because of working so hard I don’t get to bed until 9PM. I like to listen to TTB on tablet and I have the New Testament in MP3 as well.
I had the opportunity to get free dormitory at school, because of my eyes, but I didn’t want to go because it is in Belgrade, some 300 kms from Babusnica and I didn’t want to leave my Mum on her own. I know that trip would be too expensive and that we wouldn’t be together very often.
My goal is to be baptised in a river but Drasko told me that I will need to wait until the Summer. Anyway, I hope that by then I will have even better understanding of Scripture and grow in faith and Bible knowledge. I know it is not easy to be the only believer in school but… I have grown up knowing Jesus because of my mother who really loves so I am not really worried about it anymore!