Riverside walk

Long discussions regarding possible changes made the future seem foggier by the day. Several years earlier, my husband and I, together with a few friends, had founded a humanitarian organization to try to help in the difficult aftermath of civil war in the former Yugoslavia.

From day one, it hadn’t been an easy task, but we were encouraged by positive results, the volunteers working with us, and the numerous occasions when we were able to deliver aid and cheer up the children in refugee camps. Now most of our personnel were moving on; other NGOs were also relocating, and we started thinking about closing down our work. I felt somewhat sad and defeated.

“Why don’t we go for a walk by the river?” my husband suggested one day. I was glad for the break and agreed. It wasn’t exactly a river, more of a lively stream running through the hills near home.

It had been raining heavily and there was no sunshine, only a soft, damp mist shrouding the bushes and trees. I thought the weather conditions closely resembled my feelings as we walked down the gloomy, muddy path. This wouldn’t be the first time we’d close a chapter in our life’s book and move on, but on this occasion, something didn’t feel right. A little flicker in my heart was telling me we should persevere, in spite of logical reasoning and circumstances.

We started going over the pros and cons once again, but there was no obvious right decision, and the more we talked, the more confused we felt. Then we stopped, sat on some rocks, and opened up our hearts to our loving Creator to hear what He had to say about the situation. We felt His encouragement that great things were still to come, along with more volunteers than we would have room for.

Fourteen years later, we are still here, and just last month we officially inaugurated a new training center, as more and more volunteers were arriving, eager to help out. The promise had come to pass.

How differently things could have turned out if we had not taken the time that day long ago to take a peaceful walk away from the pressing details of the situation, to look upward and get a clear vision from way above the clouds, where the sun is always shining.