This challenge faced Marijana Čizmanski, Director of ZZ Serbia, who had planned for over a year to turn two twenty-foot shipping containers into a much-needed 20 foot by 16 foot community center in the Roma section of Donji Petrovci, Serbia in September. But, as a team of 18 men and women from Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary and the US were preparing to descend on the site to do the work, one thing was still missing — the shipping containers. None that size were available anywhere in Central Europe!
Marijana began to pray and then went to the shipyard nearby. The Lord led her to a man whose shop built frameworks for shipping-container-styled buildings! Just days before the building team arrived, two large custom-built steel container-frames were delivered to the job-site in Donji Petrovci. If you go through the toll booths near the city of Ruma, you will see the damage that the oversized-load did to one of the booths! But that’s another story.
Using a truck with a crane designed to pick up illegally parked cars, the two frames were wrestled into place side-by-side so that construction could be begun on the building.
It is worth mentioning the names of the hard working crew that participated in turning the framework into a functioning building in less than two weeks between August 30th and September 13th. Wes, Rob, Joel, Troy, Aaron, Julia, David and Jo came from the US under the leadership of Erv and Marty VanVeldhuizen. Ron, Jeannie and Laci traveled from Hungary. Tevche, Dimce and Zlatko also came from Macedonia to help. Marijana, her sister Tamara and the folks from Donji Petrovci represented Serbia. We totally thank all of these dear people for their hard, dusty, muscle-aching and sweaty work
While the majority of this team was engaged in the building project, a smaller team spent each day on an equally
important venture: doing Christ-centered learning and play activities with the children of the village as well as visiting with parents.
The new building has now been dedicated to the Lord for use as a place where the children and adults of the community can meet for church, CHE training, Children’s CHE Club, women and men’s meetings and community social events. Marijana is truly excited about the great possibilities.
That’s enough reporting. Let’s let some pictures tell their “thousand words” stories.