Saturday was another wonderful day on this amazing trip. We got up at our usual time and had breakfast in the hotel at 0800. It has been a very enjoyable experience in Serbia thus far. I cannot remember the last time I had this much fun, laughter and learning on this trip. To actually meet the Serbian people and experience their wonderful country is a treasure that I will always keep me. Bishop Igor picked us up at 0910 and took us out of the Old Belgrade and into the newer part and out of the city, to the outskirts, where his flat is. This is where he holds services in Belgrade and teaches youth groups. It is a nice little apartment and he had drinks and snacks. The program would start at 1000, but it was nice to have fellowship with the attendees, which were Miroslav, his wife Vera, their daughter Sara, Milan, a theological seminary student, Jovan, the Biblical Culture Center Director, and of course + Igor, + Jerry an myself.
+Jerry started the program off with a prayer and then began talking about the history of first the Anglican Church from the very beginning, then led into a history of the Anglican Orthodox Church and finally talked about the differing bibles, so that his talk would dove-tail into my talk on the Received Text. After his talk, we had a fifteen minute break, and I had some drinks and snacks, and chatted with Milan and Sara, two very nice people. Sara has near flawless English which is amazing, and far more than I can say about my Serbian. ;) We talked about a wide variety of subjects, drinks, candy and caffeine. Then before I knew it, it was time for me to give my presentation.
The presentation went well and Milan acted as my interpreter. Occasionally I would have to stop my talk and re-phrase my sentence to make it easier to translate. The subject I was teaching about is a pretty detailed subject, so unfortunately I ran into time limitations, but I did have time to answer some very interesting questions from Jorvan and Bishop Jerry also helped me to clarify what areas of my presentation went. That concluded my presentation and I believe it was very well received. We then had snacks and drinks and had some more fellowship and also had some delicious pizza. Miroslav is quite a funny fellow. I was sitting in my chair minding my own business, when I hear him make some sort of a remark to his wife Vera.
The next thing I know, I hear the scraping of knife blades and I look up to see Vera scraping the knives together. Miroslav ran over and grabbed me and lead me to the door, all in joking of course, to get away from Vera with the knife. He did the same thing to + Jerry and it was quite hysterical. All too soon though, we had to move on to the next appointment, which was in downtown Belgrade. Miraslov and Vera joined us. It was about a 15 minute drive to the Cultural Center of Belgrade, and it was a bit tricky to find parking, but we found it.
We met with Sergei, who was the director of the Cultural Center and a very interesting fellow. He walked us through the various levels of the Cultural center and showed us the rooms where they had kids making comics, rooms where they could hold concerts with 500 + people and put on drama productions and read books. It was an absolutely amazing facility and we talked about the importance of culture to a national identity. Then he took us over to the Politika building, where his wife works as a journalist on the paper. This is the national newspaper of Serbia I believe. We went up to the 15th floor and went into a bar and ordered drinks. I had a Losak Czech beer which was pretty good. Sergei explained that only drinks were served here, no food whatsoever. It had an amazing view of the city.
We had a wonderful time chatting about our respective countries and I learned that the reason that Serbian people smoke so much was due to the influence of the Ottoman Empire. Before the Ottomans, they did not have tobacco and opium and after the Ottomans, they had tobacco and opium. Sergei is a very wonderful person to talk to. Then we met his wife Mili, who and I found common ground in discussing Prague. It turned out that her grand mother was from Prague, just like our Grandpa A.C! Very cool!
We eventually had to take our leave of Sergei and Mili and we headed back to Igor's flat to drop off Miraslov and Vera and said our goodbyes to them and Sara and then we headed back to Belgrade where we picked up Jorvan, who we had met at the meeting earlier that morning, and took him back to the hotel restaurant to have discussions with him. He showed us videos he made on the symbolism of the cross, as the Director of the Biblical Cultural center, and explained he was making children's stories based on Bible stories, which I thought was very cool. We had some drinks and this time I had a Felen beer, a Serbian beer, which was good.
We talked for a couple of hours, then +Igor and Jorvan said their goodbyes. It was sad to see them go, as we could easily have talked for days on various subjects. We had dinner at the hotel, and I had a T-Bone steak and + Jerry had spaghetti, which was amazing, according to him. This marked an end to yet another epic day in Serbia!
Over and Out,
The Posh Kandaroog