Volunteers needed in Albania; some cancel Sarajevo plans

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Southern Baptist volunteers will be needed in Albania in weeks ahead, but missionaries there still are assessing needs and establishing a basic food program, according to Southern Baptist missionary Bill Steele.

"We're thinking we may need some food preparation teams and many other kinds of volunteers," Steele said. "But it's too soon right now to say what those will be." An assessment team arrived in Albania April 20 to help design an International Mission Board response to the crisis.

Unfortunately, some volunteers lined up for projects in Sarajevo, Bosnia, this summer have canceled, Steele said. Many project organizers in the United States apparently are worried the turmoil in Yugoslavia will create danger in neighboring Bosnia.

"The city of Sarajevo has been basically calm and unaffected by the Yugoslavian conflict," Steele said. "We understand the reluctance some Southern Baptists would have in coming there, but we're hoping to get our program back on track soon."

One Southern Baptist worker in Albania noted the paradox that while some volunteer teams are canceling plans for peaceful Bosnia, others are signing up to work near the front lines of the confrontation in Kosovo.

Southern Baptists interested in volunteer opportunities in Sarajevo or Albania may contact the IMB’s Volunteers in Mission department at 1-800-888-8657 or e-mail michael.hester@imb.org.

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