Many countries in the Balkans experienced a tumultuous past few decades: from the ravages of Communism and war to the difficulties of independence and socio-political and economic stability. The area is fraught with
complex historical issues and the people possess an intriguingly layered sense of identity: ethnic, national, and religious. In 2008, as part of my Master’s program in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Seminary, I embarked on a research trip to Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo. Conducting numerous interviews with local pastors and missionaries revealed a common sense of isolation discouragement in their work. And yet, I found their resilience, dedication, and creative vision compelling. This trip only deepened my questions about the area: How did believers from the Balkans survive the horrors of war and how are they currently relating to one another and their society? What are their current challenges and needs? What can we learn from them? From this reflection, the concept of the Balkan Writing Project emerged, birthed from my belief that true and compelling stories have the potential to influence individuals and communities towards God’s purposes. Effective research is an indispensable tool for churches and missionaries in their participation in God’s mission.