We had been informed that it would not be New Year's Eve in Serbia until January 13. Following the use of the Julian calendar by the Serbian Orthodox Church, the last day is also held 14 days later than in the Netherlands. Yet we received a text message on Friday that we were expected to be at New Year's Eve at 20.00 hours with the pastor's family. And if Pier could prepare a short devotion...

The Srnec family lives at a distance of 9 km from where we live which is why we went on the bus on Sunday evening. We do everything on foot or by bus because we do not have a bike here and we can not use our car for the time being as we do not have the necessary Serbian papers yet.

We came into the room and saw a beautifully set table and heard that two more couples were expected. It really was a new world we had entered into. A delicious savory pie, salads and other tasty dishes, all prepared by the hostess Branka herself, were presented to us. The cooking talent of Branka Srnec is fantastic and we have enjoyed it several times.

Then we went into the front room and in response to a question Pier explained how we had come to Serbia. He also read Psalm 120 and 121. From there he gave the encouragement that the Lord is our Keeper and helps us in all situations we will encounter in this new year and that the Lord hears our prayers.

During our joint prayer time the clock struck 12 o'clock and there followed a special time with good wishes, conversation, coffee, tea and fruit cake again at the dinner table. In the distance we heard a little bit of fireworks ....

So although the new year has already started here, on 13 January it will be celebrated once again, albeit a bit less extensive, we heard. Because slaviti (celebrating) is, just like raditi (working), very important in Serbia.

And ... we experienced much more at the end of 2017.

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