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Bosnia: Children of War, Children of Peace
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Friendship Camps & Camp New Hope

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Welcome to the Bosnia International Servant Trip
A Ministry of Healing † Hope † Peace for Bosnia-Herzegovina and the whole World

Sending Camp to Kids!

Each year we have the best job on the planet! We get to play, sing, dance, eat and practice peace with the smart, beautiful children of Bosnia-Herzegovina!


Friendship Camps are day-long programs held in schools and occasionally other settings (orphanages, special-needs programs, etc.) and focus on teamwork, the strength found in a diverse group of people working together, and on the fun of tackling a shared challenge. We used music and drama exercises, conflict resolution and diversity training. We spent the day with the children playing together, singing together, sharing stories, creating art, and eating and laughing together. We give the children, the teachers in attendance that day, and the schools some gifts – including the gift of our time and love.

Friendship Camps camps are for children ages 10-13 (and anyone else who shows up!), and are intended to help bring Healing, Hope & Peace, into their lives and their communities. Each camp held from 60 to 300+ students, with 10-20 teachers present at each.


In the summer of 2013 we started a new program: Camp New Hope. This program was a three-day retreat with a select group of young leaders invited from school in northern Bosnia from different ethnic communities. We brought these young people and one teacher from each school together to explore issues of identity and relationships built on hope and a shared desire for peace. This program was designed and led with key partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was VERY exciting!!!

Be sure to check out this excellent article in the July 13 Philadelphia Inquirer by CNH Team member Cindy Henry.

Each Friendship Camp and Camp New Hope needs financial sponsorship. This support is absolutely crucial to our ministry!
Friendship Camp Sponsorship is $2,600.
Camp New Hope Sponsorship is $13,500.

We'll bring back photos and and a gift from the school to all Camp Sponsors!
Please contact Bosnia IST Coordinator Jason Reed or Home Team Captain Cliff Konnerth if you are interested in, or have questions about, sponsoring one or more Camps!

The list for 2018 Friendship Camps will be available in February of 2018.

2017 Friendship Camp List

Friendship Camp 1 - Sarajevo Friendship Camp

Friendship Camp 2 - Leptir Disabilities Friendship Camp (near Srebrenica)

Friendship Camp 3 - Gradacac Friendship Camp

Friendship Camp 4 - Trnopolje/Kozarac Friendship Camp

Friendship Camp 5 - Sanski Most Friendship Camp

Friendship Camp 6 - Šipovo Friendship Camp

Friendship Camp 7 - Jajce Friendship Camp

Friendship Camp 8 - Mostar Friendship Camp


June 27-30, 2017

Mostly Sponsored anonymously. Thank you! Further sponsorship needed ($2,000)

Camp New Hope is a four-day camp with a select group of young leaders invited from 12 school throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina serving a diverse group of students. We will bring young people and one teacher from each school together to explore issues of identity and relationships built on hope and a shared desire for peace. This program was designed with key partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina who share in the leadership of this program.
Young peacemakers are invited from:
Donja Mahala (near Orašje)
East Sarajevo (Vojkovici)
Sanski Most
Strojce (near Šipovo)
Celinac (near Banja Luka)

Sarajevo Friendship Camp
June 24, 2017

Sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church, Paramus, NJ. Thank you!

Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is a beautiful city that hosted the 1984 Olympic Games. Sarajevo was attacked at the outset of the war and endured almost constant shelling and regular sniper fire for the almost four years it was under siege. Since the end of the war they have struggled to rebuild, but buildings are easier to repair than shattered lives. Our Friendship Camp at the Džemaludin Cauševic Primary School in Sarajevo is a very important one.
At this camp we are trying something special: instead of holding separate camps in two separate schools, one on either side of the former siege line, we are bringing the two schools together for one shared camp! We are hopeful that this will further the vital aim of bringing two communities, once separated by war, closer together. Additionally, we will again invite the Joy of Life program for disabled children to participate in this Friendship Camp alongside of the rest of the children. This is indeed a very special camp! This will be our 8th year with these schools.

Leptir Disabilities Friendship Camp
June 25, 2017

Partially sponsored by a dear friend from the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod. Thank you!

Srebrenica is a small town in the far east of Bosnia – very near the border with Serbia. It is in Republik Srpska (the Serb-controlled section of Bosnia). During the war, Srebrenica was declare a UN Safe-Zone. Near the end of the war Srebrenica (with its large Muslim population) was overrun by Serb military forces who, in their attempt to ethnically cleanse the area, massacred over 8,000 unarmed civilian men and boys. This is the largest massacre in Europe since WWII. Today Srebrenica still bears many deep scars from the war; psychologically, physically, socially, spiritually. We hold a Friendship Camp with the children of Leptir (butterfly), a wonderful organization for children with disabilities based in the village of Potocari (just ouside of Srebrenica). These kids are great! This will be our our 11th year with these amazing children and their family members!

Gradacac Friendship Camp
June 27, 2017

Sponsored by Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Marlton, NJ and Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, Ewing, NJ. Thank you!

Gradacac is a city in north-central Bosnia-Herzegovina. It fought hard to defend itself during the war, trying to preserve it's multi-ethnic population. Since the war that have worked hard to rebuild the town and surrounding areas. This school was among the first group of schools to host our Friendship Camps back in 2000. They have participated in Camp New Hope the last four years. This will be our 11th year in Gradacac!

Trnopolje/Kozarac Friendship Camp
June 28, 2017

Sponsored by Messiah Lutheran Church, Oakland. Thank you!

Trnopolje is a village outside of Kozarac, near the town of Prijedor in north-central Bosnia and Herzegovina. These small towns experienced some of the worst of the 1992-1996 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There were deportations, persecutions, killings, and the establishment of a notorious Concentration Camp in Trnopolje. Today a portion of this Concentration Camp now serves as a primary school. For a fourth year we have the sacred opportunity to hold a Friendship Camp in this very school. This is a daunting, holy undertaking for us, but we are grateful for this chance to witness to God’s redeeming love and grace there with our presence and activity. This is indeed a very special camp with very special children!

Sanski Most Friendship Camp
June 29, 2017

Partially sponsored by funds from the former Danish Children's Home. Thank you!

Sanski Most is a modest-sized town on the Sana River south of Kozarac. This is a town where much of the population is made up of refugees that fled here during the war. They came from the Prijedor region at a time when the intellectuals, community leaders, Muslims and Roman Catholics were being rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Now, years after the war, the people are still living precariously - very high unemployment (well over 40%) and few resources to deal with the affects of the war. The children here are beautiful, but fragile. The local religious leaders have begun some interfaith work, which our efforts in this community can really strengthen. During and after the war many Bosniak refugees settled in Sanski Most and the surrounding area. The children here are very kind and fun, but this region is greatly struggling economically. This will be our 9th year holding a Friendship Camp here.

Šipovo Friendship Camp
June 30, 2017

Sponsored by St. John Lutheran Church, Summit, NJ. Thank you!

Šipovo is a small town in central Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Republik Srpska (the Serb-controlled section of Bosnia-Herzegovina). During the war no fighting took place in Šipovo, but for a time it was held by opposition forces, which expelled the local, mainly Serb, residents. Since the war it has struggled to recover economically, as Republik Srpska receives little international aid. This is one of the towns we visit where many of the children seem to suffer from significant poverty. Though our first Frienship Camp, in 2000, was met with some mistrust, the people of Šipovo have graciously opened their town to us for many wonderful years. This is our largest camps each year (300+ children!) where we sometimes have to, regretfully, turn children away because of their overwhelming numbers. This is the only school where we have held a Friendship Camp every year of our ministry! This will be our 18th great year in Šipovo!

Jajce Friendship Camp
July 1, 2017

Sponsored by St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Wayne, NJ. Thank you!

Jajce is famous for its beautiful waterfall where the lake Pliva meets the river Vrbas. It is also home to the ruins of St. Luke's, a church that once held the actual bones of the Apostle Luke! At the beginning of the war, Jajce was inhabited by people from all ethnic groups, and was situated at a junction between areas of Serb majority to the north, Bosnian Muslim majority areas to the south-east and Croatian majority areas to the south-west. In 1992, after almost all Serbs left the city and fled to territory under Bosnian Serb control, Jajce was heavily bombed by Serb forces. Most of the houses and government building were totally destroyed. The city was under Serb control until the Croatian army retook the city in the summer of 1995. Several years ago this became a “two schools under one roof”, where they separate the Croat and Bosniak (Muslim) children into separate rooms, each with their own curriculum. While this (illegal) situation is deplorable, it is all the more reason for us to be in this community, with these children. This will be our 13th year in Jajce.

Mostar Friendship Camp
June 29, 2017

Sponsored by Faith Lutheran Church, Hillsborough, NJ. Thank you!

Mostar lies on the beautiful Neretva River, and serves as the capital of Herzegovina (the southern region of the country). During the war the city first suffered under a brutal siege against outside aggressors. When that siege was finally broken the Croat side (west) of the city attacked the Bosniak muslim side (east). The terrible effects of this intra-city destruction lingers even today. The people of Mostar continue to struggle to rebuild, but buildings are easier to repair than shattered lives. This city is still divided. We have been working hard to gain a foothold in Mostar and develop relationships there. We’ve held Friendship Camps in east Mostar, but this will only be the 5th year we’ve been able to hold a camp in west Mostar. This is indeed a very special camp!

Thank you so much for your support of this vital, life-giving ministry!

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Posted by Jason on October 17, 2017