A few months ago, in September 2011, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) protestant churches organized a cultural and an evangelistic event called “Meeting Miss Irby,” commemorating the centenary of a death of Miss Adeline Paulina Irby, 100 years ago. Miss Irby was a protestant missionary who came to the Balkans 150 years ago.
She first travelled extensively the region along with Georgina Muir Mackenzie. In 1859 they originated from Vienna, travelled through Bratislava, stayed for some time on the Tatra Mountains, and then went to Cracow, just to be accused by the Austrian authorities that they are suspected Russian spies and Pan-Slavism movement supporters.
They later travelled the Balkans and published a much apprised book called “The Slavonic Provinces of Turkey-in-Europe” and upon return to the UK, they gave lectures and published papers on these Slav groups: Bulgarians, Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, etc.
As it was an honorable matter in these days, two sisters in Christ decided to move to Sarajevo and open there a school for girls. Their choice for Bosnia was because there was so little missionary activity in that part of the Balkans. They raised money from family and friends and opened a school in Sarajevo.
Josh Irby, who lives in Sarajevo and who wrote a book on Miss Irby calculated that the amount of support Miss Irby and her friends collected for the work in Bosnia was around 3 million US dollars in today’s money.
Churches in the Bosnian capital used the occasion in September 2011 to and shared a love of Christ with the people on the streets.
This book is a must read: Josh Irby’s Meeting Miss Irby. Video (in Serbian and partially English) at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Rx4MNKdSY
TWR is also spreading the good news of Jesus Christ in this region. Program schedule can be found on: http://www.twr.org/schedule/?language=bosnian