When snipers and militia surrounded Sarajevo in the early 1990s, we felt a peculiar calling to aid and support — and in 1996, we had a chance to go there ourselves. We jumped at the opportunity, though there were still mines in the fields and forests. Long grass grew from burned out cars; tall buildings were folded in half, the upper stories hanging by steel cables.
It was a short but unforgettable trip into the heart of Bosnia. Every hour of the journey we saw horrors and wonders side-by-side. At one point, we came to a gorge, across which there had been a bridge. The bridge had been destroyed, but the road was a main supply line, so the locals had carved a new road around the mountain pass with hand tools. It took them more than year, working in secret, hiding when necessary. We took that road.
Years later, we realized that the missing bridge held a lesson for our practice: even if you can see where you want to go, you might not have the capacity to get there. This is why we train and build capability and capacity at Magenta.
We hope to someday return and support peace building and healing efforts in the region.