Flood-Damaged Balkans Home—Salvaged

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As September approached, one family in the Bosnian village of Kopanice was running out of time. With the help of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Balkans Disaster Response Team they have been able to salvage their home.

Members of the Scientology Balkans Disaster Response Team, who helped Vidan Župarić with the needed repairs to his home after this year’s record floods.

These wonderful people are amazing. They helped us every day. No work was too hard for them. They are full of understanding and are ready to give their all, wanting nothing in return except our smiles and our determination to go on living.

Vidan Župarić faced a dilemma. He loved his home and his village, Kopanice, in Bosnia-Hertzogiva. But the devastation of last May’s floods left him despairing of being able to save his home.

Interviewed on TV, Župarić expressed his love for his village and his determination to stay.

“This home is my father’s legacy,” he said. “I was born here; I was raised here. Where else would we go? Even in a ruined house or a tent, living here is better than leaving. This is my village—and the village of my parents and my children.”

He was determined to salvage his home but the challenge was immense. As with so many other homes in Kopanice, the Župarić house was virtually destroyed. The entire ground floor was flooded, floor to ceiling. It took three weeks for the water to recede. By then the walls were ruined.

Living in a rented apartment in a nearby town, Župarić, his wife and two daughters were traveling back and forth each day to work on the house, but the extent of work required was overwhelming—they factually had no way to get it done.

Then the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response Team arrived—volunteers who had traveled to the Balkans from Slovakia, Poland, Russia and as far away as South Africa to help in the relief effort.

Salvaging the Župarić home required grinding the plaster off the walls and removing the slates from the roof to allow the underlying structure to dry. It was grueling work, and the family appreciated the enthusiasm with which the volunteers approached the task.

“These wonderful people are amazing,” says daughter Antonija. “They helped us every day. No work was too hard for them. They are full of understanding and are ready to give their all, wanting nothing in return except our smiles and our determination to go on living. They share their knowledge and skill and teach us new ways to help others. Living in a small village, there is never enough help. People are always asking for their assistance and they never say ‘no.’ They are always there. We thank them from our hearts.”

Created by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in the mid 1970s, the Volunteer Minister program is a broad initiative bringing effective physical and spiritual assistance to anyone, anywhere. Expressly intended for use by Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, anyone of any culture or creed may train as a Volunteer Minister and use these tools to help their families and communities. And all are welcome to do so.

Equipped with effective technology to resolve virtually any difficulty, Volunteer Ministers live by the motto: “No matter the problem, something can be done about it.”

To provide more information on this and the other humanitarian initiatives it sponsors, the Church of Scientology International has published a new brochure, Voice for Humanity—Real People, Real Help. To learn more, visit the Scientology website.

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Luis Gonzalez
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