Trip To Sremska
May 24th, 2009 by ron


Hello everyone! We spent this week travel with Dr. and Sis Bennett, traveling the country and assessing the neo natal resuscitation needs of each area. We were in Novi Sad on Monday meeting with Dr. Petrovich, the hospital director, and the intensive care Doctor to assess their needs.

On Tuesday we were in Sremska Mitrovica meeting with Dr. Mike and his entire neonatology staff to assess their needs. They thought that we were actually there to teach the resuscitation program that day and so were prepared to be taught. That is one o the problems that we face is in communicating. We sometimes think they know exactly what we mean and sometimes they are a little confused but they were ok with it and are prepared to be taught in November, provided that we get approval from the church to teach there.

We also have good news! We finally got our container of DI goods delivered to the Gypsy community here in Belgrade. It didn’t come easily however. They were holding our cargo even after the analysis of the hygiene kits was completed for reasons we will never understand except to extort more money out of us. Ron finally got mad and started contacting the DHL company in the US which finally brought results. He was up half of the night Monday night getting things straightened out. The US DHL representatives were so helpful. We went to the warehouse on Tues. Morning on our way to Sremska to pay the duty which cost us $1060.00 US dollars. They started to say that they wouldn’t accept our cash and Ron said you will accept it and you will accept it now because I have word from your headquarters in the US and they say that you Will accept it now which they finally did. We went out to Tasa’s Gypsy village after we returned to Belgrade on Tuesday and what a happy community we found. We had arranged for the Elders to go help them unload their cargo and it was a wonderful sight, it was like Christmas!!! Tasa organized the distribution street by street in his village and then he invited all of the members of the church throughout Serbia to also partake. Many of the sisters were wearing new to them outfits at church today that they were so happy to receive from the container. It was so fun to be a part of the whole thing, we loved it!!!!!!!!!

On Wed. we found ourselves in Sarajevo Bosnia. We had a great meeting with their pediatric hospital and their chief neonatologist there. She was an amazing doctor with tremendous responsibilities. They have 29 beds in their intensive care unit and 28 were filled with very critically ill newborns ranging in many problems. Most were premature deliveries and were all in incubators and very well cared for. Sick babies are rushed to that hospital to be cared for. The problem that we are concerned with is in the first minutes after birth and whether or not the babies begin breathing immediately or not. The neo-natal resuscitation program that our team of specialists teaches occurs immediately after birth to revive babies that don’t immediately breathe on their own before there is brain damage or death. That happens before the babies reach this critical care hospital and so we would teach the doctors, nurses, mid-wives and other health care people. Some babies don’t live long enough to reach this critical care facility. The doctor assured us that they do need this program to be taught throughout their country. We would accomplish this by teaching two classes in Bosnia, one in Sarajevo and one in Tuzla and the hospitals would invite all of the smaller hospitals and clinics to attend in their respective hospitals and spread this program that way. We in turn would provides the instructors, manequins and other lifesaving equipment to them so that they can in turn go out and continue to teach the program until it covers the whole country. The Bennett’s have received numerous calls telling them of times that the program has saved babies. We visited Tuzla hospital on Thursday and found them equally enthusiastic to receive the program.

On Friday we took the day to unwind by showing the Bennett’s more of our beautiful city of Belgrade. It was an extremely hot day with high humidity—90 degrees with 75 % humidity! We took them to a concert on Friday evening –The Russian National Symphony Orchestra. The music was amazing but the concert hall left much to be desired! It was stifling hot so much so that the orchestra members had to remove their suit coats after the first movement. The most annoying thing however, was the seating. They had crammed so many seats into the hall that we didn’t have enough leg room. I had to be on my tippie toes so that my legs would be up high enough that my knees were above the seat in front of me, not to mention the tall men that were there! The missionaries also went with us and I think Elders Christiansen and Knight were about to die before the concert was over. They are 6’5 & 6’6. When we exited the hall, a huge thunderstorm had set in and it was raining cats and dogs! We were all drenched and all 600 concert goers were trying to wave down the same taxi!!!! We, DR & Sis Bennett and Ron & I Finally got our taxi but the Elders had to wait for the next bus going their way. I think they enjoyed it however, like little kids playing in the mud!

On Saturday we had the elders to breakfast for palacinkas and then went to the church to clean in preparation for Elder D. Todd Christopherson who is coming on Tuesday to meet with all of the members here. They have each been asked to bring an investigator with them. We cleaned for several hours and then took Elders Molina and Stadlbauer to a city 200 kilometers south of here to meet an investigator. We stopped at a rest stop where a young man from Berlin, Germany asked if he could have a ride. The story goes that this young man, a freelance writer, made a bet with his boss that he could hitchhike to Jerusalem using no money and that he would make it within 30 days, that there are enough good people in this world that he could find rides, places to stay and food and such that he could totally make it without money. He left his cash and credit cards at home and is totally at the mercy of others. He said that he is having the most amazing experiences and plans to write an article for his companie’s magazine as well as a book when he gets home. He had us sign his book when we dropped him off at the end of our journey. It was a really fun experience. The Elders say that they want to do everything with us because we have more fun than they do!!!!! We got home at 11:00 pm only to start a new day today with many more experiences that we can’t begin to write them all. We are loving our mission and want to make every minute count. We send our love to you all.

Elder/Sister Densley


The pictures included are of our meeting with the Doctors in Sremska Mitrovica, unloading the container goods at Tasa’s Gypsy village, Meeting in Sarajevo pediatric hospital, the Russian Orchestra, looking over the city of Belgrade and the Danube River and Elder Knight and Alexander , an investigator, cleaning the back courtyard of the church in preparation for Elder D. Todd Christopherson’s visit. He is going to have a special meeting with we missionaries of Serbia, all 8 of us, on Tuesday and 2:00 pm.

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