Song Stories – Peace in our Time

Posted: August 11, 2015 in Life, Music, Song Stories
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A few of my songs have stories that relate to them. It occurred to me that those stories may be of interest to readers, so here’s the first of a handful that I plan to add here over coming weeks/months…

It was mid 90s in the former Yugoslavia. Various regions, predominately Croatia and Bosnia, were seeking independence. The “nation” was at war.

I had made previous trips to the area, but this time was different. To the comparative safety of Backi Petrovac and Novi Sad, refugees were pouring in from war zones such as Sarajevo. Local churches were working hard to respond to the crisis.

It was my privilege to be working alongside the charity Transform Europe Now, who were resourcing the churches and enabling them to provide refugees with essential items such as food and clothing. In the circumstances, I felt I was doing very little, as I was invited to minister in song through concerts to groups of refugees, but the statement of one lady after a concert was powerful – “Thank you – it’s not just our stomachs that are hungry”

In the basement of someone else’s home, the father of a refugee family had come to faith through their contact with the church. Referring to the loss of his possessions, home and family members, he said “I lost everything, but through it all found faith in Jesus – it was worth it!”

Swetlana, living in difficult circumstances while her parents remained in the war zone, when asked by my colleague, “What is life like for you now?”, responded, “It’s wonderful!” Her new found faith had given her peace inside when all around it seemed there was none.

A few years later, as Serbia went to war with Kosova, I watched the TV screen at home, as NATO planes dropped bombs on the neighbourhoods where I knew some of my friends to be living. The emotions were strong as I recalled other war torn situations and I began to put pen to paper. This song was to be very different from anything I’d previously written and in a comparatively short while, Peace In Our Time was completed.

Along with a retelling of Swetlana’s story, I subsequently performed the song in school assemblies, churches and concert halls, and the song continued to be pertinent with the onset of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

A more recent visit to Serbia found me once again performing Peace In Our Time. “That’s my story”, responded concert goers. The song had come home.

(For info on other songs, visit my website –  –  another retelling of this story with other stories from the area can be found in the book “Tenacious” available from

Peace in our time

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