Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

Adeline Paulina Irby (Dec 19, 1831—Sept 15, 1911)

“We will never completely understand or assess all that this woman had done for Bosnia, developing among our women, the love for their country, their home and work, and the wish for a better, more noble living, because everything that she did, she did with the greatest of sacrifices, without praise and glory . . . May some of this noble value come to us and inspire us in all of our work. Let her character remain among us, in our memories as a symbol of that which is the best in us and all of people.”

Ivo Andric, Nobel Prize winning author

December 19, 1831—September 15, 1911


The speech of the Protestant Pastor Schaeffer at her graveside:

“In the name of the Lord, beloved,
Speaking at a funeral is an act of acknowledgement and comfort. On the funeral of the

deceased, it would be enough to read her biography, especially from forty years ago, because that is the true acknowledgement for her. What will I add out of my weak words? Adeline had carved herself into human hearts year after year, day after day, of her lifetime, that the number of the grateful is thousands and the statements from all over the country clearly say that over her grave, crushed with grief stand together all of the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

What great stance, what a wide horizon that defines her in her own goodness and all of her work. Not even the simplicity of confessionalism or the short breath of nationalism ruled her – she was a member of one Church, which thinks elevated, a child of a noble nation. She did not ask if the orphans spoke English or were they evangelicals by faith, but wherever she saw misery she helped.

Who doesnʼt know the story of the Good Samaritan? Here we have a Samaritan like the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. And once she had felt the happiness of knowing what it means to be able to help the Lord, there was no other way for her. She understood the words of God, completely and utterly: What youʼve done to one of my little brothers, youʼve done to me as well.

The spark of eternal love, which God placed upon her soul, flamed at the aisle of love toward her neighbor, in fire that Charity and education would continue to keep and encourage. In spirit she stands in the middle of this yard and yells to you: ʻGo and do good!ʼ – Amen.”

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