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Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy: Yugoslavia

Updated on May 9, 2019
Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy is a multi-level and insightful read.
Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy is a multi-level and insightful read. | Source

A Precious Account of Faith and Courage in War-Torn Yugoslavia

Set in war-torn Yugoslavia, Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy is the true account of a heroine and her family. The story of this woman's faithfulness and survival during treacherous times is worth reading because Americans need to consider what it would be like to have war break out on one's own soil.

Books like this one need to be at the top of the list lest we miss the mark should the time come that we need to be on target. God put it in my hands during a dangerous time in my life to give me courage, to remind me of the hope I have as a Believer, and to help me understand His Word better.

Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy is the sort of book that helps us understand what it means to be faithful in trusting God's power and wisdom.

Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy: A Yugoslavian Story of Faith and Courage

Not having experienced war on our homeland’s soil as so many other countries in the last 100 or so years, we can learn important lessons from the adversities that people in foreign lands faced when war was their daily companion.

The benefits of reading the personal stories of those who have endured the hardships, terrors, and heartbreaks of war in their own countries should never be underestimated. Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy is a book we can learn from.

I have mentioned Petra Vlah’s writing in previous hubs because it is important to know of her experiences so we can understand people from other countries, and because she offers warnings to America that we should give our attention to.

As well, Petra shares insights into human nature that can help us grow corporately as a nation. We need people like Petra to write their stories of life in their home countries. Marie Chapman offers us an insightful look at the life of a woman named Jozeca.

Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy is a noteworthy book that gives us a chance to learn from the tribulations of a woman who not only heroically endured and persevered, but who came through a terrible war with her faith unshaken. While we all have own share of troubles, often serious ones, sharing her journey is a priceless opportunity to victoriously learn and grow through trials that we have not had to endure.

The details of Jozeca’s life are both delightful and shocking. Her story gives us a glimpse of her life prior to the war and it is stunning first-hand account of life in Yugoslavia during the war torn years of both Nazi and Russian invasion, but most importantly, it is a story of the faith that sustained her and her family in unimaginable circumstances. That Yugoslavia was a tiny country should not hinder our learning from what they went through.

"When the whole world is falling around your legs, you have to know God in order to know love."

— Jozeca
Meaningful Books Make Marvelous Gifts
Meaningful Books Make Marvelous Gifts | Source

Insights From Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy

Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy addresses difficult questions about God and faith. The honesty with which this book faces truth is unusual and gripping. To understand that Jozeca lived out these events so recently is a chilling realization, then to read how she survived is to truly see a miracle.

How her children were brought through the war is a report of many miracles for the Lord clearly worked on their behalf. To see that, indeed, God means it when that He says to even the mightiest, “so far and no further,” is sobering. Courageous could sum up Jozeca’s life, but I doubt that she would put it that way. The faith and courage she displayed spoke to her family and friends during that war and it speaks to us today through Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy.

Learning about a different culture is usually interesting and this author does a wonderful job of describing the people and their country. Marie Chapman’s portraits show us how beautiful Yugoslavia was before the destruction came to the land. Her descriptions of the sacrifices that the country’s people made–that they had to make–would stir patriotism in the heart of any reader.

This author takes us into the days of Jozeca’s youth and innocence, then waltzes into the war with her readers as naturally as blinking, simply because there was no choice for the people of Yugoslavia. Caught in the grip of opposing yet equally evil governments, Yugoslavia’s people were as varied and, therefore, as much like the other cultures that were in the path of awful machines. The unique flavor of Yugoslavian society, however, comes through in Chapman’s transparent depiction of a country and its people wrapped up in a nightmare.

Watching that culture go through the times recounted in this book is breathtaking and inspiring. Through reading Joseka’s life story my understanding of the realities of walking with God are wider. I have a deeper understanding that if we belong to Him in Jesus He never leaves us alone.

No matter what our own times may yet hold, Jozeca’s confidence in her Lord’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence will always help remind me to depend on Him. Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy is a reading experience that is not for the faint-hearted, but it is more than worth our time. It is a book I plan to reread once a year. Below are a few excerpts to give you a glimpse of Jozeca's story.

His pride deeply wounded, he angrily twirled around and told Jozeca, "Tomorrow you will be shot!"

Jozeca immediately raised her hands to heaven and praised God. "O God! Jesus! Dear Holy Spirit! You have delivered me from the destroyer! Praise the Name of the Lord! O God! Thank you, Lord! Thank you with my soul! And if you would will it so that I once again see my son and my husband, do not allow me to die tomorrow."

She slept peacefully that night.

There were no shots heard in the courtyard during the entire month they were in the prison.


She washed the soldiers' clothes in cold water and hung them on branches to dry. She cut hair, cooked what there was to cook and nursed wounds.

Her first pregnancy had held her bound to the bed. Now she was marching through forests and mountains with the army, eating only a piece of black bread on some days and drinking only water or fiery peach brandy.

"O God, look down on me, your handmaiden. Forgive me! In this war I am a woman of prayer. But if it were not for the war, would I be such a woman? O God, save us all. O God, save me from myself."

As she marched, the only reality she knew was the presence of the Lord. All else was unreal, passing, of little meaning. Did it take a war to realize this?

The soldiers saw how she got down on her knees and prayed.

One of the officers, pulling a 20 mm Breda into position, cursed and told her to shut up.

The officer was angry. "You are a fool! It is impossible to escape."

But they escaped. There was a weak spot in the enemy line and they escaped right under the noses of the Nazis. And when they passed into freedom Jozeca pointed to heaven and commanded them to thank God for helping them.


The pains were closer and harder as the morning sun shone over the hills. The forest was green and sweet smelling and there was a thin layer of frost on the ground.

It was Georgl. She moaned slightly and rolled to her side in an effort to get to her feet.

"I must draw apart from the others. Please--help..."

He helped her to her feet but she doubled over with a sharp contraction.

"...What is it?"

"I am giving birth."

"--You are--what?"

"Please, you are standing there with your mouth on your chest. Help me. Help me draw apart from the others--"

She could not rejoin the detachment with a newborn child, and so after a few days she knew she would have to start walking back home. She carried the baby in her arms, and on her back she carried a few supplies which the Partisans had given her.

It was getting colder at night now and she felt the harsh air pierce through her skin to her bones.


The economic conditions were desperate in all of Jugoslavia. Food was scarce, housing totally inadequate, disease rampant, medical supplies lacking, and communications so disrupted that it was difficult to get supplies or government instructions to many parts of the country. There were severe limitations on individual liberty and strict curfews enforced.

Jozeca told everyone who had ears about the love of the Lord. "Oh, cannot you see how much the Lord loves and longs for you to turn your head upward to see Him? If you would just acknowledge Him."

A middle-aged woman, wearing a checked babushka on her head and a soiled gray apron over her worn dress, eyed her suspiciously. "Love--you speak of love with the earth you are standing on red with blood, with the bones of our people crushed into the dust which we now breathe and which clogs our noses--you speak of love?"

"Let me tell you something, dear Gospa, it is in crises and battle that we become acquainted with love. I am speaking of real love--the kind only God gives. Because, listen to me, without the crises and battle we can mistake anything for love--good times, peace, kisses and embraces in the dark, the lying smile of a swindler."

The woman fingered the fringe of her sleeve. Jozeca put her finger to the sky, "When the whole world is falling around your legs, you have to know God in order to know love."

~Excerpts from Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy, by Marie Chapman

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  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from the short journey

    It truly is an amazing story, and it's amazing to think that it is just one of many. Sadly, we don't hear about them in our history classes.

    So glad you enjoyed the hub. I appreciate your visit and comments very much.

  • Jane Grey profile image

    Ann Leavitt 

    8 years ago from Oregon

    What an amazing story. I'm so glad you shared the quotes from this book-- that really opened my eyes to what you had been telling about in your earlier summary. A few lines stood out to me about how trials make us grow: she says, "It is in crises and battle that we become acquainted with love." So true! He who freely gave His life for us during the crisis is the one who truly loves us! Also, her line about praying only in war was very convicting to me: "In this war I am a woman of prayer. But if it were not for the war, would I be such a woman? O God, save us all. O God, save me from myself."


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