Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Of great concern for us was hearing about the increase in anti-Roma sentiment in the area. Though the deadly violence which is becoming more common in other areas has not yet reached Slovakia, recently there have been protests by radical right-wing extremist groups against the Roma living in Slovakia. The rise of these groups poses a real threat.
The English-language newspaper in Slovakia, the Slovak Spectator, recently featured a hopeful interview focusing on the situation of the Roma in Europe. The article, entitled An apology would change everything, provides a glimpse into the history and hopefully future of the Roma in Europe.
Pray for us and all our colleagues as we minister among these hated minorities. Pray that justice will be found for the Roma and that as a people, they continue to grow into valued members of the countries which they call home.
Friday, August 14, 2009
It's a wonderful story and really not ours to tell... Andy Brockbank met Oti Bunaciu, Project Ruth founder, at Oxford. Later Andy would show up on Oti's doorstep, during the early days of Project Ruth, volunteering to help out for 18 months. Now, over 10 years later, with a wife and two sons, Andy is moving on. (Ask Andy or Oti to share the story - it's a great one to hear) Andy has taken a job in London, land of his birth, so he and Claudia, along with Edwin and Phillip have relocated there.
While not an official member, though we always thought of him as one, the Gypsy Team will miss Andy. During his term of service Project Ruth grew offering education to the 8th grade; moved into a new building; began skill training; opened a medical clinic; hosted many, many volunteers; and so much more. The Gypsy Smith School for Leadership Training was expanded and Andy assisted with this as well. He gave of himself tirelessly keeping the Ruth office running, the finances straight, managing the public relations, and the list goes on.
Thank you Andy for your years of service and for being the presence of Christ among the Roma of Romania. Andy and Claudia, God's blessing on you as you begin your new life. Until we meet again...
Thursday, August 6, 2009
"The Gandhi choir trip begins tomorrow (Friday, August 7th) . We are going to Slovakia and NE Hungary where there are a few small Roma house churches, many Roma, and lots of anti-Roma racism. We are thankful that Ralph and Tammy Stocks are back in Hungary and will accompany us! Please pray for this trip as the choir sings in these Roma villages. Please pray for the student who will share her Christian testimony (very brave in front of her non-believing peers). Please pray for the students as they hear testimonies from Roma in the Roma churches. Please pray for Glen as he leads this trip and for me as I try to help him. We want to be the loving witnesses of what it means to be followers of Jesus in everything that we do and say."
Also pray for safe travels, good health, and that the Roma gathered in the mission churches will have their hearts touched. Pray for the logistics of the trip to work smoothly. Pray that a good time will be experienced by all and above all else God will be glorified.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Besides the Backyard Bible Clubs they did, the Emerywood gang tasted lots of yummy (well, opinions were mixed) Hungarian food, rode public transportation like pros, sat in the town square in the evenings like Hungarians, toured Budapest, and experienced a lot of new things - so different from the US culture.
We are grateful to the youth for giving of themselves to the little ones of Ujleta and Pocsaj - for being the presence of Christ in both villages. We are grateful to their parents and Emerywood Baptist Church for sending them. Thank you. To God Be the Glory.