Because I have known the pastor since our first week in Slovakia and have come to know many of the members including the elders of the church, they decided to invite Dianne and me to come and lead them in a discussion about ministry with Roma. Their three main questions: Roma history and culture? What does the Bible say about ministry with minorities? What are some practical things we should do?
The first two topics are able to be done in a weekend conference setting. The last question, much to their disappointment, cannot be answered from a distance but must be discovered through genuine relationships rooted in their context. While we will continue to walk with them as they discover their practical ways of ministering in their community, the comment from one of their elders as he left church Sunday morning provides a bit of hope.
“You have provoked me today,” he said.
“Well, Marian, I think that is a good thing. How did I provoke you?” I asked.
“I have never considered Roma to be created in the image of God. I will have to keep thinking over what that means.” He said with a nod that the journey his church is undertaking is likely to be more provocative then they ever expected.