The man on the far right, like many others in the Republic of Moldova, is looking for work. He wants to support his new wife and help his extended family. The last paying job he had was at a KFC in Krakow, Poland. But you can't always trust the people who arrange jobs over the border for you. Sometimes the jobs don't last. Sometimes you don't get paid in a timely way. Sometimes you don't get paid at all.
There used to be work at home. These two women worked in a sewing factory. They would be glad to get work like that again. But after the fall of communism, jobs like that somehow disappeared.
*The lady in the suit jacket.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
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Grace and Peace,
Ryan Clark, D.Min.
Church Engagement Manager
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Friday, December 8, 2017
Did you go to kindergarten? And did you carefully choose a preschool for your children? This is the story of a village in Moldova without either.
|Grandparent and grandchild|
The local pastor and his wife are concerned. The children in this Roma village have enough difficulties with school. The children often go with their parents to Russia for part of the year. Instruction in the village school is in Romanian. The children speak Ursari Romani* at home. The village has no kindergarten/preschool. The children have few if any of the educational toys that littered our own living room when our children were young.
Some teachers at the school are also concerned. Together, they agreed to try the Parent-Child Club. This program was developed by preschool educators with just such a situation in mind. Parents teach preschool skills to their own children, in their own language. Few if any materials are required. The leaders of the club do not need any previous teaching experience.
This coming Monday, parents will go to school . . . to begin providing their children with the kindergarten/preschool. That's Beloved Community.
*One of many languages in the Romani (NOT ROMANIAN) language family.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
They recorded songs in their home languages to put on a bilingual CD of Bible stories. Their songs split the Sinti version of the Bible stories from the Calderash version.
The tall girl in the middle is the one who inspired all of this. Her mom started reading her Bible stories at bedtime. In German. When she was about the age of the short girl, she asked her mom for a Bible stories in her own language.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
|Recording the part of Jesus in London|
Sometimes we don't immediately see the fruit of our labor. Back in 2002 I went to London to record the JESUS film in a Romani language we call Western Kalderash.* This Romani language is spoken widely in Western Europe and in North America.
All versions of the JESUS video are available on the Jesus film website. The website includes the four other Romani versions (one I also recorded), and 1500 other languages from around the world. But recently I discovered that 3 1/2 years ago someone also put the Romani versions on YouTube, where more people can find them. On YouTube we can also see exactly how many people watch a video. One Romani version had 1000 views, another 5000, and another 8000. The Western Kalderash version that I made in 2002 has had almost 30,000 views in 3 1/2 years. (It topped 30,000 this week.) That is more than 23 people per day harvesting a seed that I planted 15 years ago.
*I sometimes refer to it as Russian Kalderash. Their ancestors sojourned through Russia and still have words of Russian origin in their language.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
We start every week on Tuesdays.
First step is sorting the laundry.
Then we carry the first load up the stairs to the attic (yes, the attic). Our water-saving front-load washer will take 1 1/2 hours for this load of "darks" on cold. Whites, even on the energy-saving setting of 60° C (140° F), take closer to 3 hours.
Next, we'll hang them out to dry--usually inside. As is typical in many Dutch homes, the drying racks hang over the steep, slightly spiral stairwell.
We do have a drier, but only use it for towels and emergencies. Air drying is better for the environment, the energy bill, the clothes, and our sinuses.
Does this seem like a lot of time and trouble to you? It doesn't to me. You see, on Tuesdays, I often think of our Roma sisters in Moldova.
One lady we visited recently was also doing laundry. She lived in this new house on the edge of the village.
She said she would really like to have a washing machine since doing laundry by hand for all five members of the household was difficult.
I wondered whether she even had running water connected to her house.
And, even if she did, would she be able to pay for the water and electricity a washing machine would take? Would there be room for it in the house?
Was there room for five people in that house?
I think of this woman, as I hang up my own laundry in a well-insulated house with central heating as well as hot and cold running water, all of which we can easily afford. Life is not fair. Laundry is not fair.
But one day she and I may sit down to the same banqueting table dressed in spotless clothes which we will never have to launder!