Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just in time for Pentecost

Hello, I’m Keith Holmes. I tend to be a very enthusiastic person. One of the things I’m enthusiastic about right now is the book of Acts on DVD in the Sinti/Manouche language. Part of the reason I’m enthusiastic is that it’s finally done!

But let me give a bit of background. My wife Mary van Rheenen and I serve as resource coordinators for the Romany Team. The main resource I coordinate is media materials in Romani languages. More than 20 different dialects and languages are spoken in Europe. Two years ago we put out the DVD of the Jesus video in 8 languages (5 of them Romani). I and a couple of other guys took it down to a pilgrimage in Southern France to distribute. The Wycliffe translator I was working with (one of the guys) said, "Okay, what now?" I said, "I don’t know." He said, "Well, I’ve seen this Acts thing in German . . .. "

The first recording of Acts was somewhere around September of 2007. We’ve been working off and on about this thing for about 100 years. We took the published version of the Acts video/DVD and put Sinti voices into. First we worked on the voice of Luke, who narrates the thing. Then we started chasing down other voices for big parts (like Paul) and little parts (like Lydia). We recorded these in church basements and people’s homes. Back in my own home, I mixed the voices in with the background music & effects (sometimes putting in effects where, for instance, laughter was missing). Then, after years of recording and mixing, we had a preview which resulted in more recording of corrections. Finally, the finished DVD is ready. Just in time, oddly enough, for Pentecost. Come to think of it, maybe that’s God’s timing. I hope to show it this weekend at an annual Sinti Pentecost tent meeting here in the Netherlands.

Here's a sample of Peter preaching at Pentacost.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Update from Slovakia & the Czech Republic

Greetings from Košice (CO-sheet-say), Slovakia and the McNary family – Dianne, Shane, Taylor and Allie! Addressing health conditions and poverty issues in the Roma community is one way we minister. For the past year, the focus of this ministry has been on developing and expanding the use of health information. In partnership with an all-Roma school in Košice, Dianne has developed a series of health brochures addressing a variety of basic community health issues. The information is presented in both Slovak and Romani languages. Dianne prepares a presentation for the students at the school which covers each topic. There is also a colorful bulletin board which helps reinforce the information throughout the month.

We partner with several organizations to confront the dire poverty which is so prevalent among the Roma. By strategically and creatively investing the hunger funds available, not only have we seen progress in the battle against poverty, we have also seen an expanded Christian witness.

At the all-Roma school in Košice, gifts from individuals and state organizations provide funds to provide a warm meal each day during the week before families receive their social welfare benefits. The majority of the students at the school live in the dilapidated, segregated part of Košice called Lunik 9.

We partner with Heifer Slovakia, the local branch of Heifer International which is based in Little Rock, Arkansas to transform Roma communities by enabling them to participate in the Heifer programs to combat poverty. We are negotiating a partnership with Heifer Slovakia and a farm in Rudlov (ROOD-low), Slovakia to expand the impact of this farm among the Roma in the neighboring communities. In addition, we are working directly with the Rudlov farm on a program to teach Roma how to set up a garden at their own homes to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for their families.

Sponsoring the meals for BTC Sinaj (Bible Training Center Sinai), which offers quarterly training for Roma ministers and church workers in Slovakia, has enabled BTC to expand their impact. More people have been able to attend since the meals are no longer included in their costs.

Through a partnership with long-time ministry friends in Litoměřice (there’s not a sound in English for the ř), Czech Republic, hunger funds have enabled a summer Bible camp for Roma youth. Short-term volunteers from churches in the United States and Europe will share the hope and grace of Christ during a week-long camp.

Slideshow includes photos from the ministries mentioned above. We appreciate your prayers, your gifts, and your partnership in carrying the Gospel to Roma communities in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.