Monday, July 26, 2010

God Calls Anytime, Anywhere... (Adkins Complete 3 Years)

Ask Glen and Clista Adkins, CBF Global Service Corps, about their call to Hungary. They were empty nesters ministering in a local church in the USA where Glen worked as the music minister and Clista taught Sunday School, one of several volunteer ministries for her. They came twice to Pecs, Hungary with a volunteer team to teach English at the Gandhi Roma High School. The details are a beautiful picture of how God calls us to minister on His timetable. They answered yes to His call and soon found themselves completely changing their lives to live among the Roma students.

That was three years ago. Their term of service has been completed and they have returned to the USA. Words seem inadequate to describe the impact they have had on the students of Gandhi. Glen built a very talented choir and more importantly built relationships through the universal language of music. He encouraged the students to express themselves and to teach him about their style of music. Clista taught English and served as a resource/tutor for many of the students and staff. She loved the students and was known for always being ready with hugs for all! Both Glen and Clista accepted these students for who they were and constantly reminded them through their actions that they were important and valued. They arranged choir tours (the most recent being an ensemble to the US this summer), helped open doors for advance education, bought school supplies and clothing, secured volunteer teams for fun weeks at school, continually offered words of encouragement, and so many other things. Their ministry was to love these students and if this can be measured by the tears shed as the Adkins said their good-byes, they were very successful.

The Gypsy Team of CBF would like to say thank you to Clista and Glen for being open to God’s leading to serve for three years among the Roma of the Gandhi School. We will miss you and pray for God’s continued leading as you transition back to the USA.

God calls anytime, anywhere. Could He be calling you?

For a more comprehensive look at the life of the Gandhi students go to: - a DVD ministry of FBC, Greenville, SC

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Let There Be Light!

Why is Pastor Petru Ciochina so proud of this electrical connection? Because Bethlehem Baptist Church in Vulcanesti, Moldova, tried for more than 6 years to get electricity. It would cost them $300 for the paperwork--a month's wages for some people. The whole church dedicated themselves to two days of prayer and fasting. "God did a miracle," Petru said. The whole sum was provided. It was an important experience for the church--not just so that they could have power for lights and microphones. It also demonstrated God's power and care. Many in the church in Vulcanesti were surprised that God actually listened to their prayer--and their faith was encouraged.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Vivi is one of triplets born to Roma parents in the village of Pocsaj. Sadly, she has been nearly blind since birth. Vivi does not let her blindness hold her back. She is very smart, in fact, Vivi now attends a special school in the nearby city of Debrecen. During the week the Student.GO team was in Pocsaj, Vivi and Nina developed a special bond. Vivi was eager to learn English and Nina patiently helped her. At the end of the week Nina “drew” Vivi a picture using aluminum foil, feathers, textile paint, glitter, beads, and various other things. Vivi could “read” this picture with her fingers. It was a wonderful scene as Nina traced Vivi’s fingers over the items, explaining what they were. Vivi’s mom had tears in her eyes and said most people over look her daughter because of her handicap. But Nina looked past her blindness and saw the 10 year old girl with a big heart and a clever mind.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

English Teaching in Vacegras

"Be Flexible, go with the flow, adaptability" all terms our Student.GO team heard over and over during their orientation and from us. This week they put it all into practice and smiled through it all!

We understood the camp would be ESL (English as a Second Language) for middle school and high school students and prepared lessons for that level. Surprise! The camp was attended by mostly elementary age children. No problem! With a little re-planning and re-vamping, our team stepped up and provided a great week of English learning, games, and crafts.

Most of this children had never experienced anything like this. They do not regularly attend church so the Bible stories were new to them. They basked in the attention and enjoyed the crafts. By the end of the week they were able to ask and answer simple questions such as "How are you?" or "What is your name?"

We ended the week with an Independence Day USA party and a hot dog cookout. We used this as an opportunity for the students to talk about their culture. The biggest laugh came when they asked us to sing the US national anthem! We muddled through, high notes and all. They sang the Hungarian national anthem and three of the girls sang the Roma anthem.

Truly a good time was had by all and we pray the seeds that were planted will take root.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Moldovan Mission Trip

I've often thought that missionaries need to be able to sit in a room full of people speaking a language they don't understand--and still feel comfortable. Erika Oosterkamp and I often found ourselves in this situation on our recent trip to Moldova. Our friend, Alina Ivan, came, too. From Romania. So she spoke Romanian with the Moldovans, while we smiled and nodded.

We did discover, though, that string games do not require verbal communication. And we had a lot of communication with the Romany children and the Romany women in the village of Vulcanesti--with and without string; with and without translation.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gandhi Ensemble Mid-Tour Update

The Gandhi Ensemble has taken the USA by storm. They've only been in the States for a week and a half but they have been singing their hearts out with eight concerts! The venues have been packed with supporters eager to hear this talented group. The standing ovations have been a great encouragement to these seven young people. The group not only sings, they also teach about the Gandhi School and their Roma culture. They've been reunited with many friends that have visited their school over the last 10 years. At FBC, Greensboro they sang with their new friends from the youth choir that visited this past spring. In Virginia they were reacquainted with the Latino friends they went with to the Baptist World Alliance Youth Meeting in Germany two years ago. Don't worry though, they are having fun too. Among several things, they've enjoyed the theme park, Carowinds, and touring Washington DC. Please continue to pray for them as they travel, sing, and teach others about their unique culture. Check out for information on the rest of the tour and the new DVD just released about Roma culture in southeast Hungary. Thanks for your support!
(Thank you Elaine Sarratt, FBC, Greenville, SC for the photo)