Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gypsy Smith Leadership Training - October Session

Romanian, Dutch, English, Romani (Gypsy), a bit of German, and Hungarian - what a mixture of languages! At times during this week of the October session at the Gypsy Smith Leadership Training all could be heard. Seventeen Roma leaders gathered to learn about Baptist History and the Holy Spirit in Scripture. Our instructors for the week were from The Netherlands where Baptists just celebrated 400 years of history from their beginnings in Amsterdam. Teun van der Leer is the Rector at the Baptist Seminary and Anne de Vries is a staff member of the Baptist Union. The teachers had this to say about their week with the Roma leaders:

Anne de Vries: "It's great to teach these brothers. They are highly motivated to receive, know their Bible well and demonstrate a strong interest in theology and church history. Their singing is very impressive, as are the moments of prayer that we may experience together. It is a great privilege to work here. "

Teun van der Leer: "Wednesday we spent a short visit to the Baptist Seminary here in Bucharest (more than 200 students) and Thursday night we visited, along with the students, a service in Biserica Baptista Christina Provindentia in Bucharest, where we of course had to preach ourselves and share greetings from the Netherlands."

Join us in praising God and thanking Him for this opportunity to teach and learn. Thank Him for the dedicated leaders that made the journey and took the time to be in Bucharest this week. Thank Him for calling our two teachers to come as well. Praise God for this week of blessing.

quotes from Baptist Union website:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Action--via AI

I ahve been a member of Amnesty International for a couple of decades now. We are also members of Open Doors, a Christian organization that advocates for the persecuted church. The positive thing about both is that you and I can make a direct, positive difference in the world, simply by sending a letter, card, or e-mail. Amnesty International currently has several involving Roma:
Germany Must Stop Forcible Returns of Roma to Kosovo;
Stop Forced Eviction of Roma in Serbia.
You may add your voice by going to, appeals for action, and scrolling down to the related article. At the end of the article is an opportunity to send an e-mail or letter. This has proven effective for many years, in many countries, and many causes.
Note that we do not blanketly endorse all actions of Amnesty International, but we can recommend these.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweatshirts for Everyone!

The air has a definite chill, the clouds hang low in the sky, and the leaves are falling off the trees. Fall is here! Can winter be far behind? With that in mind the Ruth School staff distributed new sweatshirts to all the students. Thanks to a generous donation from supporters in the United Kingdom, boxes of school shirts were hauled into each room. The warm, cozy sweatshirts will help on those blustery, cold days yet to come.

Jesus said, "...I need clothes and you clothed me."

**Ruth School is located in Bucharest, Romania and provides education of grades 1-8 for Roma students.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bloom where you are planted

Greetings from the Czech Republic! My name is Rachel (some of you remember me as Stephen) Brunclikova and I’m the newest (re)addition to the Roma Team. Many of you have been praying for me over the last few months and I want you to know that those prayers have been felt every day! I continue to recover from my second surgery and am gaining strength daily. I’ve decided to get myself started blogging – we’ll see how it goes. Those of you who know me know that I have felt a call to missions since a young age. As I look back over my journey, I see how God’s work tends to be cyclical and that these last few years when I’ve been “out of missions”, I’ve actually been going through a very important time of preparation for this new work. I also got some time to just be a wife and a mom – both answers to years of prayer. Since I have been living as a “real Czech” for the last seven years, I see how God has uniquely prepared me to work with the Roma and the Baptist churches here and hopeful stand in the gap to foster cooperation and understanding. I remember when I was young hearing in Sunday school that we should “bloom where we are planted”. There was always this voice inside of me that said “No!! I’ve got to GO somewhere”. Well, I went. . . . and now I’m planted here. . . and guess what God is asking me to do – BLOOM WHERE I’M PLANTED!! Of course, making something bloom takes good soil, the proper amount of water and often a little fertilization – and all of that means work. I ask for your continued prayer as I “bloom” and start working with the ongoing projects here in the Czech Republic and look for other projects to support.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Good find online

I stumbled across a website which has some of the best documentary material from the Roma I have ever seen.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

"fellowship!" features Roma Ministry

The current issue (Oct/Nov) of CBF's publication "fellowship!" is on-line. Take a look at! The feature article is on the ministry of Dianne and Shane McNary in Slovakia. It is very informative of the wonderful things God is doing through them among the Romany. There are also two other articles on the Dom Gypsies located in the Middle East and the Banjara Gypsies located in India.

Read the articles and please consider how you might be a part of God's mission among the Roma through praying, giving, and volunteering.