Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gypsy Smith School - January Session

The January session of the Gypsy Smith School** was a huge success! We expected about 20 leaders and had 24 attend! We were scrambling around making beds to accommodate the extra numbers - always a nice problem to solve.

Our leaders, Warren Hoffman, pastor of 3rd Baptist Church in St Louis, and Terrell Carter, interim youth pastor at 3rd and Networking Coordinator for CBF MO, taught on communion, worship elements, and the New Testament. Harold Phillips, Coordinator of CBF MO, accompanied the Missouri leaders but sadly returned to the USA after the first day due to the death of his father.

The weather was cold and blistery outside but the fellowship and camaraderie was warm and inviting inside. It was a wonderful week of training and building of relationships. Please join us in giving God thanks for his blessings.

*Pictured: Warren Hoffman with students.
**What is the Gypsy Smith School? It is a leadership training for Roma (Gypsy) church leaders held four times a year through Project Ruth in Bucharest, Romania.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Different Pair of Glasses

First, I couldn't see things far away. That required one kind of corrective lenses. Then, a few years ago, I couldn't see things close up. That called for a different kind of corrective lenses. Now, I need "computer glasses" because the screen is just the wrong distance for either near or far portion of my regular glasses. Different problems call for different solutions.

This morning, before I picked up this newest pair, Keith was telling me how Romany he had stayed with in London had visited Romany in Romania and been shocked by the behavior of some of the Romanian Romany. The poor treatment of children, for instance, went against traditional Romany culture. Keith wanted to find out what made the Romanian Romany act that way--to look at the situation from their point of view. What forces prompted them to deviate from the strict code of Romany conduct? Only by understanding the cause could one attempt a remedy.

In my case, the computer glasses are working fine to type this blog. But I'll have to switch to the other pair if I want to read the bulletin board 18 inches further away. Different problems call for different solutions. Thankfully, the optician knew what to do about this one. I'm wondering what the Great Physician has to say about some of these other ones.