Friday, March 25, 2011

Scholarships breaking the cycle of poverty

“I knew that I had a serious problem (coming up with the money) and then prayed for help. I didn’t tell anyone. The next morning, the email came about the scholarship,” Jarka shared with joy. She and two other women had just received word that we would be able to provide a scholarship for them to complete their education, thanks to a grant from the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission.

For Roma who did not complete, but later want to return to finish their education, the fees they must pay are too often prohibitive. For the three women we were able to provide scholarships to, the opportunity to complete their education is the one avenue for them to gain or keep their employment and to provide for their families. By breaking the cycle of poverty through education, the lives of these families are transformed.
Pray for Jarka, Etela, and Vierka as they complete their education and move on to a life without poverty.

Thank you to the churches that support the Texas Baptist World Hunger Offering for providing this life-changing gift.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dedication of Sinti Romani New Testament

This past Sunday was a big day for Sinti Romany believers. After 25 years of work by dozens of people, both Sinti and non-Sinti, the printed New Testament in their language was dedicated in Marburg, Germany. As one Sinti believer said as part of the ceremony, "We have never had anything that was ours. We have never had our own country or our own government. But now we have something that is ours--the New Testament in our language. Hitler cannot take it away from us. The devil cannot take it away from us. It is ours." Many Sinti died in concentration camps during W.W. II. It was extraordinary to worship with both German and Sinti Christians on this special day.
Photo: Kennedy and Otta, two of the many Sinti who helped with the translation project, talk with a visitor from Wycliffe Bible Translators. Otta holds a copy of the New Testament in her hands.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gypsy Team Meeting

Our team usually meets twice a year - once electronically through the miracle of web-conferencing and once face to face. Since we all live in Europe we can take advantage of very cut-rate European airlines and going during the off-season. Recently we, along with families, gathered in Palermo, Italy for 4 days. We were joined by our Team Coordinator, Becky Smith and CBF's new Member Care Coordinator, Tere Canzoneri.

We spent our time reporting on what is happening in the Romany (Gypsy) ministries in our areas. We planned strategy for continuing to share the Good News. We networked and shared stories. We took turns praying for each other and giving devotional thoughts. We shared meals and enjoyed spending time together. It was a great time and we were all refreshed.
We are thankful for God's provision allowing us to serve Him in our areas.  Thank you for your partnership of praying, serving, and giving.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Loss Of A Friend

On March 9th Project Ruth and all of its friends and supporters said farewell to a dear friend. Vasile Moceanu passed away from cancer on that day. Many will remember him as the first face they met upon arriving in Bucharest as he worked as the official driver for Project Ruth for many years. Every team of volunteers and every GSS/TCM teacher had the privilege of meeting this humble servant of God. A skilled driver with a detailed knowledge of the streets of Bucharest Morceanu safely delivered all such visitors to their many destinations. Although he spoke little English visitors were warmly welcomed by Moceanu with a handshake or kiss on the cheek.

Moceanu was a delight to the children of the Ruth School. He regularly delivered lunch to the children attending Obed Day Center and his pockets often held pieces of candy for the Roma children. While he waited in the van for staff or visitors to complete their errands you would often find Moceanu reading his Bible. He was recognized in his family and his church for his steadfast belief in God. His faith stood firmly throughout his final days and he was a strong witness of God’s love to the many friends and church family who gathered at his bedside daily.

The Project Ruth family grieves the loss of our dear friend but rejoices that he has found wholeness and peace and complete joy in the presence of God our Father.