Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Get Your Picture on the Cover..."

There is a famous song about getting your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine. While it's not the Rolling Stone, we think it's pretty special - the Naomi Center for women, a ministry of Project Ruth is featured in this month's edition of a ladies craft magazine in Romania. It's their Easter edition (we follow the Orthodox calendar and will celebrate Easter in Romania on May 5). The article has colorful pictures and interviews with several of our regular participants. We're all pleased to see our Center recognized as a great place for women to come and learn a craft. Those of us who hang out there regularly know it's much more than that with counseling and support also offered. Copies of the magazine are available at any newsstand in Romania and the ladies will autograph them for free! :)

Hanging with the Girls in the 'Hood!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day 7: Join us in praising God for lifting up the humble in the following ways..

Thanksgiving that new team members Jon and Tanya Parks have been able to establish themselves in Slovakia.

For a class of students at the Roma scheduled to graduate soon from the Roma school in Kosice!

Praise for the opportunity to share with 250 people in 9 villages in north-central Slovakia through healthcare ministries.

Praise for relationships that were forged and continue to grow among these communities.
For the growth and ministry of the Devleskero Kher (House of God) in the Kosice area where Roma and non-Roma,  homeless and well-employed worship together.

Positive impact of volunteer teams this past year; thanksgiving for those who came to share their gifts, skills, and love.

Praise for the distribution of the audio recording of New Testament in the Sinti Romani language  and that translation of the Old Testament in this continues.

Regular chapel time at the Ruth School has begun and is making an impact on the students.

Praise for the 220 students beginning the school year at Ruth School, the highest ever enrollment

Two Gypsy Smith School sessions for training Romany pastors and church leaders were held with maximum capacity of students in attendance.

Thankfulness for Rachel Brunclikova, CBF Romany Team member serving in the Czech Republic.

Opening of Naomi Women’s Center, in connection with the Ruth School to offer counseling, sewing club, and other services/activities for Roma women in Bucharest, Romania.

Faithfulness of partners in the Republic of Moldova, for Dutch volunteers who help in outreach to Roma women and girls, and for spiritual growth seen through this ministry.

Renovation of Romany school in Kosice, Slovakia, begun by U.S. volunteers; completed by school faculty, staff, and local volunteers.

Oasis Club, locally organized and staffed outreach to Romany in the Czech Republic.

Thanksgiving for financial supporters, who make this ministry possible through their tithes and offerings.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 6: Uplifted through Education

Each weekday morning at 8:00, a stream of children flows down the sidewalk in the Galakticka neighborhood of Koลกice.  Near the end of the sidewalk, the children split in two directions.  Some turn right, through the doors of the newly-remodeled school for Slovaks.  Some turn left, through the rusty and graffiti-covered doors of the school for Roma Gypsies. 

By outward appearances, the schools are drastically different:  It’s obvious that the Roma school does not have the same financial resources.  But despite this, something extraordinary is happening – these Roma children are learning.  Some of them are the first in their families to attend school past the basic level, and a small handful may actually go on to university.

Could this young man become a journalist, speaking out on behalf of his oppressed people?  Could this young woman be elected to parliament, making decisions that create a better world for generations of Roma children to come?  Only time will tell, and only God’s love and grace can truly make a difference!                                                                           
  Jon & Tanya Parks, Slovakia

·   Thank God for the teachers and administrators who do this difficult work, for which they receive no recognition, and very little pay.
·   Pray that these students and their families will make it a priority to stay in school.
·   Pray that God would provide funding for this and other Roma schools in Slovakia that face defunding from the government.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 5: Uplifted through Church Planting/Faith Sharing

“Sister Minadora is one of the wisest ones here,” the leader of a Romany church told me nearly ten years ago. Minadora worked alongside American volunteers at a vacation Bible school program in her village.  But in the following years I didn’t see much of Sister Minadora. When her brother went to prison, his wife left their six children, the youngest one severely handicapped, with Minadora. She struggled with the situation financially, physically, and spiritually. 

A few years ago, we came by to invite her to a women’s program at the local church. She was noncommittal. She seemed depressed. I don’t think she came--but she did come to church the next day. “It’s a miracle,” the pastor told us when he saw her there, “Sister Minadora is smiling!”

Minadora and a member of our volunteer team exchanged photographs and promised to pray for one another. And when the volunteer team returned and stayed in a home in the village for the first time, who hosted them? Sister Minadora. The Lord had lifted her up, so far, that she could give again, smilingly.
Mary van Rheenen, resource coordinator

·     Praise for mature Christians and leaders among the Romany and for volunteers who work with,  not for, those they meet.
·     Pray for Romany women who struggle with depression, for Sister Minadora, and for continued growth of Christ’s kingdom among Romany in Moldova.