Saturday, June 22, 2013

General Assembly Invitation

Community Health Evangelism (CHE) is a means to help people reach out in love and minister to the physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs of their community.  CHE seeks to enable communities to escape the cycles of poverty through instruction in the prevention of disease, promotion of good health and how to live an abundant life in Christ. 

The participatory learning style encourages interaction among all attendees through small group discussions and role playing as well as large group sharing.  After completing their training, attendees are prepared to begin work in their communities and to share with others utilizing the CHE curriculum. 

Utilizing the principles of CHE, poor Roma communities have been impacted through our ministry in Slovakia as well as through a network of CHE ministries in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia. 

To learn more about CHE and how it could be another tool to help transform your community of ministry, join us at CBF General Assembly in Greensboro, NC at the Healthcare Mission Community breakout on Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 1:30 p.m. in the Pinehurst Room.  We will also have a speaker to share about Bread for the World at this session. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hurry Up and Sing!

A second-year student at the Roma gymnazium.
Today we spent our last day of the school year at the Roma gymnasium on Galakticka street in Kosice.  The school faces an uncertain future - it has recently been defunded by the Slovak government, and is in danger of closing.  More than just our last visit for the year, today might have been our last day there, period.  We were a bit emotional as we made the 30-minute bike ride and talked about the different challenges that the school faces.

As we arrived at the school, I realized I had forgotten something important... the kids had asked us to sing for them today, since this would be our last day. My somber mood dissolved in a quick flurry of activity.  We borrowed a guitar from the school office, quickly tuned it up, and rushed into the hot classroom to play for the kids.

It ended up something like a concert, with the kids listening and clapping loudly when we were done.  We didn’t have printed music with us, so we were limited in what we could sing for them – mainly worship songs that we play often when we worship as a family, a few simple children’s songs and American folks songs that I could play with basic guitar chords.  We even taught them a couple, though they were mostly shy to sing along – “Father I Adore You,” “The Bear Went over the Mountain,” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

Of course, teaching a simple worship song to kids – in a language they barely understand – is nothing like an evangelistic meeting!  But today was a great way to end this school year for us:  with a reminder of the relationships we’ve been able to build this year, and a reminder of how incredibly open and curious these kids have been when we’ve talked about the reason we’re here.  

Whatever the status of the school next year, we are praying for more open doors with these kids, to help them find a hope and a Love that can make a difference in their difficult lives!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Roma Network

For some years now we've noticed that a lot of Dutch Christians regularly trek to Romania bringing stuff, volunteering at orphanages, ministering short- and long-term . . .. Because the Roma in Romania are frequently in even more material and social need than others there, these organizations and individuals often become focused on Roma.

Apparantly we are not the only ones who've noticed this. Christelijke Platform OostEuropa (Christian Platform Eastern Europe) has started hosting a Romany Network. Currently the following organizations are invovled :

Christian Roma support
Hulp Oosteuropa
Immanuel Bedum
Oost Europa Noorderveld
Pacea Domnului
Roma Bible Union
Scharlaken Koord (Scarlet Cord)
Trans World Radio
Vrienden van Padureni.

For more information on this organization and their third meeting (scheduled for June 15 in Utrecht), go to: .