Thursday, February 27, 2014

Three Photos From My (Mary's) Work

An assignment from a class I'm taking on social media was to spontaneously take three photos of our work and post them with captions.

Keeper of the calendar, weekly as well as monthly and yearly.

Household manager. Though I don’t do all the cooking and cleaning, I organize it and make sure it gets done.

Oh, and I also do things related to Romany work—write prayer letters, answer correspondence, do prayer updates when Keith is out on a recording project, put together communication things like this set of three photos . . . . I may have taken this assignment a bit too literally. 

But now I’m curious—what would three photos taken in the next 5 minutes show about your work?

Monday, February 17, 2014


Step one:  Make a frame from PCV pipe.


Step 2: Cover it with several layers of blankets, quilts, sleeping bags . . . to provide sound insulation.

Step 3: Put in a table, microphone, chair, and computer monitor with the script on it. 
Add someone willing to be recorded like this gentleman who is one of the "voices" in the Eastern Slovak Romani New Testament recording.

But wait. That should really be Step 4. Step 1 is to recruit prayer support for each and every recording project. Interested in praying for this one? Or have an ingenious idea of your own for using readily available materials? We'd love to hear from you in either case.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Romany at Work

While Keith is in Slovakia, recording the New Testament in Eastern Slovak Romani, he naturally wants to make the best use of his time. An audio recording like this takes 6-8 weeks, away from home, in facilities paid for by the day. I recently sent out a poorly worded prayer request about the daily recording schedule. One of our partners in Slovakia, ever sensitive to the many negative stereotypes about Romany, objected. "It makes us sound like lazy Gypsies," he said (he himself is not Romany.) He was not being fussily politically correct. Hate crimes and blatant discrimination against Romany spring from deep-seated prejudice. We need to counter rather than contribute to the mistaken notion that Romany are merely parasites of society.

"Mistaken notion" doesn't state this strongly enough. Most Romany I've met are neither lazy nor slaves to work. Ingenious and enterprising, yes. Rudi, a Sinti Romany from Germany, supports his ministry among Czech Romany just across the border with a couple of second-hand stores. Mikey is Kalderash, a Romany group who traditionally work with metal. His family still does, polishing and replating the silver first for hotels in the London area, then in Catholic churches throughout Ireland. Sergei and his wife sold shoes door-to-door in Moldovan villages that had no shops or weekly markets. They transferred those skills to selling in weekly markets in Russia, where the economy is better than in Moldova.

I appreciate our Slovakian colleague's sensitivity. Who have you recently heard "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . . . Speak up and judge fairly . . ."? (Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV. )

Monday, February 3, 2014

Reality TV--Really??

Real Louisiana Men  

Do the reality TV programs about Romany really reflect Romany life and culture? Oh, even less than "Duck Dynasty" reflects the way real Louisiana men really wear their hair. I was looking for a way to protest "Gypsy Sisters" when I found that members of the American Romany community had already started a petition to have the Discovery Channel remove this program from their subsidiary, The Learning Channel.
Duck Dynasty
"The program not only uses an ethnic slur in the title, but exploits the American Romanichal community. The individuals involved in the show are not part of any Romanichal community within America & the show in no way represents Romani, Romany, or Romanichal culture. Please help us to have this show cancelled."

Interested in signing this petition, too? Go to remove Gypsy Sisters program.

P.S. Duck Dynasty headquarters is less than seven miles from the home where the Real Louisiana Men were photographed.