T, a sixteen year old Roma boy from Slovakia, spent most of his life in a state-run orphanage. Despite his pleas and the recommendations from counselors and teachers, T was returned to the custody of his parents. Though he had to leave the relative comfort of the orphanage to live in the one-room, dirt-floor shanty with his family, T continues to stand out among the other Roma in his village. He tries to dress, speak, and act differently than his peers. T’s quiet presence and ability to connect with others makes him a favorite with the members of the short-term ministry teams who have come and served in his village.
T shared that he wanted to go to vocational school because he liked to study and wanted to get a job. The realization that he would not be able to do so because of lack of funding threatened to steal the hope from his simple plans. That is when I knew that forming a coalition of support to ensure T’s future opportunities was required. I went to his school so his teacher and principal knew that the promise of help was real. They are going to do their part. “But his parents must support this as well,” they said. So I visited his parents at their home.
“T’s teacher will do her part. I will do my part. There is an organization who will handle the finances for him. T will have to try and be responsible to study. And I am here to ask you to do your part and allow him to go to school.” So many parts. So many pieces depending upon the other in order for this plan to work. So many people forming a coalition to lay claim to T’s hope for a brighter future through education. Together, we will try.
Prayer Requests and Thanksgiving:
- Pray for T as he completes his studies this spring and transfers to vocational school in the fall.
- Give thanks for the many participants in this coalition who are forming together a solid team of support – teachers, parents, friends, and donors - for T’s education.
Shane & Dianne McNary, Slovakia and Czech Republic