Friday, April 8, 2016

Week of Prayer Day 5 - Moving On

From Keith Holmes and Mary van Rheenen in the Netherlands:

The Ursari Romany in Moldova used to earn a living as bear trainers. They would move from place to place, entertaining the locals with their dancing bears. When Moldova became part of the USSR, they were forced to settle down. But once Communism ended, they lost whatever jobs they had in Moldova. They were forced to be on the move again. Some moved seasonally to Ukraine to work in the fields. They then took their pay--sacks of sugar beets—to Moscow to sell. When border controls and customs fees made this too difficult, many of the non-Christians switched to begging at both Orthodox and Muslim religious places and festivals. Others went as far as Siberia, buying and selling in local markets. Some, particularly the believers, longed to stay at home, in their own village, to build the church there and provide stability for their children. Several applied for loans with Christian micro-economic development organizations. None resulted in permanent, full-time income.

Now a number of these very families are on the move again. Recently, Russia began imposing significant fines on beggars. Those who begged came back to Moldova. They heard that Germany was accepting refugees. Believers and non-believers began a mass exodus, taking their entire families with them. There were 200 children registered at the village school. The pastor estimates that there are now only 20 left. Will the Germans eventually send them back? Will they get tired of living in tents in refugee centers and come back on their own? Or move elsewhere? Only the good Lord knows. He goes with us wherever we—or our Romany brothers and sisters—go.

In your prayers:

  • Pray that Christian Romany will share their faith wherever they go; 
  • Pray for spiritual support for those who emigrate in search of work; 
  • Pray for spiritual and economic support for those who stay.

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