Monday, November 7, 2016

Coordinating Resources . . . Cooperating Baptists . . .

Students from a previous session of Gypsy Smith School
This week makes the seventh time that Dutch Baptists flown to Romanian to teach at for the Gypsy Smith School in Bucharest.*   Fellow CBF team members started this training school for Romany pastors and church leaders. The school meets four times a year for one-week intensive training.

Romany church leaders in Romania . . . field personnel from America . . . pastors from the Netherlands . . . how did that all get linked together? Well, we flew to the Netherlands 20 years ago to serve as resource coordinators for CBF's Romany Team. The day after our arrival, Dutch pastor Teun van de Leer came to visit us at the youth hostel in Arnhem where we were staying. He arranged English translation for our first visit to the Arnhem-Centrum Baptist Church the following Sunday. We are still part of that church. In fact, Mary is now one of the English translators.

Teun later moved on to serve as rector and professor at the Dutch Baptist Seminary. About eight years ago, when he was guest speaker at Arnhem-Centrum, we asked him if he knew of anyone who would be willing to teach a one-week session at the Gypsy Smith School in Bucharest, Romania. Well, yes, the seminary was looking for some hands-on mission experiences for students. A student and a professor might go together. Yes, that might work.

We resource coordinators do not have the fun of teaching these enthusiastic Romany believers ourselves. But it gives us great satisfaction to link people who have those teaching skills with leaders eager to learn; to see Christians cooperating across national, ethnic, and linguistic lines to advance the Kingdom.

To read about a previous trip, go to: Dutch Connection.
English translation available.
*The school is named for Rodney "Gipsy" Smith (1860-1947), a British Rom who preached around the world.

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