Who are the Roma people?

The Roma are a people group with no home country. They are scattered primarily throughout Europe, but also the world. Typically living in tight-knit exclusive communities, the Roma maintain a unique culture and close family ties.

To learn more about the Roma visit the Britannica Page or the Wikipedia Page.

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An Inexhaustible Treasure in Heaven

By: Alicia Jones

About 15 years ago in one large Roma community in Romania, through outdoor evangelism meetings and initial church planting efforts, a body of believers began to form. Over the years this body of believers was blessed in many ways and they grew.  With support from foreigners, the garbage dump at the end of their town became the site of their beautiful two-story church building/community center with its own large soccer field. The story of this congregation is full of twists, turns, heartache and victories, but the fruit of mature faith is beginning to ripen. This year they began gathering their resources to care for the poor in their community.

I have only known this community for about a year, but I have watched with delight as I see God working to focus them on things of eternal value and form them into the people He wants them to be. From what I’ve learned about the history of the church, various outsiders and their gifts have come and gone. The seed of the gospel was planted by some, watered by others, but God is giving the increase (1 Cor. 3:6-7)!

On January 4th, 2014 the church, using mostly their own resources held its first Saturday lunch for the poor in their community. They invited church members to serve in the kitchen or just come and enjoy the meal making everyone feel welcome. The first week more than a 100 came, the second week 150 and now regularly they have 200 or more. The praise team from the church provides music while everyone waits patiently for their lunch and the people in the kitchen hurry to get the food served up.  By the fourth or fifth week of the Saturday lunch those in the greatest need started showing up with empty containers so they could take home leftovers.

The local leaders’ faith is being challenged and grown through their new effort to serve God and care for their community. One leader says, if someone asked me what’s for lunch on Saturday during the week, I always tell them, call me Friday night if you want to know. We know how much money we start with for the next Saturday lunch after the Sunday service each week and it never seems like enough, but I’m always amazed that by the time Saturday morning rolls around I have in my hand just enough for the meal. There has been more than enough food at every meal they’ve served.

Just last fall this group of leaders together with the praise team decided to reinitiate making regular visits to three surrounding villages to hold church services. In the past they had been more faithful about caring for the smaller villages that are under the distribution of their town, but hardship and lack of funds keep them from going. Would you join us in praying for this Roma congregation in Romania? Pray that God would sustain their efforts to care for the poor in their community and serve the surrounding villages. Pray that He will increase the faith of the Roma leaders and provide the resources and strength for them to serve Him faithfully.

The following teaching of Jesus is difficult for any believer, but especially for Roma believer who may not have anything to eat today:  “Don’t keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money-bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:29-34, words of Jesus while teaching his disciples).

What a day it will when these Roma who faithfully served God and cared for the poor in their community are richly rewarded in heaven! The struggle to believe and obey is just as difficult for you and me as it is for our Roma brother or sister. Join in the struggle by praying, giving or visiting!

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