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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Students as Lights in their Community

By: Alicia Jones

Before the summer began, the leadership of the church came to me with two dreams for the summer. One of their visions was to hold summer school at the church in order to help the children of the church who failed in one or more subjects during the 2014-2015 school year. They would take care of finding two suitable teachers, one for grades 1-4 and one for grades 5-7. Their goal: To prepare the children for retesting in September. The students could change their status from failed to pass if they performed well enough on the retests.

The leadership explained their dream and hope with such passion. They recognize that the Roma children of this community in general are not succeeding in school and are dropping out at incredibly high rates (dropout rate before 8th grade is 75%, dropout rate before 12th grade 99%). They want the children of their church to be setting an example for the community; showing the difference it makes when a family follows Jesus. They want their children to succeed in school and complete not only the 8th grade, but even the 12th grade. The problem they saw is that there were 15 students within the church family who would be retesting in September. These kids needed to prepare if they were going to pass and go on to the next grade. The dream of a summer schools seemed like the right avenue! All that was missing was the funding. Recognizing that this dream falls in line with the goals of Love Help Teach, we supported the vision.

The program was for four weeks in July. The children studied everyday for 3-4 hours under the guidance of two compassionate teachers from the school, one being Roma himself. The teachers worked hard, the children worked hard. When Love Help Teach arrived July 31 with a team from Temple Baptist Church, all the children and parents were eager to explain the success of the summer school. Everyone in the church said that the children learned more in one month at the church than the entire school year at the school. The two teachers were extremely proud of their students, but the true results would come one month later when the children take their retests.

The first week of September the students took the retests. There were Hungarian children, Roma children, and Romanian children taking retests. The tests were difficult. There were many children who failed the retests, but every single one of the 15 children who came to the summer program at the church passed all their retests! This result was far more than the leadership of the church even dreamed of. With the help of Temple Baptist Church and the growing vision of the local leadership, the extra help for these Roma students does not end with the retests! Throughout the school year, the two teachers have offered to teach Saturday school to the children at the church. They will meet for 4-5 hours each Saturday to practice their lessons and fix mistakes far before they are close to failing a class. This is an exciting time in the life of the Roma Baptist Church in Romania. Praise be to God for the exciting results of the summer school and the opportunity for Saturday school.

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