In Romania among the Roma
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 02:17PM
Love Help Teach

By: A guest writer

My name is Heather - I’m from the UK and have been working in the same school as Alicia in Hungary since September, also teaching English with HBAID.  There was a room on the outreach to Romania over Easter, so I was very glad to have been able to join Alicia and the group from North Carolina.  But it was much more than just something to do in the school holidays.  For me it was a time when the Lord rekindled in me, His heart for people who live in both poverty and exclusion.  And at the same time, He showed me how to rely on Him to be free of the fear of standing in front of a crowd of people, and trust in Him for the words.  I have never done anything like bible teaching or preaching, but on day one I realized that I could bring some stories to life from my own experiences, to convey messages from the gospel in simple, visual ways. 

Over several days we were able to go into the five or six villages that are connected to the mission, and hold a dozen services outside, or in houses or basic church buildings; building up believers and giving evangelistic messages to onlookers.  This was clearly a great help to the church leaders who struggle in their communities day after day.  Many people came to see what was going on as the musicians began to play and sing, enticing the children to join in (they love to get involved in singing!).   We prayed with some individuals.  Having done a number of outreaches over the years, it struck me how readily people of all ages gathered to see the visitors in their village, and how many people, particularly the young men, actually did listen and get involved even in prayer. 

We also visited and were so kindly received in many homes over the week, and it was clear that Alicia and Tunde have been building strong relationships and a presence in the communities throughout the years, in between team times.  And it seemed very important to me, in mission terms, that the teams that come from abroad are helping the local Roma church leaders build their own church from inside the community, and aren’t trying just to provide programs run by outsiders.  It’s a wonderful experience to worship with Roma believers and feel the strength of their music, and their desire to testify about God’s power at work in their lives week by week.  What I encountered this past week was a great opportunity for genuinely sustainable mission work, as well as truly loving and gracious people.  

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