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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Entries in openning ceremony (2)


God has begun a good work

By Alicia Jones

On Monday of this week we celebrated the opening of the kindergarten at New Life Roma Church in Western Ukraine. It was a great celebration as visitors from far and near were present: Sándor Szenczy from Hungarian Baptist Aid, Pastor Craig Hamlin from my home church, Fairview Baptist, a representative from the mayor of the region, and the director of the local Roma school. Our honored guests were the children of the kindergarten class and their mothers.

We celebrated a vision and a dream coming to reality. For two years plus I’ve personally been praying for God to establish a kindergarten for the Roma children in this town. Locally people have prayed even longer. As I said at the inauguration on Monday, we are beginning small, but we believe God will grow it in His time and in His way.

Tuesday the first six students came, on Wednesday we had eight new students and on Thursday three new students. We wanted small groups at first, so that we could get acquainted with the children and their unique personalities. What a blessings these three days were, learning who the children are and how we might provide a kindergarten education for them.

God reminded me half way through the week of Paul’s words in Philippians 1:6, “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” We’ve prayed for God to work in these little ones’ lives and we trust Him to carry it on to completion!

See more photos here.


A Day to Celebrate

By Alicia Jones

September 1st was probably just the start of a new month and a regular Saturday for many, but here in this quaint town in Western Ukraine it was the first day of school and everyone was celebrating its inauguration. School girls dressed in their white and blue clothes blew horns and sung as they walked through the city center.

I had the joy of spending the morning on the edge of town at the local school for the Roma community. Many of the beautiful faces I came to know this summer were gathered in the school courtyard to celebrate the new school year. Everyone was clean and looking their best.  

The ceremony began with the national anthems of both Ukraine and Hungary. Then their were speeches in Ukrainian and Hungarian by various people: the mayor of the town, the school principal, visitors, local pastors who work with the Roma people and there were even a few words from an American because I was given the opportunity to address parents and children on this special day.

I shared that we hope to start a kindergarten at the church nearby to help better prepare children for school. The few teachers I talked with individually before the ceremony were so excited for this and expressed how great the need is for a kindergarten. Lord willing, New Life Kindergarten hopes to have an inauguration celebration on Monday, September 17. It will certainly be something to celebrate after so many have prayed for and dreamed of the opening of a kindergarten in this Roma community.