THIS VENTURE OF
A day in the life
I've had a lot of people ask recently what a Roma village is and what takes place in the village. Many people when I say that I'll be working with gypsy's (otherwise known as Roma), they ask me one question: "Are they like that show on TLC, you know the gypsy one?" I chuckle because I know exactly what show they are referring too. Do you? The funny thing is that there is a lot of similarities but there are also a lot of differences. To be quite honest, I love watching the show because it reminds me of being in the villages. However, while the Gypsies in the show have a great amount of money, the people that I work with in Croatia don't. That's why I wanted to share a little about the people group I have grown to love so much.
A Day in a Roma Village
Imagine waking up laying next to 12 people, all on the floor, covered with blankets that haven't been washed in a long time. There's no running water, no a/c or heating, and you have to chop wood in order to start a fire to be able to cook your meals. Cockroaches, flies, and/or spiders surround the walls of the room you are sleeping in. You have to use the restroom but know the simple task of using the restroom takes a walk onto the grassy hill next to your home. You could always just go behind your home, many people in the village do. You don't really know what your family is going to eat or if the kids are even going to go to school today. All you know is your alive, you have a family to take care of with limited ways of doing so and you don't know what is going to happen next.
If you're a girl, you have the pressure of getting married at 16. Your mom did it, so you could do it as well. There's no birth control, so sex leads to babies. The chances of you having a child by 17 are very likely. I guess you could always apply for government support. Your parents did. You didn't finish school but that's okay, neither did your parents. Your husband, if you're lucky, finds a job. Sometimes, his job is in another country so you don't see him very often. So you're left with raising your kids on your own. By the age of 30, you're more than likely to have 8-9 kids. No husband, no money, and no outside help. If you want to serve chicken for dinner, you have to buy a chicken, kill it, boil it, remove all the feathers, and then cook it. Moldy food is still eatable, so is food that's covered with flies.
Sounds horrifying, doesn't it? When I first drove up to a village, it was. But there is so much more to tell of a Roma village. It was in these villages I learned the value of family....teamwork....love.....giving.....contentment and so much more. In these villages, the kids would run up to me covered in dirt, with holes in their clothes and shoes, a broken toy in hand and yet so much happiness and excitement in their eyes. It was also in these villages where food was given to feed not only me but the entire group before food was given to feed their own families. It was the people in the villages that would send their kids running to the store to buy soda so they could serve us, all while knowing that they couldn't afford it. While some would think that concept of giving is crazy, they saw it as an honor.
The Roma community isn't perfect, though. They desperately need Jesus!
Over the past 5 months, the Lord has placed me back in California. I wasn't very keen on the idea because I was so anxious to get back to the people I knew the Lord wanted me to work with. My calling was confirmed and to me, at first, that meant boarding a place. It's been during this waiting period that I learned to value the importance of being equipped and discipled. It's in these last 5 months that I've spent countless of hours praying for a country and people group that is not my own. I've also been taking mission's training courses online and read numerous amounts of missionary biographies. Thoughts and ideas, which once were foreign to me are now tools in which can be used on the field. Most importantly though, I'm learning that I'm not alone.
I still yearn for Croatia and with every day that passes the desire to be reunited with the Roma people increases. I want to continue working with these villages. I want the Lord to continue using me with the kids, whether it's through teaching English, planning Bible lessons, or any other way. The Roma community isn't just a group of people I work with a couple of times a week. They've become family and they hold a huge piece of my heart. Though I do not have an exact return date, I do pray daily that the Lord would have me return soon.
Please consider partnering with me in this work.
First and foremost, I NEED YOUR PRAYER! There is power in prayer. Satan is real and he wants this work to stop, however, we serve a God that has defeated Satan. Please be interceding on my behalf.
Secondly, I need monthly financial donors to partner with me in the work of sharing the gospel with the Roma communities. The Lord wants to use His people to further His kingdom. Whether it be going, giving, praying, etc each part plays an important role. If the Lord places it in your heart to give financially, there is a link button at the bottom of this page. Please pray about becoming a financial donor.
I'm excited about what's in store. No matter what happens, I know that the Lord is in control and that His Will will be accomplished. God Bless You!