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Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by SaggyWoman, Dec 29, 2004.
Anyone here work with or have worked with the gypsy people?
My sister does this overseas, but I am not able to say where.
How long has she been doing that?
Since late '98. (Gypsies like to be called Roma -- at least in most places; the term "gypsy" is considered derogatory by them).
From what I'v learned, the Roma take on the main religion of the areas they are in (usually) and mix that in with their traditional animistic beliefs and superstitions. They are a very closed society and one of the most persecuted, so they are a hard group to evangelize, but many are coming to Christ overseas.
Our Church supports three families who are Gypsies working with Gypsies. They are the Walter Stevens family and his son's family (his first name slips my mind right now), and the Lawrence Evans family who was saved under Bro. Stevens ministry.
As far as I know they are the first IFB missionaries who are Gypsies evangelizing their own people. Know one can reach this people group like one of their own. Bro Stephens an Evans are both men who lived the Gypsy lifestyle (they were carneys) before salvation. Bro. Stevens wife was a fortune-teller. Truly a neat story of how Christ can change a life and heart.
The missionary I am in contact with used the term Roma.
What my sister and other missionaries do is encourage the saved Roma to become leaders in the Roma church and evangelize the other Roma people. That is what is being done. There are no Roma to give the gospel to other Roma if no one gives them the gospel in the first place! There are not that many working with the Roma, from what I understand.
In this area, there is a group of Roma Christians who have their church.
As far as doing fortunetelling, this is something they do for outsiders but not for each other, from what I've heard. It's one way to make a living as it is difficult for them to get jobs. They are usually not educated and are even kept out of schools. In some Eastern European countries, Roma children are put in schools for the mentally retarded. I read in a newspaper story recently about a Roma activist in Romania, I believe, who is trying to stop some of these practices.
What a calling!
Yes, it is! And there are a lot of cultural issues that are difficult to surmount as well as the resistance to the gospel. There is a definite need for more missionaries to the Roma; we can pray for that!