Three of OM EAST’s team members joined their partners and participants from across Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The majority of participants, including pastors, were Roma. The weeklong consultation was held in English, Serbian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Romanian.
Sounds of Roma worship music and people singing praises to God filled the hall. There were incredible testimonies of how Jesus has changed individuals’ lives, freeing them from alcoholism, guiding through dreams, bringing healing and releasing people from practices of superstition. There were stories of whole villages being impacted.
“A highlight for me was to see what God is doing among the Roma,” said Simon*, OM EAST’s graphic design leader. “There are huge challenges, but God is doing amazing things and miracles are happening. It was great to see the vision they have for mission.”
The name of the conference, Roma for the Nations, reflected their vision not only to share the Gospel in their own communities, but also for God to use them to reach non-Roma. OM Founder George Verwer spoke, encouraging their involvement in missions.
Participants were very interested in examples of seven publications OM EAST has published in partnership with the Roma Bible Union for the Bayash in Croatia, Hungary and Serbia. They trust the literature may be useful for others in their ministries.
“We are at an exciting time where our partners are working on translating God’s Word into other Romani dialects,” Simon said. “It is a privilege to partner with them in producing literature specifically for the Roma.”
OM EAST’s team members gained more insight into the big picture. There was a sense of great potential as well as of the reality of the needs. Individuals shared about issues of extreme poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, limited resources and lack of Scripture in their language. There was a particular focus on how local pastors, leaders and other organisations can work together to strengthen their ministries.
The OM EAST team thanks God for such a blessed time: God was glorified, His people encouraged with an exciting vision for the future. It was special for the team to see Roma pastors and leaders full of the joy of the Lord, even as they serve in complex situations, proclaiming what a great God we have!
Praise God for the blessed time at the conference. Please pray for wisdom going forward as people follow up on connections made and how they can best work together. Pray God’s protection over participants as they returned to their places of ministry.
View more photos from the Roma conference on the OM EAST blog.
*Full name not included for security reasons
Credit: OM EAST Communications · © 2014 OM International