The good news is – there’s a church on the property, a fruit of IM ministry. Here we spent 1 ½ hours with a gypsy man who came to know Christ about ten years ago. He’s now a pastor among his people. He shared his testimony with us, telling us how Christ delivered him from alcohol and gambling addictions. His desire is to see his people come to know Jesus as Savior so they, too, can be set free and experience healing in their lives. Now there are two women’s discipleship meetings, a children’s outreach, a teen program, a men’s discipleship meeting, and two church services each week on site. As we spoke, we could hear music – guitars and accordians – down the hall. The midweek service had begun, and the people sang with great enthusiasm. Little kids ran in and out of the building, curious teens stopped by to check things out, and the singing continued.
What a privilege to witness this body of believers worshipping the Lord. Their circumstances are less than desirable, to put it nicely, but their hearts are intent on following Christ. They are our brothers and sisters in the Lord and need our prayers for steadfastness in their faith. Brad estimates that there are 500,000 gypsies in Slovakia; perhaps 500 are believers. The Bible has not yet been translated into their language.
As we ended our meeting, the pastor prayed for the work and for us (how humbling is that??). We prayed for him and for his family, and for the Lord to send more workers to help them carry the load. Karla translated so we could understand each other’s words. His wife shook my hand and kissed me on both cheeks, and I felt blessed beyond belief.