Today, I got a call from Jason that one of the Rromi families we had spoken to wanted a Bible. As I had a few Romanian New Testaments at the house, I told him I’d meet up with him in a few minutes. About an hour later, we met up and made our way towards the gypsy family.
This particular family is living on a patch of vacant land between a massive Cora (a “hipermarket” like a Super Walmart) and Plaza România (a massive mall). I say “family” when talking about the group of gypsies, but I really have no idea who’s related to whom, who’s child is whose, etc. Every time we’ve visited, there have been a different collection of people inside the flimsy wooden structure they call a home. The structure itself has been moved the last two times we visited. The kids and adults are all filthy but full of smiles and happy to visit with us whenever we come by.
Today was special because we were delivering a Bible for a woman who requested one for her husband who is in prison. When we arrived at the home, we delivered the Bible to the happy woman.
We then discovered there was a new baby in the family, a 3-week-old girl named Valentina. The mother asked us if we could milk for the baby. Even the most heartless guy would quickly agree to buying milk for a baby, so it didn’t take much before Jason and I succumbed.
Actually, the thing that really ways on our hearts is the children living in these situations, many of whom never get a chance for school and so will probably end up the same when they grow up. How do we stop this cycle of poverty?
I have lots of questions about how to help these, the poorest gypsies in Bucureşti. How do we help them to succeed without destroying who they are as gypsies? How do we keep them healthy without becoming dependent on us? How do we share the gospel to them? How do we disciple them? How do we even begin to love them? How do we get them to see that Jesus is their biggest need, not comfort in this world? How do we help them while preserving their dignity?
But I do know the one ultimate answer is Jesus. He heals, he blesses, he gives wisdom, he protects, he guides, and ultimately he cleanses us from sin and establishes us in his courts forever.
Pray for us as we think and pray about our involvement with these poorest gypsies in Bucureşti.