Stigmatized Roma find love in Romanian church

By October 29, 2010

Romania (MNN) — In the past few months, the Roma people have made headlines as the French government has expelled many of them from the country. The highly stigmatized people are often met with conflict throughout Europe, though, not just in France.

"I think that whenever you reach out to the Roma people–whether you're in France or whether you're in Slovakia–wherever you are in Europe, there will be people who will push back," explains Rody Rodeheaver with I.N. Network. "The Roma are a class of people in Europe that are feared, that are despised, that are really the brunt of a lot of prejudice."

Some believers are reaching out despite all this.

A Romanian pastor, John, graduated with full marks in seminary. He was offered several jobs as a pastor where he would be able to live comfortably in the city, but he turned them all down for something else. He knew God was calling him instead back to the small Romanian village of his childhood. The village is filled with poverty-stricken people, many of whom don't have access to running water, and many of whom are Roma.

"This is certainly an example of indigenous desire to meet the needs of their own people," explains Rodeheaver, who says John lives with his family in a small, dilapidated house in order to spend his resources to build a church in the village.

John and his small church-planting team did all of the fundraising to build the church, molded the bricks and built the church. It was recently completed and is now open for services. Each Sunday it's filled with people seeking the Gospel–including the Roma, who may finally be finding acceptance just where they belong: in the family of Christ.

In the meantime, John is still in the process of building his family an apartment in the back of the new church. It will take about $25,000 to finish the project. Pray that John would have all that he needs to be able to build a home for his family. "Pray for Johnny and his dear wife and three children," urges Rodeheaver, who says your prayers are coveted above anything else.

I.N. Network has a thriving ministry in Romania. To learn more about it, click here or call I.N. Network USA at (616) 748-9620.


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