Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gypsies Touched My Heart

In September I spent some time in Romania working with gypsy communities.  My company helped the gypsy people start a broadcast last year.  It is broadcast in the dialect of the Romany (another word for gyspy) and is completely cultural to their people.  They play music, read poems, and tell funny stories like a variety program.  The hope is that not only will the Romany communities hear the radio broadcast, but that also the people of Romania will learn about the people that they so often push out of their villages.

Gypsies around the world face persecution from their non-gypsy neighbors.  They are pushed out of cities and refused jobs.  Many churches even prohibit gypsies from attending services.  Gypsies have a history of being seen as thieves and dishonest people.  It is true that many steal and live the lifestyle of an outsider, but they see this as their only option to survive in a world that refuses to accept them.

I am here to say that the gypsy people have an incredible amount of potential and talent.  The gypsies that produce the radio program are reaching out to other gypsies to encourage them to live a life void of violence and turn to an honest lifestyle that would ultimately glorify God.

Let me tell you the story of Nusfalau.  The gypsies have a village on the outskirts of the town of Nusfalau.  The gypsies there were so violent that the police feared entering the village.  One day a missionary reached out to the gypsies, and their lives were changed.  The gypsies from Nusfalau are the ones who produce the radio program, and they are the ones going into other gypsy villages.  I visited Nusfalau and walked the streets and talked to the people.  That would not have been possible at one time.  But Jesus changes lives.  Today the police know that the gypsies of Nusfalau are different people, and the change came from knowing Christ.  Gypsies are even becoming missionaries to non-gypsies!

I hurt for the gypsy communities that are being pushed out of France.  I know that the French are tired of the poor conditions that the gypsies live in, but how else are they to live if we don't reach out to them?  We have a role to play in bettering society.  Racism still exists today.  It's time we see that and make a change.

Here are a few pictures I took on my trip:

On may way to a gypsy village, this song came on my ipod, and I thought it extremely fitting for the strong spirit of the gypsy people.


Teapots & Robots said...

great post and love the photos!
my brother actually visited a friend in Romania the beginning of this year and had some similar things to share about the unfortunate circumstances that the gypsies live under.
You are right, Jesus is all about changing lives! :)

banana said...

At the Methodist work camp I volunteer at every summer, NeedtoBreathe was our go-to band. And especially the Outsiders cd. Grrrooodddd stuff. :)

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