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Ministering to gypsies

Those of us who follow Jesus are like gypsies in a way. Peter, in his first book, describes us as “aliens and strangers in the world.” Our World Race team is ministering to gypsies in Romania this month. Team member Katie Rowland observes that “in their music I feel the burden…
By Seth Barnes

WR Viile Tecii 1 3



Those of us who follow Jesus are like gypsies in a way. Peter, in his first book, describes us as “aliens and strangers in the world.” Our World Race team is ministering to gypsies in Romania this month. Team member Katie Rowland observes that

“in their music I feel the burdens of a downtrodden people. I hear the echoes of a history of repression and sadness, a yearning for a common home for their common culture. The Gypsies as a people group have never had a country of their own, and something in my spirit feels that, though I don’t understand their language.

Historically, the Roma or Sigani (Gypsy) people came from India. Known as travelers, as vagabonds, as mysterious and outcast, Gypsies have settled in many countries, but are still able to communicate using the Gypsy language (of which there are several dialects) and feel kinship with one another. They have settled in Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, other parts of Europe and other more far-flung places like America.

 
Seemingly wherever they go or however long they’ve been settled there, the Gypsy people are not considered local.
Ali Page posted a blog that helps us better understand their lives:
 

A few observations from living in Viile Tecii (pronounced Villa Techy), a gypsy village…..

Romania 038

Romania 0571. Gypsies play accordians and violin in church. They love music!
 
2. Some Easter traditions – Gypsy men spray perfume all over the
women on Easter. (I had a surprise attack by 3 men in front of an
entire church), they force feed you a variety of Easter treats, and
they celebrate Easter twice (one is traditional and one is
Orthodox)…..Side note I am getting baptized this Orthodox Easter
Sunday! Romania 020
 
 
3. Gypsy woman kiss you once on each cheek if they like you and
twice on the lips if they love you…you never know what your gonna get!
 
4. The sheep here have long thick tails like cats. 
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4. Married gypsy woman must cover their heads with scarves for church and formal events which signify submission to theirRomania 060 husband.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

5. Gypsies still use carts pulled by horses to get around.
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6.Gypsies are looked upon as a sub-culture, dirty and dishonest…outcast. This is far from the truth!



 7. The land here has the richest soil. Many gypsies make their living farming. (cabbage, potatoes, apples, plums, cherries, grapes, corn….) It took us 3 days to hoe this land which belongs to an elderly woman.Romania 206

 


8.  After only 20 years of freedom the communist mentality is slow
to change, but with the power of God there is much breakthrough!

 

9. This is the hardest working culture I have seen in the last 10 months. Below they are scrubbing rugs on the river bank.

 Romania 068
 

10. Gypsy Bunika Grannies are sweet and enjoy sitting outside their house observing all that goes by.
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“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, … For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. ” 2 Cor. 5: 1-6

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