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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
By Seth Barnes

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…..

1. 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
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. 
4. Married gypsy woman must cover their heads with scarves for church and formal events which signify submission to their husband.











5. Gypsies still use carts pulled by horses to get around.

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.


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.


10. Gypsy Bunika Grannies are sweet and enjoy sitting outside their house observing all that goes by.

“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

Comments (3)

  • Hi Seth, I am loving this rich culture of the Gypsies. I have been reading many of the blogs of the World Racers in Romania in the little village of Viile Tecci. I have become endeared by them and their way of live and how they have embraced the World Racers into their rich culture and Easter celebration. How sad they are outcasts here on earth. If I don’t ever get to to there myself to see them, I will look forward to meeting them in our eternal Kingdom. Thanks for sharing this.

  • I was adopted at birth and spent my whole life never fitting in anywhere.In youth groups at church, I was always the odd ball and outsider, never belonging anywhere.I have felt the sting of rascism most of my life. Even in the family that I was adopted to,I always had reminders that I wasn’t real, just the adopted kid.I am now 46 years old and for my birthday, I had an ethnic DNA test done just to have closure as to who and what I am. The results came back gypsy. It explains alot. The way I am and the way I believe.It also explains the love I have for the outcast and youth in my area that no one wants. God loves me no matter what I am and I share that love with others.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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