While a group of OM EAST workers were driving back to their base in Austria, the song “Hosanna”** played in the car. The OM team had joined a partner organisation and local believers on a visit to an isolated village in Serbia. Quietly, the driver and passengers hummed or sang along in praise and thanks to God for all they had experienced.

A few days earlier, a large black dog had barked and strained against its chain, announcing the outreach team’s arrival in Bela Reka, an isolated village in eastern Serbia. The group of OM EAST workers, Roma Bible Union (RBU) partners and believers from the local town, Bor, walked along a grassy track. Passing domed haystacks, they reached an unfinished blue brick house, home to a Bayash-speaking Roma family in the community.

I see a generation rising up to take their place…

The family welcomed their guests into their yard. Boys and girls gathered around Andrijana*, a young Roma RBU volunteer, who began to lead the children’s club. Andrijana and other RBU colleagues came from Croatia last September to train church members from Bor to run a monthly club.

Sitting on a blanket beneath a tree, Andrijana gave out booklets and badges. She placed a badge into a little girl’s palm, closing the child’s hands over the gift. The girl peeked between her cupped hands; a look of excitement spread across her face. She immediately attached the badge to her t-shirt and fingered it, beaming with joy.   

Andrijana guided participants through activities in a booklet, which promoted literacy and taught a biblical truth. The children learned about prayer, focusing on the Lord’s Prayer. “It was amazing to see their concentration!” said graphic designer Simon*, who was encouraged to observe how OM EAST’s media materials are being used.

“Ten years ago it was westerners going into Roma settlements; now Roma believers are taking on leadership!” he enthused.   

I see a near revival stirring as we pray and seek…

While the children’s programme came to a close, a few of the outreach team led worship songs. A follower of Christ in the village accompanied them on a drum, slung from his shoulder. “He played with his whole heart!” emphasised Simon, emotions stirred by the memory. “He made the drum himself–out of rubbish.”

“There in the yard, in front of piles of scrap metal and a house that was missing a windowpane, they worshipped God,” described OM EAST worker Inger*. “It was powerful!”

“God will drive out fear. God will push away the darkness. We will praise the Lord!” The lyrics sung during the time of worship proclaimed Jesus Christ’s authority—a key truth to bring to Bayash Roma communities who are oppressed by superstition, witchcraft and their conviction they are cursed. This song of faith drowns out the condemning verdict found in the Bayash ‘national anthem’: “We are cursed, we are cursed because one of our ancestors stole a nail from the cross of Jesus—no wonder we are cursed.”

“Let heaven be opened to Bela Reka,” another song declared.

“Normally the words are, ‘Let heaven be opened to the Roma,’” shared RBU worker Nina. “But this time they inserted the village name.” As individuals hear the gospel, hope for eternity and hope on earth becomes a possibility. For those who ask Jesus to forgive their sins and choose to follow Him, this hope becomes reality. 

“It is happening!” Inger said. “Soon after we arrived, somebody told me that a few people have already been baptised.”

Break my heart for what breaks Yours, everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause…

“It’s a shame they don’t have a church,” Bajram* expressed. He explained how it was too far and too expensive for the Bela Reka believers to drive 30 minutes to church in town each week. Similarly, the Bor congregation could not afford to offer transport.

Lack of fellowship means it is especially important that believers from town visit regularly. Receiving training to provide a monthly children’s programme is a significant development, since RBU finds it is a first step, which can lead to planting churches.  

“I love theatre and writing music, but I love Roma more!” expressed RBU volunteer Vedrana*, an arts graduate from Croatia. “I just wish they would know God and be saved—this is my biggest prayer. God gives the opportunities; we have to decide how will we respond.”

“I was moved by the heart that Roma and local believers have to invest their gifts and lives into reaching the Roma,” Inger reflected.  The song “Hosanna” summed it up for her: “The words were a reminder for me of what God is doing among the Roma, as well as inviting us to be part of what He will do.”

Praise God that Roma are equipping others to spread the gospel among Roma. Please pray that individuals in Roma settlements would grow in faith and gain the needed support community.

*Full name not included for security
**Subheadings credit: Song Lyrics: “Hosanna,” Brooke Fraser, 2006 Hillsong Music Publishing

Join OM EAST to serve in graphic design or bookkeeping: www.om.org/east/en/portal/go-om

OM EAST’s literature and media ministry produces high quality print and digital media in over 25 languages for people groups throughout Eurasia. OM EAST support their Roma Bible Union partners by producing booklets, badges, t-shirts, Bible study resources and Bible storybooks.

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

B4T Developer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you an experienced business owner or manager? Would you like to use your business skills, experience and contacts to build entrepreneurs?  Join us as a B4T Developer. You will work to grow Kingdom Businesses in some of the most needy parts of the world. Select entrepreneurs, train them in business skills, bring in investors; it is a tough job and not for the faint hearted. Our vision is to see Kingdom Business fulfill its vital role in the Great Commission.
Full Details
Video Editor – part-time International    Go & Live    As soon as possiblePlay a vital part in creating powerful videos or animations, which help OM teams communicate the gospel with specific people groups around the world!
Full Details
Public and Media Relations Manager – Global Brand and Marketing International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have skills and education in marketing and media relations? Have you wondered how you could put those skills to work for the glory of God? You could do that with OM as the Public and Media Relations Manager with our Global Brand Management team. As part of Global Brand Management, you would guide the annual Public Relations and media strategy to publicly champion the work of God through OM around the world.  Could this be the right place for you?
Full Details
Personal Assistant for SportsLink Director International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a passion for administration, organisation and practical logistics? Are you detail oriented and efficient in your work? If this sounds like you, you are just the person we’re looking for to help our SportsLink International Director manage his responsibilities as he leads sports ministries which build and strengthen communities of Jesus followers.
Full Details
Community Project Manager International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you experienced in business training and coaching? Do you have community development experience? Can you encourage people as they start a business and form follow-up groups? These groups support and encourage each other and work together toward solutions to uplift the community economically. OM’s Micro enterprise business ministry is passionate about helping people transform, uplift and empower their communities through business. Help us renew hope and see lasting change in peoples’ lives.
Full Details
IT support person (OM EAST – Literature and Media, Austria) International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleOM EAST is looking for an on-site IT support person to ensure the smooth running of their literature and media ministry’s infrastructure. As you support a creative team of graphic designers, app developers and eBook programmers, you are making it possible to produce Christian media in the heart-languages of people groups around the world.
Full Details
OMMS Power BI Developer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThis role exists to support, by providing analytics and reporting, for Personnel, Finance, Financial Development and Mobilizing.
Full Details
International Personnel Manager International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThe Personnel Manager coordinates and supports people management processes and systems for the international staff team (approx. 180 people worldwide)
Full Details
Director of Media & Communications – Inspiro Arts Alliance International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you love to communicate creatively? Experience leading a team?

Inspiro Arts Alliance is looking for a leader for our Media & Communications Team to develop and deploy a variety of media to help mobilize artists globally to love like Jesus.

As director of media & communications you will be key to inspiring and equipping this global movement of artists!

Full Details
Communications and Media Manager International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you a motivated, creative self-starter with innovative ideas who enjoys removing obstacles and solving problems? We need someone like you to direct and manage the communication and promotion of our products & services in the hearts and minds of our various stakeholder communities. OM’s Micro enterprise business ministry is passionate about helping people transform, uplift and empower their communities through business. Join us, help renew hope and see lasting change in people's lives.
Full Details
Short-term Project Mobiliser – Inspiro Arts Alliance International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleHelp mobilise artists into specialized, artistic short-term mission projects. Inspire, equip and connect artists globally into the right projects, internships and other short-term opportunities.

Inspiro Arts Alliance is cultivating and empowering artists globally to love through beauty in worship and witness.

You can play a key part in building this global movement of artists on mission.

Full Details
Incarnate Spiritual Director – Inspiro Arts Alliance International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you love seeing people grow in Christ? Have you experience creating content and environments for spiritual growth?

Inspiro Arts Alliance cultivates artists globally to awaken the world to God's beauty. Incarnate is our flag-ship for artists looking to serve among the least reached. Completely redesigned, the next Incarnate will be held in February 2022 over 4 months in multiple locations.

We need someone to develop and invest in the spiritual life of Incarnate. Could that be you?

Full Details