We entered the Roma village in Karditsa to join the Sunday service and meet some Roma people we had got to know on previous visits. We found ourselves being surrounded by the Roma kids, who were happy to get some hugs and attention. At Sunday school, the kids sang their favourite song: “I want to live in your presence forever.”
One teenage mum brought her kids to play with others and invited me to visit her home. She had been married when she was twelve, and now has three small children. Her single room house is made of everything they were able to find: pieces of sheet iron, panels of different sizes and colours, old abandoned doors and windows.
The lady – or the girl – gave me a chair and sat next to me and started to talk. She told me about their small profit business, about her dream to get tap water in the house and to get a proper home someday, about their stolen savings and about her marriage. I was able to listen to her, pray with her and encourage her to seek God.
Later, other ladies joined us too, and I was happy to meet one small and very sick baby, for whom we have been praying regularly. OM has helped the baby's family by donating money for thermally insulating their new house.
The Roma Minority in Greece
There are around 250,000 Roma people in Greece. Many of them don’t have any education and don’t know even how to read and write. In the country, there are about 70 Roma settlements, which are more or less culturally isolated from Greek society. Roma people are often seen as second class citizens. Many of them are extremely poor; some live in tents under bridges, some have some kind of shelter and others have taken over abandoned buildings. Many of them live by begging, collecting trash, or selling goods on the streets and marketplaces, as well as stealing and selling drugs. Their lack of education prevents them from getting a better standard of life.
Nevertheless, their biggest need is to know Christ; and the best way to lead them to Christ is to respect them, listen to them and pray for them. OM Greece is supporting the Greek Evangelical Church of Karditsa with the Roma ministry they have in a local Roma village. In this way, the Roma might be introduced to Jesus, and know the hope He offers to transform lives and communities.