An Unforgettable Time
I received a follow-up report yesterday from my friend TWR-Romania Director Nick Vandici. During the 2010 ministry vision trip, Nick introduced us to the heart of TWR-Romania’s ministry: outreach to the Roma people (known for years as “Gypsies”). The Roma are the largest minority group in Europe, estimated to number around 15 million.
What an eye-opening trip it was! With Nick’s leadership, we visited five Roma villages in the Romanian countryside to distribute Galcom pre-tuned solar-powered radios. I recall that each person had to “sign” (most cannot read or write) for the radio, so that Nick could provide a statement of ownership. These people, for years treated as social outcasts, needed to provide proof to the local authorities that they were the owners of the radios we provided them.Nick wrote that he and his team made two more trips for radio distributions after our visit. These were to remote villages. More than 1,000 radio sets were distributed. TWR-Romania has distributed to 37 out of 42 counties in Romania. Nick added, “We’re glad for this and thankful to our Lord and to all the donors who provide funds for the radios.”
A highlight of TWR-Romania’s outreach this year was a mission expedition in the Cerna Mountains with a team of young people. Seventeen youth volunteers started the trip and broke into two groups to maximize their time. They determined to visit 12 hamlets in the area to promote God’s Word.
The expedition leader provided this report:
The hamlets are situated at [high] altitudes, have no roads, only paths, electricity or church buildings. We planned to distribute solar panel radios, Bibles and brochures. Both teams tried to contact maximum number of people they could to share the gospel and encourage them to read the Bible and listen to Christian programs aired by TWR-Romania. Most of the people were hospitable; glad to receive us in their homes; and listen to the Word of God wherever we met them: in the fields, forest or courtyards.
The volunteers explained to them how the solar radios work…These simple tools are very good for this older and less educated people, and we considered that the Holy Spirit will use the radio waves to touch their souls by hearing the Word of God.
From discussions I had with people from the hamlets, I observed the joy and contentment [they had] for the radio gift. Most of them didn’t expect to receive it freely, which helped us to explain that the same thing is with our salvation. We don’t have to pay because Jesus paid the price that we can’t afford to pay. They have to open their hearts for regeneration made by the Holy Spirit. A lot of people there manifested increased interest in listening to God’s Word, reading the Bible and listening to the radio programs. These solar radios are even more precious to them because they have no electricity or shops to buy batteries for normal radios.
To learn more about TWR’s ministry to the Roma people, click here.