A few days ago, a young Roma woman tried to hand me her 4-6 week old baby through my car window. She was not more than 15 or 16 years old.
My heart broke.
For whatever her motivation, and many possible ideas have floated through my head, the sheer magnitude of that one act… I can not fathom what it meant. For her. Or for me. Or for her child.
I had a lot on my mind at the moment. I had just picked up Austin and was on my way back to the hospital waiting to see if Tyler would be discharged 2 days after his surgery. But my heart was easily snagged by the sight of this new baby. And a new baby is a beautiful thing. Even when he is wrapped in old rags and his face is dirty. And all I wanted to do, was to take him in my arms.
Roma people are still looked down upon here in Albania. There are seen as “black” people,much in the way our own history has looked down upon African Americans. I recently learned there are even “classes” among the Roma. They are tolerated but not respected or loved. Even I find myself, overlooking their plight as they approach me over and over, in all parts of the city, with their need.
I praise God for my friends, who are ministering to these beautiful people and trying to meet them, not only at the place of their physical needs, but also at the heart of their spiritual needs. Would you please pray for the Roma church plant here in Albania? I know that we can not meet all of their needs. But there is a God who sees them and desires to draw them to Himself. This work is much harder than our own youth ministry work. The deep seeded Roma mindset, pagan beliefs and rituals are a stronghold that must be broken through in order for people to hear the truth. And even beyond that, this is life they know how to live. They know how to navigate the poverty and system within which they live. Coming out of that into an Albanian society must much harder than we could even imagine.