Something wonderful is happening among Slovakia’s Romani people. One by one, members of this very poor and marginalised community are becoming Christians and seeking to change their lives and those of their communities.
“Many Romani people live in poverty, in houses with no modern facilities, or in cardboard or wooden shacks,” notes Slovak Bible Society General Secretary Pavol Krasnocvetov. “Alcoholism and violence have been rife in these communities, and they’re looked upon with suspicion by other Slovaks.
“And yet we see God working very powerfully among them. The churches are growing and really positive changes are taking place in Romani families and villages. One Romani man told me how he used to drink heavily and beat his wife. But since becoming a Christian he has changed completely, and his family relationships are restored. ‘It’s thanks to Jesus and his power,’ he told me.
“These new Christians want to know God more and live lives that please him. But there’s a problem: many of them are too poor to afford Bibles.
“We want to help ensure that this great spiritual awakening continues and, thanks to donors from Japan and Slovakia, we have been providing Bibles for adults and children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. So far we’ve distributed more than 1,000 Slovak Bibles and more than 1,000 Children’s Scriptures to churches working among Romani people.
“We’ve also uploaded the Romani New Testament, translated by Word for the World, on our website and are making plans to publish and distribute a bilingual edition of the New Testament in Romani and Slovak, if enough funding is provided. This will help Romani people to get a deeper knowledge of God’s Word in their own language, and improve their knowledge of Slovak, which is the official language. We’ve started collecting funds for this project, and we’re trusting in God’s provision and perfect timing.”
“The only thing that can change the Romani nation is Jesus Christ,” notes Romani pastor Peter Pecha. “We can’t change ourselves, and pastors and church leaders can’t turn our community around. It is God who changes lives. Anything is possible through him!”
Please pray that more and more Romani people will come to know the Lord, and that the Bible Society is able to provide them with Scriptures to help them grow in their faith.