Our group with the local church we visited.
A couple weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to take a trip with my team leader to a city about 2 hours away from Bucharest. This trip was introduction to cross cultural ministry for a group of Romanians who are interested in being missionaries. Although we just visited another city in Romania, we were visiting a different culture.
To give a brief history, a couple hundred years ago the Ottoman Empire (modern day Turkey) had a strong influence in the territory that is now Romania. Some ethic Turks settled in several areas and established towns. Even though eventually this territory became Romania these communities of ethnic Turks never left. The result is towns like Medgidia which we visited. It is a Romanian town that has a large population of ethnic Turks who grow up speaking Turkish in their homes and have a Turkish identity even though they were born and raised in Romania. This concept was completely foreign to me before I moved here, but it is a very big reality here. It is the same for these Turks, the Roma, ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Germans. Their families have lived in Romania for a couple hundred years but they have a different ethnic identity than Romanians.
The trip to Medgidia was a chance to expose some Romanians to see what ministry to a different culture looks like. We were able to worship with a local church who sang songs in Turkish and Romanian, help out with their Saturday kid’s program, and walk around praying for the poor neighborhoods.
The power point has the hymn in Turkish on top
and Romanian below. We would sing it once in
Turkish and then sing it in Romanian.
Walking through the city praying for it and the
people who live there.
The local pastor and his wife told us stories about the town and the work there. Last year 40 people were arrested for human trafficking. In one instance some traffickers went around rounding up the blind, the lame, the sick, and those with disabilities. They had a bus full of disabled people and drove it to a big city in Italy so these men could make more money from the disabled begging in a Western European country.
The reality in Romania is that in the poor communities and villages there are many who take advantage of the poor, the disabled and those in need. There will be small shacks next to multiple story mansions, horse drawn carts next to BMW’s, and many times the rich will be getting richer by taking advantage of their poor neighbors. It is sad learning how prevalent trafficking is here. We learned a lot about it before we came, but meeting women who have been trafficked and seeing the trafficker’s mansions in the villages gives us a whole new look on the subject. It is a lot more real and a lot more personal now.
This is a common site in the villages. People will
begin to build a house and not have the money
to complete it. Thus, they will live there without
any windows or doors.
A home in a neighboring village
Please continue to pray for the Gospel to spread in Romania!