In Eastern Europe, the Roma people (formerly called Gypsies, a term now considered disrespectful) are often treated as outcasts. They are typically stereotyped as fortunetellers, thieves and beggars. Historically, they have been forced into slavery, denied housing, employment, healthcare, education, and have been targets of discriminatory laws. Under Nazi Germany, Roma people were interred and murdered in concentration and extermination camps. Their lack of education and inability to find work often leads them to beg for survival, reinforcing stereotypes, and contributing to a cycle of poverty and hostility. Few people or organizations work with them, as they are considered one of the most difficult people groups to reach. However, God loves every tribe, tongue, and nation, and has been faithful to prepare Christians to serve this people group desperately in need of the good news of Jesus.
The Dumbrava Roma Center in northern Romania was organized by a group of Christians to serve the Roma children in the community. Dani and Lavinia, a young couple who desire to follow God’s will for their lives, serve the kids in Roma center five days a week. Lavinia is teaching children between the ages of 5 and 10, while Dani works with teenagers and young adults from the ages of 11 up to 25. God has given them a compassionate heart for the Roma people and they look for opportunities to share Christ with the Roma kids in everything they do.
Dani and Lavinia heard about about the Tomorrow Clubs through our Romanian Country Director, Zsolt Szűcs. Dani is certain that God brought them together, and as soon as the couple learned about what Tomorrow Clubs do, they wanted to start working with our program! They loved the TC curriculum, its focus on the person and work of Jesus Christ, and how the lessons were applicable to the kid’s everyday lives. Since January 2015, Dani and Lavinia have been using the TC curriculum, and as a result many children and teenagers are beginning to memorize scripture and learn Bible stories.
The results are promising, and we believe that through God’s working, the best is yet to come!