As recently as April we wrote about helping the Roma Gypsies in Ukraine build better lives for themselves. http://www.orphanspromise.org/gypsy-projects-being-realized/ Now, a short two months later, and great strides have been made!
Attached are some progress pictures from Mukachevo. It’s impressive to see things developing above and beyond our expectations. And, when you consider that most of the fields have been plowed and planted by people who have never done this type of work, it’s even more impressive. The vegetables are growing, and the people are tending the gardens.
We need to pray for rains and good weather, so that their efforts are rewarded with good harvest. During the training some of the pastors who attended committed to keep 10% of the harvest in the church with plans to help those who don’t have food, so nobody in their communities starve this winter, like in the past. Now these pastors can share not only about spiritual matters, but also practical faith, strengthening the position of the local church among the Roma people.
We are staying in regular communication with the local people on the ground, helping, advising, encouraging and praying together. This project is changing the community mentality. Previously, the people were nomads, and this year they stayed settled, tending the gardens, believing they can improve their lifestyle using their own labor, growing their own food for their families.
We also need to continue to pray about the bath house project. We have the favor of the local government and the Roma community leadership (Baron) and this week the legal contracts and zoning permits should be approved with determination of the specific place for building. We are hoping to start building in the first week of June. Construction is quite expensive in Ukraine. We are looking into different ways of fundraising for this project, as well as trying to find ways of cutting down on the costs, through mobilizing local volunteers, even some professional builders (local Roma people are eager to start helping, but they need to be trained by those who know what they are doing). Please pray that God touches people’s hearts to get involved.