Just saw this in my work e-mail and thought I'd pass it along. I've mentioned our translation project for the Roma (Gypsy) people of Ukraine many times since we've been working on it. Here is a letter from the Director of PBT Ukraine and Director of the Roma Project describing their ministries to the Roma people over Christmastime. What a blessing to be supporting and working with such servant-minded brothers and sisters in Christ!
Like Jan (mentioned below), I too will be visiting our Roma team in western Ukraine this May . I'm very excited to see the impact our work is having on Roma communities there, the poorest in Ukaine, as well as to take part in the team's training and translation meetings. (More on this when the time gets closer.)
Thank you for your continued support of our family as the Lord uses us to hep make such wonderful outreach possible.
Report on the Christmas project.
Dear American partners!
The staff of the PBU is very grateful to you for your help in a Christmas project for the Roma of Ukraine. Because of the war in the east of Ukraine and other factors in our country there is such a situation that people sometimes do not have the most necessary resources for life. This is especially true for the Roma population where most people are illiterate, unemployed, socially unprotected. Therefore thanks to your donations we were able to do a good work for the Lord. In cooperation with local Roma churches not only we gave people something to eat but also told to a large number of Roma about the true meaning of Christmas. Through this action some of them heard the Gospel for the first time.
We are grateful that Ian Barchuk was able to visit Western Ukraine in early January 2018. Meeting with him and visiting the Roma camps left a wonderful impression. On January 4, together with the local Romish pastor Ruslan Surmai we visited two camps - in the Perechyn town and in the Seredny village, where we took part in children's programs in which there were 350 Roma children in general. It was nice to see how the Roma believers showed a theatrical performance about the birth of Christ where the Gospel of Luke was spoken in the Transcarpathian Roma language. This was possible thanks to the work of the Roma project of the Translators of the Bible of Ukraine mission. In general, for the Roman children of the Transcarpathia 700 of a very good gifts were bought and handed out with various sweets & candies.
The second place we held the Christmas project was the Roma church in Krivoy Rog city where pastor Slava Pavlekov serves. The local church there organized a Christmas performance for 250 children and they were also given with presents. Their gifts included children's Bibles as many Roma children of Krivoy Rog thanks to the influence of the church began to go to school. Now they will be able to read Bible at home to their parents and grandparents.
We also held a Christmas project in Kharkov where the local Romani church with Pastor Nikolay Burlutsky distributed food packages to low-income Roma families and refugees from the war-zone. 70 families have received such sets. We were touched by the story of an elderly single woman Tamila who is a prayer partner of the PBU and always prays for translating the Bible into Roma. Before getting a grocery set she gave all her money to a child for a surgery. She herself was left without any products and finances. But she trusted God so the grocery set was her answer from the Lord, she literally was able to survive thanks to these products.
We pray that God will give us the opportunity to do a Christmas project this year too. We want to distribute a part of Scripture along with presents whichever is translated by that time into the languages f Roma people making it in the form of a small booklet.
We are very grateful to you for your open hearts dear partners, and we ask you to pray for the work of a Translators of the Bible of Ukraine mission.
Sincerely, PBU director Valentin Siniy and the manager of the Roma project Anatoly Shkarin.