Headlines from First Thoughts

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Impressions

Can you imagine a world where 99% of the people are unemployed in any
official work; 50% of people work in some kind of black market
occupation, 90% of families have an alcoholic living at home, 75% of
wives are physically abused, 80% of children start school, less than
1% graduate from high school, less that 20% finish elementary school.

This is the world of the Roma people. We call them "gypsies" for short
because their tribe has lived a nomadic lifestyle from India to
Western Europe. They stretch across the globe and repesent one of the
many unreached people groups in the world. They are maligned,
mistreated, and exactly the kind of people that Mary sang about in the
Gospel of Luke. She imagined a world that one day people like gypsies
would be on top, and that could only happen when the kingdom of God
breaks in.

That kingdom is colliding in northern Croatia. This is certainly not
the only place gypsy ministry is bearing fruit, but this is the place
where First Baptist has been a small part of God's work there. When we
began our ministry in Cakovec over 7 years ago, we helped Croatians
sustain and build a center to reach Croatians. That vision has grown
to help the Croatians deal with their version of poverty, race, and
justice issues. Through our work with other Croatian nationals who
serve as missionaries, Elaine Childs has developed a relationship with
more Roma people.

Our team of 27 students and adults will be working in two separate
villages next week. In both they will present the gospel with Bible
pictures and stories that cross cultures and worlds. In one village,
they will share the gospel through manual labor. They will build
out-houses for a village of 10 families.

All of this is possible through your gifts, support, through the cars
that park during ball games, and this year, a unique partnership with
the East Tennessee Foundation. Michael received a grant from a
generous family who supports local youth group projects through the
churches in East Tennessee. The foundation made it possible for these
outhouses to be built, and I am especially grateful for the

Follow and track their progress on our website, and join me in prayer
as we minister to people whom we believe one day will be so much more
than a statistic.

More info about the Team
First Baptist's Ongoing Partnership
Elaine Childs' Work in Croatia

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