Pray for Ukrainian Families and Refugees

Pray for Ukrainian Families and Refugees

February 17, 2023

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God’s Love for the Roma People Shines Even in the Midst of War

It’s been more than a year since February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, escalating an ongoing conflict and bringing terror and destruction to eastern Europe. Since the invasion began, Ukraine has regained some of the territory lost in Russia’s initial offensive, but the toll—in lives, property damage, and emotional trauma—continues to rise.

Among those affected, the Roma people have suffered greatly. Thousands of Roma call Ukraine their home. As Europe’s largest ethnic minority, the Roma (who speak various Romani languages) face systemic discrimination because of harmful stereotypes that depict the Roma as liars and thieves.

This prejudice leads to unequal access to education, employment, housing, health care, and public services. The occupation of Ukraine by Russia and ongoing fighting have left many Roma in that region even more vulnerable to the persecution they have experienced for generations.

But God’s Word among them is helping many replace what they hear—the negative label of “gypsy”—with what they now know: they are valued children of God.

Video from 2017

Bible Translation in the Midst of Conflict

When the invasion began, many Roma fled to Slovakia where, thankfully, Slovakian Roma believers and Bible translators answered the call of the gospel to be salt and light, loving those who had nothing to offer in return.

However, the relative stalemate between Ukraine and Russia leaves many complications for the work of the Ukrainian Roma Cluster project. We ask you to pause and pray as you consider the following:

Printed Copies of Luke and Acts

These resources, written in the heart language of the Crimean Roma, were in storage in Kherson, a strategic site that both militaries seek to control. The copies were found safe in Kherson after it was liberated. They were moved farther west in the country while being distributed.

The First Children’s Bible

Volunteers seek to create the first children’s Bible in Crimean and Vlakh Romani languages. Ask God to give them wisdom to effectively convey the truth in ways that speak directly to the hearts of children in these people groups.

Cultural Adjustments

Some Roma translators are currently living in Germany after fleeing their homes. Others wound up in Bulgaria and Slovakia. Ask God to soften the culture shock and help them to thrive where they are as they continue their work.

A Flood of Refugees

Roma from all four language groups in this cluster—Crimean, Lovari, Servi, and Vlakh—live as refugees displaced by the war. Ask God to care for them tenderly, reveal himself to them, and draw them to himself so their joy might flourish despite hard circumstances.

Light Shining in the Darkness

As we continue to pray for peace and the cessation of aggression, we want to also praise God by highlighting some of the amazing ways he has been working.

Please take time to thank God for the following:

A Faithful Minister

A Vlakh Roma translator who has remained in Ukraine continues to minister to refugees. Praise God for his faithfulness as he helps believers remain steadfast.

A Sturdy Door

An angry mob, armed with clubs and knives and intent on harming believers inside a Vlakh speaker’s home, was held at bay. The attackers were unable to break through the door. Praise God for his love and protection of his people.

Continued Progress

Despite the war, God has allowed Roma translators to move ever closer to their goals of producing complete Bibles in the different Roma dialects. Outreach and discipleship events have led to the planting of new churches, the baptism of new believers, and the renewed vigor of faithful saints.

How You Can Help

As John Bunyan wisely noted, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”

After you pray for the Roma people, consider supporting translation work for people groups like them. Right now, you can bring hope to people around the world who long for God’s Word in their language.

Read More Stories

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Let’s rejoice with moms around the globe who are growing in the joy and truth of heart language Scripture—some for the very first time.
May 7, 2021
For missionaries Victor and Shanta, the ministry of Bible translation has reshaped their view of home, allowing them to trade earthly comfort for eternal impact.
January 22, 2024

Help Reach People Waiting for God’s Word

God’s Word changes everything. And everyone deserves to have God’s Word in the language they understand best. You can help make that happen.

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