Odessa Theological Seminary students Paul and Vira are seeking to impact communities through a financial company “Hope of Ukraine”, which was started by Christians and helps entrepreneurs develop their businesses. Among other things the company distributes the Scriptures among clients who have never heard of Christ as Saviour.
The company also focuses on preaching the Gospel among the Romani people in west Ukraine where the concentration of Roma communities is higher than in the rest of Ukraine. Christians try to show their love and care, when they see that they can initiate positive changes in individual people, in Roma churches, and in Roma communities at large.
Paul and Vira’s activity developed mainly in two directions:
They teach Roma people to save money. For centuries Roma people have been “making money” by asking people to give, sometimes by selling things, but very seldom by working.
Paul and Vira’s are teaching the Roma literacy skills. The majority of adult Roma cannot read or write. This substantially limits their job opportunities. The children are not motivated to study hard either.
Another hurdle is the fact that parents often engage in seasonal work, which distracts them from study. This lifestyle develops into a vicious cycle which is hard to break.
To help break it, Paul and Vira have started some educational initiatives for Roma. Through their programmes they long to see a whole cultural mindset shift which will embrace Biblical principles.
Pray that God will use Paul and Vira to impact the lives of Roma people living in west Ukraine. Already they are working in the Poroscovo area where SGA sponsored missionaries work.
We are pleased that as the Mission helps to fund Odessa Seminary, students Paul and Vira are benefiting from its teaching.