By Jake Hall 

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 6/11/2015

Tomorrow our Mission Team departs for Slovakia. Today I imagine there will be a frenzy of packing for the trip and double-checking the checklist to make sure everything is ready. Checklist from Carol, check. Second checklist from Marsha, check. Travel documents, clothes, teaching materials, and even a box of crunch berry cereal for our long-suffering field personnel make up the list. The two most important things that we will bring with us will be open minds and open hearts for the Romany people.

The mission of this trip mirrors the mission work of our field personnel. On medical mission trips, teams of doctors and nurses tend the sick. On construction trips, teams of workers raise walls and hammer nails. Our trip will provide material and relational support for Dianne and Shane McNary and their ongoing ministry among the Romany people in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This is relational work with and for the Romany people.

Relational ministry on behalf of the Romany people engages poverty and transformational Development; church starting and faith sharing; education; justice and peacemaking; economic development; and healthcare. The McNarys describe the Roma experience as “discrimination in all areas of life – from acceptance in churches to education and employment to healthcare. The Roma are often segregated from the majority population where poverty is made worse and opportunities are scarce.” Our team will bear witness to the good news. God loves the

Romany people. For a few days we will work to show love, share goodness, make connections, and advocate for these beloved children of God.

Pray that we may be the presence of Christ.